You might be wondering why you should even give onboarding a second thought in your strategic HR planning. If you’ve gotten all the requisite paperwork, what else needs to be considered? There are some sobering statistics on why good onboarding should be a significant part of your talent strategy, especially in today’s highly remote work environment.
- The average turnover rate for companies is 22% in the US
- Turnover costs between 1.5 and 2 times the employee’s annual salaries, according to an article by HR Magazine.
- According to a Gallup poll, only 12% of employees strongly agree that their organizations do a great job onboarding
On the other hand, there’s a lot to be gained from better onboarding. According to an article in SHRM:
- You get 50% greater new-hire productivity
- 69% of employees will stay with a company for 3 years or more
Remote Onboarding Challenges to Prep for in your Talent Strategy
These are the challenges that you’ll want to prepare for in your strategic human resource planning. They’re grouped into 3 categories: staff engagement, technical issues, and legal requirements.
Staff Engagement. One of the usual challenges of onboarding is employee engagement. You want your new hires to feel like they belong at your company and they fit into the corporate culture. You’ll find that this becomes even harder in a remote work environment. When people can’t shake hands, get coffee together, or have trainings in the same room, it’s even harder to create this sense of belonging and dedication to the company and its values.
The second challenge is the awkwardness of video. If you’re interacting with your new hires mostly over video (and email and chat), there’s that constant question of where to look. Eye contact is lost, and it becomes harder to make connections over video.
Technical Issues. There are a few concerns you may run into with technology when you onboard remotely. Tech support will become a little more complicated. You can’t sit next to your new hires as they set up their computers, their various accounts, or their software. You’ll need to be prepared to help them over video, the phone, and chat. Another concern might be managing and delivering technology. If you’re sending your new hires a laptop to work on, you’ll need to make sure it’s shipped and tracked. You’ll also need to have a system for tracking the technology you send to your new hires, so you get it back later. Lastly, you’ll have to deal with internet access. Your employee may have dicey internet access, which could be disruptive during training or work. You’ll want to make sure you have some strategies to avoid problems like this.
Legal Requirements. There are quite a few legal requirements that should be paid attention to here. Some exist in a remote and non-remote work landscape, but some don’t. Firstly, collecting documents. As per usual, you’ll need to collect the required documents for an I-9. However, currently the DHS has waived the physical inspect requirement for these documents if your company is operating remotely because of COVID-19. Once you are operating in the office again, you’ll have 3 days to complete the physical inspection and then you’ll document it according to DHS guidelines. The second legal requirement to pay attention to comes from the remote work landscape. Because companies are now hiring in different states than they operate in, payroll taxes, posting requirements, and other state and local regulations have become more complicated. If you have HR consulting, work with them to ensure you’re in compliance with all laws that are applicable to each new hire’s circumstances.
Talent Strategy Tips for Better Remote Onboarding
Now it’s time to identify some ways to make sure your remote onboarding is successful. To make it easier, this is broken down into two categories: tactics and tips.
- Use video for interviewing, for training, and to set up introductions with the team. Seeing people’s faces will help to build trust and familiarity.
- Make sure the first week is organized with a schedule. The new hires should know what meeting and training they’re doing when. So should the trainers and their managers.
- Set up, or encourage, informal gatherings virtually. Happy hours, coffee breaks, or just chats are fine. If you want your new staff to feel like part of the culture, they’ll need to meet and get to know their teammates.
- Do more check-ins. Do them between colleagues, managers, and teams. Check in with new hires frequently to see if they have questions, need anything, or are simply having a good day.
- Assign a mentor or a buddy. When new hires have somebody checking in who isn’t their manager, they may feel more comfortable being honest. They’ll also feel more supported.
- Use a Human Capital Management (HCM) system. (MP has an excellent one called iSolved.) It will store info that you’ll want to know about your newest team members.
- Use MP’s HR software. iSolved facilitates employee self-service when it comes to benefits enrollment, 401ks, collecting onboarding paperwork, tracking company assets like laptops, and sharing your employee handbook, and more. Our single, easy to use platform integrates all your HR solutions into one place that employees and your HR team can access anytime, anywhere.
- Update your employee handbook. If you don’t have policies for remote work, now is the time to add them.
- Update job descriptions if working remotely impacts them.
- Try MP Learn, which makes your training materials digital, stores them, and helps track and remind employees of training requirements.
- Update your organizational chart, add pictures, and make it available digitally so new hires know who is who.
- Use employee engagement software (like MP’s) for better and easier communication, more transparency for productivity and performance, and to send out surveys. Take the temperature of how your new hires feel about their onboarding process and their new roles, the company, etc.
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