Many companies are growing to acknowledge that intentional and strategic onboarding is critical to new employees success, and it goes well beyond paperwork and procedure. Research has demonstrated that excellent onboarding pays off  it can improve new employee retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. But with many companies continuing remote work into the foreseeable future, now is the time to ensure that your onboarding processes have been successfully transferred and adapted for remote work. One key characteristic of high-impact onboarding is an emphasis on people and company culture. However, one of the most prominent challenges of remote work is maintaining a strong sense of company culture and making up for the lack of in-person connections. When employees are being onboarded into a fully remote work environment, it is more critical than ever to equip them with the relationshipscultural understanding, and information they need for success.  

Here are 5 tips for effective remote onboarding:

1. Make acclimating a new hire a shared priority among your team. 

Often, a new employee’s first week is full of online trainings, paperwork, or meetings with HR or their supervisor. Even if they aren’t jumping into work with your full team right away, it is important for a new employee to feel welcomed and able to start integrating into your team. Especially in a telework environment, it is easy for an employee to feel isolated or disconnected from the group in the absence of face to face introductions. One way to counteract this is to make acclimating a new employee a shared priority across your team. Encouraging your team to reach out, introduce themselves and set up introductory meetings when necessary can jumpstart your new hire’s ability to form positive working relationships and acclimate quickly. 

2. Opt for video calls, especially for first introductions. 

Research has demonstrated that video conferencing helps employees feel connected with their colleagues, communicate more effectively, and increase meeting productivity. Even if your team doesn’t usually use video conferencing, it is particularly useful for new employees to meet their coworkers face to face (virtually), and to be able to put a face to the names they meet.  

3. Don’t let company culture get lost in the digital divide. 

A key aspect of COE’s onboarding process is fostering a strong understand of company values and citizenship. Even in the absence of the more immersive onboarding experience at COE Headquarters, company culture remains a priority throughout the onboarding process. Daily meetings with a supervisor help your new employee to learn values and expectations and develop a deeper understanding of the company. Through this dialogue, new employees can situate themselves in the company culture and better understand what is expected of them. Meanwhile, supervisors can enhance their relationship with their employee and offer support and appreciation, which can increase job satisfaction and likelihood of retention 

4. Set your new hire up for success with the right technology and training. 

One way to show remote employees you care is to make sure they are set up for success with the right technology and training. Collaborate with your IT department to ensure your new hire has the technology needed to work from home comfortably (such as monitors, keyboards, etc.). Not only do these IT solutions demonstrate care for the employee, but they also boost productivity. Additionally, make sure your employee is trained on how to use remote collaboration tools (such as video conferencing software or collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams or Slack).  

5. Create a network of resources and put a face behind them. 

Remember to look beyond your immediate team and connect your new employee with the people and resources they need to be successful. Do more than simply listing departments or emails  by meeting face to face virtually, your employee can begin to build their own network and know who to contact when they need support.  

Excellent onboarding can set a new employee up for success that extends long after their first few weeks. With the relationships, tools and information they need, your employee can acclimate quickly, establish productivity and thrive as a new member of the organization.