How to onboard remote employees

Kudoboard CEO on creating connections without the water cooler

How to onboard remote employees

Onboarding is arguably the most important function of the HR department.

After all, organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%, according to Glassdoor. The former has been crucial during the Great Resignation, in which companies across the United States have been experiencing historic turnover. And the latter has become a hot topic with the rise of “quiet quitting,” which is when an employee is physically present at work, but has made the decision to cut back on above and beyond work and set stricter boundaries for themselves.

Watch: Optimizing the onboarding experience

Aaron Rubens, founder and CEO of Kudoboard, a workplace appreciation solution, says HR leaders should set clear expectations about what the onboarding process will look like, seek feedback from onboarded employees so the process is continually improving and finding ways to add “moments of delight.”

“There’s no water cooler anymore, so how do we create these connective tissues between employees in a remote environment?” Rubens told HRD.

Answer: a buddy system.

At Kudoboard, new hires are paired up with a colleague who they may have something in common with or is simply a good resource. However, they’re not necessarily in the same department or working with them on a project. “It’s trying to create these connections between people when they wouldn’t otherwise organically happen,” Rubens says. “At larger organizations, that often takes the form of employee resource groups, but at smaller organizations, we have to be a little more thoughtful about how we manufacture it.”

In terms of how long the onboarding process should take, Rubens says it varies from position to position. For example, it may take members of the sales team six months before the company expects them to hit quotas. In other departments, it may take less time before certain goals are expected to be achieved.

Watch: Optimizing the onboarding experience

“Of course, there are certain touchstone cultural elements we want all employees to be aware of,” Rubens says. “We try to get that taken care of in the first month. It doesn’t mean they’ll be fully ramped on everything they have to do for their job, but hopefully, they feel they understand what our company is about, what we’re striving for and why we’re all together.”

Rubens shares more tips for the onboarding process in the latest episode of HRD TV.

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