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Remote Onboarding Mistakes (& how to avoid them)

By Sharon Emek, Ph.D., CIC, CEO, Work At Home Vintage Experts (WAHVE)

Most likely, your organization, like many others, has spent the better part of a year operating remotely. Your employees and managers have addressed challenges, and are adapting well. Yet there’s one more hurdle facing you – onboarding your new employees remotely.

Even with the best remote onboarding process, mistakes happen. New employees can get lost quickly without the right amount of hands-on mentoring. We know – WAHVE was founded as a 100-percent remote organization. We’ve overcome the very challenges your company may be facing when bringing new people on board.

Because of this, we’ve been able to identify the most common mistakes companies can make during the onboarding process. And we’ve found solutions that can help transition those new employees into the workforce more successfully.

Rushing the onboarding

One of the biggest mistakes we see is companies that rush the new hire through onboarding in order to get them up to speed and on the job quickly. However, that employee could be missing out on key information or training. That can impact their productivity, and their overall job satisfaction.

Set an onboarding timeframe for all new hires. Even in cases where you have a critical need, slow down. Make sure that employee has the time and training to grasp the job duties, make connections to help them collaborate with various teams.

Ignoring the culture part

Just as in any brick-and-mortar operation, your work culture is critical to the success of your employees. If you’re not nurturing it, those working relationships will suffer. By not paying attention to your company’s culture, your employees are left to their own devices. How they interpret every aspect – from task performance to the company’s ethical standards – can create a chaotic environment that can increase your loss exposure.

Define that culture at the outset. Integrate the new hire into the culture as quickly as possible, and keep them in front of other employees and managers to ensure that the message is reinforced. As a rule, your culture should be clearly defined and promote throughout your organization.

Foregoing benchmarking and measurement

In order to see and correct issues your new hire is experiencing, you have to be looking. You can’t know if the employee needs more training or mentoring unless you’re checking in regularly. That impacts employee morale and productivity, and it impacts the overall health of your organization.

Have a mentoring process in place. Meet with your employee weekly in a one-on-one. Open the channels of communication so that they can reach out with questions at any time. Make sure they understand the job, how it fits within the larger company structure, and what is expected of them. Then make sure to give them the tools and support necessary to make them a success.

Stepping Off on the Right Foot

Consistent onboarding applied across the organization increases the likelihood that your new hire will be satisfied and productive. Whether your remote operations are temporary or more permanent, bringing new hires on board requires a different process than traditional onboarding.

By paying attention to the needs of your new hire, your organization can improve both the onboarding process and the retention rate of all new hires. That can only result in better productivity, happier employees, and a stronger work culture for all.

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Sharon Emek, Ph.D., CIC, is founder and CEO of Work At Home Vintage Experts (WAHVE). Work At Home Vintage Experts (WAHVE is an innovative contract talent solution that matches retiring, experienced insurance, accounting and human resource career professionals with a company’s talent needs. WAHVE bridges the gap between an employer’s need for highly skilled professional talent and seasoned professionals desiring to extend their career working from home. From screening to placement, WAHVE is a comprehensive solution to qualifying, hiring, and managing experienced remote talent.

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