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The Main Challenges of Remote Onboarding in 2020 (+ How to Overcome Them)

An employee’s onboarding experience sets the tone for their career and journey within your company and, as an HR professional or business leader, you want to ensure that you make each new hire feel welcome and well-oriented from day one.


Until recently, for most businesses, this meant developing and following a traditional onboarding strategy, which would generally include an initial one-on-one meeting, a tour around the office, an introduction to the team, and a whole lot of paperwork.


However, as the shift to remote working continues, an increasing number of companies are compelled to rethink these traditional processes, and understand how they can be adjusted to the new reality we’re living - which is exactly where remote onboarding comes in.


What Is Remote Onboarding?

Remote onboarding encompasses a series of tasks and procedures that businesses use to integrate and orient new remote employees, with the primary goal of making them feel comfortable in the organisation and, consequently, boost employee satisfaction and retention.

In other words, it is your usual onboarding process, but fully digital.


The Importance of Remote Onboarding, Now & In the Future

From 2005 to 2019, the global remote workforce grew by 140% [1], but it was in 2020 that this digital-first way of working became the new normal, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe and companies had no choice but to implement work-from-home policies.


Most of these companies saw these policies as a temporary measure, but over time, they got to experience first-hand the benefits of remote work and, as a result, decided to maintain the policies indefinitely or even permanently. [2]


For this reason, now more than ever, there’s a need for more resources on how businesses can adapt their traditional processes, including, of course, their onboarding program.


Top 5 Challenges (and Solutions) of Remote Onboarding


1. It’s easy to create a monotonous process

Sending out an email with various documents detailing all the information you need to convey during the onboarding process does the job, but it isn’t exactly the most exciting and engaging way of welcoming a new employee.


The solution: Instead of sending PDF after PDF, use other types of content. Videos are always efficient, but if you want to take in one step further, using Qualee to create quizzes is a fantastic way of boosting interaction and positive reinforcement.


2. Getting the paperwork signed isn’t as straightforward

As we mentioned earlier, all onboarding programs include a lot of paperwork, which is simple to handle in person but can be trickier to manage digitally, particularly if the employee has never worked remotely.


The solution: Qualee makes paperwork as easy as possible with unlimited forms and eSignatures, as well as the Image Capture feature, which allows employees to scan and securely send documents like IDs and passports.


3. Face-to-face conversations aren’t an option

Your new employees will have questions but if they can’t knock on your door to ask them, then what should they do? Communication can, indeed, be a major obstacle for remote teams, but it’s one that is easy to overcome.


The solution: Be clear about the means of communication that you prefer and make sure to give one option that isn’t your email. With Qualee, you get access to a real-time messaging feature, which you can use to instantly reply to your new employee’s questions. Additionally, the app has a survey tool, where you can easily ask them for feedback.


4. It’s easy to feel isolated as a remote worker

A big part of the onboarding process is making the new hire feel like a part of the team, but that can be hard when there’s no face-to-face interaction with any other employee.


The solution: Introduce the new team member through email and group chat, but also consider going one step further, by sending them a welcome pack with branded merchandise.


5. There can be some lack of engagement

Employment engagement is a challenge, whether you’re in the office or working from home. In fact, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace, only 15% of employees feel engaged in the workplace. [3]


The solution: Create a customisable onboarding journey with Qualee, including configurable actions, content and multimedia libraries, calendaring, and more.


Remote work is here to stay and any business that wants to keep up with the times needs to develop a strong remote onboarding process. Implementing it will come with challenges, just like any other business move does, but after reading our guide and learning about Qualee, you’re more than equipped to face them.


When it comes to remote onboarding software, you want to choose a tool that is flexible, intuitive, powerful, and affordable - and that’s exactly what you will get with Qualee. Try our FREE Starter Plan today!

[1] https://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/telecommuting-statistics

[2] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/354872

[3] https://www.gallup.com/workplace/238079/state-global-workplace-2017.aspx

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Qualee is a leading cloud-based employee onboarding and engagement platform. We make it simple for companies to create exciting employee experiences that will empower your talent to be their very best. Every day.

The Qualee console has everything you need to create customised journeys, manage content and interact with your staff, who engage via an intuitive mobile app available on iOS and Android.

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