The Importance of Onboarding in the Digital Workforce

Onboarding is the comprehensive introduction between your company and a new employee. Creating an efficient and effective onboarding process is key to ensure your employees are fully prepared to become part of the team. The employee experience throughout onboarding can be make-or-break for retention, as 90% of employees decide whether they will stay long-term at a new company within the first 6 months. Especially within the remote workforce, there are additional challenges to communicate and engage with new hires, since you won’t be working with them in a physical office. Therefore, you should standardize a process that ensures your new employees are up to speed and will be excited tostay with your company for the long-run.

Preparing for Onboarding

In the digital workforce, you should be prepared to offer your new employees a seamless experience. This requires having a concrete plan, which you are able to explain upfront. Your plan should be logical, thorough, and documented. This will additionally save you time by having a standard for each onboarding experience. The first step is getting to know your new employee. Gather additional background information that is relevant to the position, and that you may have not covered in the interview process, such as:
  • Have they worked remotely before?
  • What equipment do they need to work?
  • What do they already know about your company?
This starting point will help you determine the next steps, such as ensuring they have all necessary equipment to work remotely. Providing equipment and software may also require some training, especially if the employee has never worked remotely before. By offering this support, you will provide an empowering and engaging onboarding experience.

Communication is Key

An employee’s first few days can be stressful and overwhelming. Ensure you offer a clear means of communication, where they can ask questions and find information. Make sure they have contact information for a designated helper for any questions they may have throughout the process. Especially in the remote workforce, employees do not have the luxury of asking their neighboring coworker a question. You should inform new employees of the common means of communication used in your company (email, phone, video calls, etc.), how to arrange meetings, and any other details necessary. New hires should also have access to readily available important information. This may include company policies, manuals, or checklists they need for their first few weeks. Place a special focus on explaining role expectations and your company culture. The employee should be able to grasp the general expectations and core values that are necessary to succeed in the organization. Having this information documented, organized, and available is key to streamlining your onboarding process.

Take Advantage of Technology

You are operating in the digital workforce for a reason, so your employees will likely expect a great technological experience. Luckily, there are endless platforms that streamline the onboarding experience and help engage your employees. From videos, demonstrations, presentations, and interactive courses, you can choose the best fit for your company that engages your employees and immerses them in the experience. Using these technologies, you should also request employee feedback throughout the process. Surveys are a great tool that can be simple to complete, yet give you adequate responses to continue improving your onboarding process. They can help you measure the effectiveness of your onboarding and provide a feel for the employees’ experiences. They also increase the communication in your company, and prove to your new employees that you value their opinions. The onboarding experience will look different for each company, especially those operating in the remote world. For more information and tips on tailoring a great onboarding experience to your organization, contact us here!