A new hire checking the shared resources during onboarding

Every company has an onboarding process of its own to welcome its new hires, and perhaps you too have one in place. If not, you should have one right away because a strong onboarding is more vital than you might think. According to past data, an excellent employee onboarding process can improve employee retention by 82%.

A past Gallup study found that 12% of employees strongly agree about their organisation’s great onboarding process. But it also meant a significant 88% believed their organisations weren’t doing a great job of onboarding.

As several companies moved to virtual workplaces after the pandemic struck and are still continuing with the fully remote or hybrid work model, creating an engaging onboarding process has become even more challenging.

If you are struggling to find interactive and engaging virtual onboarding ideas that help you welcome your new employees and make them feel good on their first day at work, here are four ideas worth considering.

1.     Send a Physical Onboarding Kit

Just because your company’s new hires will be working remotely or from home doesn’t mean every aspect of their onboarding needs to be online. You can send them a physical welcome kit as part of their virtual onboarding to commence your relationship with your new employees on the right foot.

From practical to some fun items, the onboarding kit can have them all. For instance, your company manifesto, a few branded products, and some tasty and healthy snacks for their first day at work could make your company’s new members immediately feel more included and involved.

You could use an online gifting website to create a curated onboarding kit and send it to your new hires, thus making their first day at your company memorable.

2.     Provide them Access to Adequate Resources

The virtual onboarding process should give your new hires access to all the useful resources their peers or others in the company have created so they don’t have to constantly reinvent the wheel when trying to find a solution to a particular situation or customer challenge.

Sharing adequate resources and information during onboarding helps promote transparency, which boosts employee trust. It also facilitates efficient collaboration, better decision-making, and integrated workflows, all of which are crucial to building brand value.

3.     Offer a Workstation Upgrade Budget

To help your new employees feel proud in their workplace, you can give them a chance to upgrade their home office. This could be a modest budget to buy a better ergonomic chair, a new monitor, a work desk, or anything else they feel their home office needs.

Since remote employees are stuck to their workstations and usually don’t have a great view to relax their eyes and mind, an office break room to munch on snacks, or enjoy water cooler conversations, this can be an effective way to make them feel valued and engaged.

Offering your new employees a workstation upgrade budget isn’t simply a thoughtful introduction. It can be a good way to boost their efficiency by encouraging them to buy things that will make work easier, faster, and more comfortable, thus making them feel they are really ‘at work,’ despite handling their professional responsibilities from home.

4.     Schedule a Goal Planning Session

Scheduling a goal planning session with your new virtual employees during their onboarding can help set expectations right away instead of making them wait during the first few work weeks. This way, you can ensure your new hires are involved and growing from the very first day at work.

A goal planning session can also help the new employees set their own goals after knowing about their department and company goals. Goals can be either short-term (say, goals to accomplish during the first week) or long-term (goals to achieve during their first year).

To make such a session more effective and interactive, you can make it conversational where you try to understand what your new hires hope to achieve while guiding them toward productive and reasonable benchmarks.

Final Words

Virtual onboarding need not be boring that puts your new hires to sleep. It’s all about making your new employees feel comfortable in their roles and welcoming them to the fold in a way that piques their interest and engages them well.

Use the above ideas to make your virtual onboarding process engaging and even a bit of fun. And don’t forget to let us know how it went!

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