10 Ways To Speed Up Remote Employee Training and New Hire Onboarding



It is estimated that 16% of companies worldwide are now 100% remote. Most hiring managers also believe that having teams with remote workers will be the new norm. In addition, we will see more than 4 million Gen-Z'ers entering the hybrid workforce that is ready to embrace new ways of working.

So how can you create a standardized process to train new employees? Before we dive into actionable ways to make your onboarding process more effective for new hires, let's answer a few of the most common questions about remote employee training and new hire onboarding.

How is remote onboarding and employee training different than in person?

The risks of remote onboarding are obvious for employees who are shyer or less curious. The number one piece of advice for remote onboarding is to try and design something that works for everyone. It's much easier to tell if someone is uncomfortable or confused during your onboarding and training if it happens in person. Remote onboarding and training mean employers need to be more proactive in checking in on how learning is going.

How long does it take to onboard a new employee who is remote?

Gitlab reports it takes about two-weeks to onboarding a remote employee. We highly recommend checking out their guide to remote work. These are just the bare essentials of getting an employee ready to do their job. In terms of getting your new hire fully productive, it's commonly recommended to have a 30-60-90 plan with individual goals at each of these key benchmarks. If you do go this approach, don't forget to schedule check-in's, or incorporate a review of 30-60-90 goals into your 1:1.

1. Encourage an open line of communication

Apps like Slack, Cisco Webex Messaging, Google Chat, and RocketChat could help foster an open line of communication. For example, with Slack, you can create team and group-focused channels with other employees. In addition, in remote environments, messaging apps facilitate communication and collaboration better than email messages.

2. Create interactive onboarding workflows

Onboarding at a new job can be overwhelming, with a lot of knowledge being shared and transferred. As a result, it’s potentially easy to let some information fall through the cracks, slowing down the ramp-up period. To prevent this, hiring managers can create interactive, standardized guides that new hires can go through at their own pace. With Driveway, employers can ramp up new hires quicker with interactive virtual onboarding how-to guides. In addition to guided product walkthroughs, you can copy to Notion and Google Docs and create interactive guides for any web app.

3. Create a progress tracker

Progress trackers are an excellent way to keep new hires motivated and excited about their position. Google sheets or platforms like Trello, Asana, and Monday, which build creative to-do lists, allow new hires to recognize their incremental progress. Progress trackers also help employees discern long and short-term projects while developing a portfolio from the work they have completed at a company. Lastly, remember that employee onboarding doesn't stop after their first two-weeks or 90 days. Continue to look for opportunities to upskill and cross-train your team

4. Consider a success roadmap  

Success roadmaps are another great way to keep new hires aware of their expected workload and prioritize responsibilities. Platforms like Lattice are a great way to set goals and expectations and map out career development for long-term growth. Programs like Notion allow for new projects to be displayed and explained. You can group tasks by status, observe project assignees, and view deadlines for specific projects. 

5. Embrace a new way of working

COVID-19 has forever changed the workforce, and employers need to recognize the new way of working. Between fully remote, hybrid, and in-person work options, it is essential to clearly define your company's expectations of how your employees show up to the office. Now with Microsoft Teams and Zoom plus other remote video conferencing platforms, employees can connect with you from anywhere. It's more important than ever that companies are investing in best practices and best tools for knowledge-sharing to make up for the reduced communication in a remote environment.

6. Encourage taking regular breaks and some time off

Working long hours can take a toll on an employee’s mental and physical well-being. Therefore, employers need to promote a healthy work-life balance, especially with new hires. Encourage your employees, especially new hires to take regular breaks. Also, share the protocol for taking time off from work and promote your PTO policy as one of your company’s perks.  

7. Make scheduling accessible 

While the ability to work from remote locations can be a luxury, aggregating employees amidst virtual meeting schedules can become complicated. With meeting addresses changing from room numbers to links, it can be easy to confuse the virtual location or scheduling with others if dealing with different time zones. Take advantage of Google Calendar and keep your calendar accessible to your teammates, especially new hires to simplify scheduling meetings.

8. Set them up with the right WFH environment 

Most hybrid and remote first companies now offer a work-from-home stipend. This allows employees to be equipped with everything necessary to succeed. This is particularly important for new hires to be set up to do their best work. 

9. Check-in

It is essential to regularly check in with new hires in their first few weeks. Platforms like Hibob can help note employee development. Plan check-in meetings that allow new hires to highlight their progress, ask questions and share their feedback. Recognize accomplishments via shoutouts in group messages or larger meetings to boost motivation and a sense of belonging for all employees. 

10. Keep it fun

The future of work is shifting in a direction where new hires look for purposeful jobs at companies with a fun work environment. Unique and positive company culture is now essential to hiring and retaining great talent. Consider adding Giphy to your Slack, after-work trivia nights, virtual get-togethers, and team bonding activities. Attempt to utilize the benefits of collaboration tools within your virtual workspace to build camaraderie among employees.