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The 5 Benefits of Remote Work Onboarding for HR Leaders

A new hire’s first week is an exciting time, both for them and for the whole organization. But it’s a busy and often stressful team for the HR team too as they need to prepare for the first day, set up equipment, start the onboarding process, and plan lunches and team meetings. The rise of remote work has forced HR leaders to rethink how they set new employees up for success. 

The good news? Remote work onboarding has many benefits for HR leaders, as well as employees and managers. Here are five of the most powerful perks your organization can reap. 

1. Prepare tasks ahead of time 

The first few days an employee is on the job, they tend to be flooded with paperwork to complete and tasks to take on, like setting up their tech equipment. But with remote work onboarding, your HR team can get everything organized for new employees without delay. 

For example, HR can ask for emergency contact details, direct deposit details, and tax information before the new hire starts work so everything is organized from day 1. Instead of chasing down signatures on paper, employees and managers can use virtual signing technology to take care of these tasks as soon as possible. 

2. Smooth the gap between hiring and starting 

The time between accepting an offer for a new role and the first day of work can be an anxious stretch for many employees. They worry about what the culture of the new workplace will be like, if they’ll connect with their manager and peers, and what their life will look like in this new role. Many organizations don’t communicate at all with employees during this gap period, which is a missed opportunity. 

Sending welcome videos from leaders and managers, as well as important documentation and information about their new role and company, can put the minds of new hires at ease before they begin. They’ll start off in a confident and comfortable position and be ready to jump into their new role right away. 

3. Allow for more independent onboarding 

Onboarding a new hire the traditional way can be a slow process – it depends on the availability managers and peers have to train the new person on processes and tools. But with remote work onboarding, new employees can get up to speed on their own schedule and decrease ramp-up time. 

To get the full benefit of virtual onboarding, HR leaders should make the process as simple as possible for remote employees. Video is a great way to get employees the information they need on their own timetable – you can create video content from executives, leaders, HR, and more so they can watch when their schedule allows. 

4. Increase personalization for every hire 

Remote work onboarding doesn’t need to be an impersonal experience – it can actually increase personalization in the onboarding process for all employees when it’s done thoughtfully. HR leaders can take the opportunity to build more opportunities for connection into the onboarding process for new hires, no matter if they’re in the office or at home. 

These connections can look like virtual happy hours or coffee breaks with other new hires to begin forming relationships, online lunches with managers and peers to meet the team, and personalized video introductions from leaders to welcome new hires to the organization. Filming these videos should only take a few minutes and can be done asynchronously, while the impact on the new hire can be significant no matter where they work. 

5. Create a more thoughtful remote or hybrid workplace culture

Thinking through your remote work onboarding process carefully can lead to a rethinking of other elements of your company’s remote work culture. Building culture should happen strategically, and your onboarding process can be a great place to start improving your remote or hybrid workplace environment. 

Considering how to include remote employees in fun team-building exercises, for example, can lead to improvements in the existing employee experience as well. You can use the onboarding process to test ideas for building a better workplace culture or vice versa, because remote work is certainly here to stay for many employees.