For many organizations, it’s been a year of operating remotely. As employees and managers have worked to overcome the challenges that come with remote work, some are now facing a challenge they didn’t expect: how to onboard employees remotely.

Executive Summary

Traditional onboarding simply doesn't translate to remote working, according to Sharon Emek, CEO of remote staffing company WAHVE. As a fully virtual company, WAHVE has developed a remote onboarding process that is intended to help employees achieve their performance goals—touching on the key areas of job clarity and expectations, productivity benchmarks, and connection to the company culture. Emek provides detailed advice to ready your company's onboarding process to operate remotely, as well as steps to avoid, such as onboarding too quickly.

The more common challenges with traditional onboarding, such as lack of understanding of role, time management, cultural adaptation and managing expectations, become more pronounced when a company is still working out how to keep remote operations running smoothly. Also, remote onboarding poses its own set of challenges, such as the loss of physical connection to the company and its employees that many new employees experience.

Fortunately, these challenges can be overcome. It takes understanding where existing onboarding processes fall short and what changes can be made to improve remote onboarding success.

Traditional Shortcomings

A typical onboarding process should go something like this: Employees are introduced to their managers; they are made to feel welcome; the manager lays out the rules; and there is mentoring and follow-up conversations to make sure the employee is adapting well to the job and the culture. Traditional onboarding, done right, will include ways to get the new employee connected to and involved with the current staff.

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