Virtual Onboarding: A New Reality

by Srikant Chellappa Sep 11,2020

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

According to a report by Boston Consulting Group, employee onboarding is one of the driving factors when it comes to employee experience. It further stated that companies with effective onboarding practices achieve 2.5 times more revenue and 1.9 times more profit margin when compared to companies with poor onboarding strategies.

Employee onboarding undoubtedly plays a major role in the success of an organization. A smooth onboarding process makes an employee stay longer in the organization and keep them engaged. According to the Society For Human Resources Management(SHRM), 69 % of employees stay with the organization longer if they had a great onboarding experience. But onboarding, like other processes, is a tedious one, and with everyone working remotely due to COVID19, the challenges have increased.

Also Read: Employee Performance Management During COVID-19

In this article, we have shared some useful tips which will make remote onboarding easy for all organizations.

Pre Boarding

Employees are often overwhelmed and anxious by the thought of the first day of a new job. With the ongoing pandemic and the likelihood of working from home for an unforeseeable future, starting a new job has become even more stressful. When starting remotely, employees often feel a disconnect from their team and the organization.

As an HR or a manager, the best way to cut the stress and anxiety of a new joinee is to send them a welcome or pre-onboarding package(digital or physical). It can include the following:

  • Welcome letter from the CEO
  • A brief introduction about the team members
  • Telephone numbers and email address of people to connect to in case of any doubts or emergency
  • Share links of important websites/pages which would be useful to the employee in the first few days 
  • Company merchandise / Gift vouchers

This will make the onboarding process smooth for the employee and as well as for the organization. Employees will be enthusiastic about joining the organization.

Also Read: The Importance of Employee Engagement in Healthcare

Remote Workspace Setup

As per research by Gartner, 85 % of organizations are using new technologies to onboard new employees.

For the first day of the employee to be hassle-free, they must have access to all the tools required for their job. Plan ahead of time so that your new employees receive their laptops, mouse, keyboard, or other job-oriented necessities on time. Not only this, but it is also recommended to create their emails, add them to mailing lists, given access to communication and collaboration tools before the joining date of the employee. Some of the tools which employees could be given access to are:

  • A real-time performance management software to manage performance reviews, goals, feedback, and rewards and recognition. If you don’t have one in place Engagedly is a great option
  • Communication tools such as Slack, Google Meet, and Skype
  • Project management software such as Asana, Basecamp, and Trello

These tools will not only help the new employees to connect and collaborate with the team but will also help them to stay engaged and productive.

Also Read: Role of A Coach In 360 Degree Feedback

Prepare An Onboarding Plan

Prepare an onboarding plan for the first two weeks for the employee. The first few days are crucial for the employees to understand their job roles and learn about the company culture and policies. It is recommended to create a tailored onboarding plan for each new remote employee.

The job of HR is very crucial in devising the onboarding plan. As an HR, make team meetings, one-on-one meetings, and training programs a part of the plan. Give them a walk-through of the company culture and policies.

Buddy System

Implement a buddy system and assign a buddy for each new employee joining the organization. This will help employees make an easy transition into the organization. Having a buddy makes the employee feel more welcomed, comfortable, and less stressed. The employees can communicate with their buddies anytime regarding any concerns or clarifications. Not only this, but buddies are also responsible for introducing employees to other team members and check on their wellbeing from time to time.

Also Read: How To Make New Employees Feel Welcome At Workplace?

Virtual Walkthrough

Although everything has become remote, it is still important for new employees to meet members of their team and other teams on the first day. It will give them a sense of belonging, and they will get to know everyone with whom they are going to work with at present, or in the future. Schedule virtual meetings with different teams and departments so that the new hire gets to know everyone and vice versa. This not only has an impact on the retention rate but also creates a strong working relationship between the remote employees and other team members.

Also Read: Getting Started With Real Time Performance Management

Check-In Regularly

The new employees must get accustomed to the work culture and job role to perform their work effectively. Conduct frequent check-ins and feedback sessions with your remote employees to know how they are doing and whether they have any issues. This will help the organization to know the employee’s progress and resolve their issues, if any. Frequent check-ins and feedback will help keep the employees productive and engaged in their work.


Engagedly is offering a suite of products part of its Remote Work Toolkit free to any organisation, until Sept 30th, 2020. 

The Coronavirus has affected the way we work today and for months to come. Unprecedented events require unprecedented measures. We at Engagedly believe it is our responsibility as socially conscious corporate citizens to help equip organisations with additional tools and resources during this time of crisis.

Do you want to know how Engagedly can help you with Real Time Performance Management? Then request for a live demo

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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