What’s the most difficult aspect of remote working? Not only do you have to create a dedicated workspace at home that allows you to focus, you also need to devise innovative ways to keep your employees motivated and engaged. However, nothing beats the challenge of remote training your new hires.
Whether you’re recruiting interns or a senior manager, it’s crucial to provide every new employee with proper onboarding. Good onboarding can go a long way to uplift the employee experience and make them feel more invested in the organization. It will also help your new employee hit the ground running.
The Importance of Onboarding
Effective onboarding provides new employees with the right knowledge, skills, and tools to do their job. Also, it trains them to better utilize the essential software tools that your organization uses. Additionally, the information you share will help them do their tasks efficiently. Apart from training, onboarding also familiarizes new employees with the workplace culture and best practices. They will have a chance to meet other new other and start building a community where they feel comfortable. Ultimately, onboarding helps new recruits engage with your company and understand how they can contribute. It’ll empower them with the right knowledge and support to grow at your organization.
That’s why employee onboarding is a crucial part of every company, even if you’re working remotely because of the pandemic. Hiring has picked up again in the last few months and teams feel ready to take on new projects and growth opportunities. The good news is that you can now use a wide array of remote training tools to curate a hassle-free and efficient onboarding experience.
In this blog, we’ve handpicked a few different types of useful remote training tools that’ll come in handy for employee onboarding. But let’s first understand the unique challenges of remote employee onboarding.
What Makes Remote Training Difficult?
To begin with, remote training and onboarding eliminate the possibility of nonverbal communication. Unlike in-person onboarding, it will be harder for your employees to feel an immediate connection to the organization or team through an email or video call. It’s much more difficult to pick up on social cues through a screen.
Not only that, you can’t personally interact with new hires and supervise their learning curves as you would sitting at the next desk. Additionally, you can’t conduct team-building events, which would help employees gel among themselves. Instead, the remote onboarding process would mean that your employees are likely to feel isolated from the rest as they sit alone working from home. One of the prime reasons for this being that they won’t be interacting as much with their coworkers.
It means there’s always a likelihood of trainees disengaging with the training and turning into passive learners. Needless to say, you want your new recruits to be actively involved in the process. For this, there needs to be free-flowing communication from both ends — you and the new hires. Additionally, the recruits need to be able to interact easily and conveniently with their coworkers. The ease of communication helps with quick learning as well.
While a traditional in office setup would make communication easy, remote onboarding poses a new challenge. The recruits won’t be able to approach their coworkers with as much ease as turning around at their desks. Additionally, they’ll only be able to do so through messaging, calls, or video calls — none of which can replace personal interaction.
Moreover, remote training requires a plethora of technical setup and tools. At the very least, your employees will need a computer and high-speed internet connection. They might also have to install different software to join the training, access various learning materials, and communicate with their coworkers. The IT team can’t be there physically to set up these things as with a usual in office onboarding session. Unless your new hires are tech-savvy, you’ll have to first train them to use these tools and set up their work station. Also, be prepared for technical glitches, including power outages and internet downtimes, during the onboarding.
Lastly, unlike the office, you can’t provide new recruits with a dedicated workspace to boost their productivity and efficiency. Instead, it’s up to them to find a quiet corner in their living space to participate in the onboarding. This means your employees can easily get distracted during the training.
So, what’s the best way to overcome the aforementioned challenges of remote training and onboarding? Start by creating a robust remote training toolkit that includes everything you need to virtually onboard new hires. Let’s take a look.
Effective Remote Onboarding Tools
Here are a few different types of tools that are a must for remote training and onboarding:
1. Virtual Collaboration Platform
Creating an easy to navigate online workspace is the key to successfully onboarding new employees. That’s why it’s essential to use a virtual collaboration platform, such as RemoteHQ, to keep all your employees on the same page.
Your virtual collaboration platform should offer essential features, such as screen sharing and recording, as well as file sharing. Make sure it integrates with other software, such as cloud storage services and project management tools like Trello, that your employees will use. Look for advanced features, such as shared browsers which will allow for co-browsing, as well. This will help elevate the onboarding experience.
For instance, RemoteHQ’s shared browser technology lets you turn any website or web-based application into multiplayer mode. This means you can co-control web apps along with your employees. It can go a long way to help you demonstrate various tools that they’ll need to use. You can even build muscle memory by letting them control the browser and take appropriate actions to use a tool.
2. Learning Management System (LMS)
You can’t effectively conduct online training without first investing in a reliable and feature-rich LMS. Think of it as the one-stop destination for hosting all your training modules and study materials. Many modern LMS also provide you with their own video conferencing tools. Commonly used LMS include:
- TalentLMS: An easy-to-use LMS for companies of all sizes.
- SAP Litmos: Comprehensive enterprise-grade LMS.
- Moodle: An open-source learning management system.
- Mindflash: Employee onboarding, training, and virtual classroom tool.
3. Email Automation Software
Employee onboarding isn’t just about training your employees to excel at their job. You need to make them feel connected to your company values and vision. That’s why most organizations send a series of onboarding emails to new recruits before their first day of work. You can start with a simple welcome message followed by more detailed emails focused on company culture and their role. It’s also helpful to send first day instructions for set up.
This means you should use an industry-standard email automation platform to send timely emails. It’ll eliminate the need to manually send multiple emails and provide you with various pre-designed templates to create eye-catching content. You can choose from a wide array of popular email automation platforms, such as:
- Mailchimp: A freemium email marketing solution.
- ActiveCampaign: An email marketing solution for companies of all sizes.
- Campaign Monitor: The perfect platform to drive your email marketing efforts.
- MailerLite: A great email marketing tool for SMEs.
4. Communication Platform
From video conferencing tools to instant messaging apps - you must use a wide array of software solutions to facilitate uninterrupted communication at the workplace. This is all the more crucial when you’re remotely onboarding new employees.
Use a tool like Slack to help them instantly connect with their coworkers and seek help in case of any problems. You can create different Slack channels based on discussion topics to help with this. Additionally, you should create casual channels and encourage your employees to do so as well. These can help them engage among themselves on topics other than work and make them feel like they’re a part of a community with similar interests.
Also, make sure you use video conferencing software, such as Zoom or RemoteHQ to create a semblance of face-to-face interaction.
5. Project Management Software
A crucial part of remote training and onboarding is to let new recruits easily collaborate with their other team members. They’ll have to work on a few assignments with other new hires as part of the training. Or you might assign them to a project right away. In either case, make sure you use an intuitive project management tool, such as Trello, Asana, or Basecamp.
Onboarding new recruits are crucial for creating a positive employee experience and ensuring that they give their best to the job. However, remote training and onboarding create new challenges for entrepreneurs and HR managers. Fortunately, you can use a collaboration platform and the right communication tools to make the process easier.
Are you looking for the right tool to create an online collaborative workspace for your employees? Explore the features of RemoteHQ and get in touch with us to get started.