How To Improve Your Remote Onboarding Process

One of the most important goals to consider for your remote employee onboarding process is how to efficiently acclimate new hires to the social and professional expectations of their new work environment. 

As more companies opt to hire remote workers, they can encounter challenges with creating an onboarding process that supports virtual employees comfortably and effectively in their roles.

Remote Onboarding Is More Important Now Than Ever Before

Remote Onboarding Is More Important Now Than Ever Before

Meeting new employees in person gives companies a chance to answer questions, introduce team members and gauge how new hires will interact with one another. 

But with the COVID-19 coronavirus forcing many employees to work from home, leaders are forced to adapt to the situation at hand.

We’ve researched and implemented our own remote onboarding process these past few months, and we’re excited to share our findings with you!

So here are our best practices for improving your remote onboarding process for employees and integrating them into your company culture.

Make the Most of Calendar Invite Descriptions

While many may consider calendar invites as just another task to approve or decline in their emails, calendar invite descriptions are actually a great alternative to a learning management system. 

Your calendar invites allow you to add links to slide decks, resource centers, or virtual meeting sessions so your remote learners don’t need to search around for them. 

Even if it’s a little extra work to create, your remote learners will thank you for streamlining the onboarding process for them. 

Experiment With Different Learning Methods

Experiment With Different Learning Methods

Establishing an effective onboarding process means considering how your remote employees learn new techniques and skills. 

Take for example a virtual instructor-led session. It’s a great resource to learn from, but some employees may prefer things like eLearning, videos, team challenges, or other related work to mix up the method of learning and keep things interesting.

The key to making these sessions meaningful is to make them interactive. Tools like Zoom allow polling, annotations, and breakout rooms to make the sessions more engaging. 

When possible, avoiding the “talking head” approach will make the remote experience more impactful for both sides.

Make Sure Everyone Has Access to the Same Learning Resources

Your company’s onboarding process revolves around your internal resources. Finding the right balance of materials to provide depends on the job level of the employee being trained.

A great way to set employees up for success is to provide links to your digital collaboration tools before you start any pieces of training. This allows remote employees to experiment themselves and note any questions they had about the process. 

Learning takes time, so be sure to leave enough time in advance for them to ask questions. It’s always easier to correct mistakes at the beginning of the learning process.

Have Other Colleagues Join Your Onboarding Sessions

Have Other Colleagues Join Your Onboarding Sessions

If you’re able, consider having a colleague join the training sessions as a “producer” role to help employees behind the scenes. 

If someone has questions in your learning platform’s chat feature or is having technical difficulties, the designated person is present to help manage it.

Technical difficulties are bound to happen working in a virtual environment. So being prepared when the situation occurs not only shows your attention to detail but also encourages your remote hire that your process is running smoothly.

Fully Remote Onboarding Is Still a New Concept

Fully remote onboarding is still a relatively new concept, which means it’s likely a new concept to your employees as well. 

There’s always a chance that your new hires are working under varying circumstances, they could be taking care of their kids or other family members, etc. 

Be empathetic to your remote employees’ circumstances. Build in some extra break time to let them reflect or take care of other tasks.

Bring Your Company’s Culture to the Digital Space

Bring Your Company's Culture to the Digital Space

Company culture doesn’t need to be put on hold just because you’re working remotely. 

Company culture is important to employers and employees because workers who fit in with the company culture are likely to not only be happier, but more productive. 

You could schedule a virtual team meeting, or invite people to share updates about their lives during your one-on-one’s with them. 

Empathy goes a long way in maintaining morale, especially when you don’t get the same levels of face-to-face interaction you normally get in the office.

Refine the Onboarding Process

For each new remote onboarding process you implement, you should review its impact and results with your team. You’ll want to document and evaluate your existing and new employee’s reactions to the onboarding process. 

After new remote workers have been at their jobs for a while (2-3 months), ask them the value they got from your onboarding strategy. It’s likely your onboarding process won’t be perfect, so the more feedback you get, the better your process will become with each new hire.


Onboarding any new hire is important, but remote hires bring a new set of special challenges (and opportunities) when building your team. 

Eventually, you should offer to bring any new team members to headquarters, if possible. But for the time being, utilizing video conferencing will make them more familiar with their coworkers and start building relationships while working remotely.

Make them feel welcome, empathize with their situation, and follow up by gathering feedback to evaluate and refine your onboarding process.