7 things you can do to improve your remote onboarding

Appical Team
Christophe Wallecan
May 24, 2024
min read
Table of Contents
Whether it is expected or not, a lot of new hires will start their first workday at your company from their home. Today, a good digital remote onboarding program is now more crucial than ever. To ensure your new remote hires are motivated and engaged we created this blog on how you can make your new remote employees feel welcome and get them up to speed.

Personal welcome videos 📹

When someone joins your organization, remote or not, you want them to feel welcome. According to Mehrabian’s communication theory:

  • 7% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in the words that are spoken.
  • 38% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is paralinguistic (the way that the words are said).
  • 55% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in facial expression.

With that knowledge, we can assume that videos are a much better way to express a warm welcome than just plain text. It's very powerful to capture short, personal welcome videos and send them to your new hires. We love sending new hires a welcome video from their manager and/or CEO through our welcome page as a way to make new employees feel sincerely welcomed during their remote onboarding.


Create a People Finder👷🏽‍♂️

Joining a company remote makes it harder for new hires to find their ways to the right people. Pointing your hires in the right direction prevents them from getting lost, and overwhelmed. We love a team glossary, describing everyone who works at Appical, what they do, and how to reach them. This way, our new employees can easily get to know their colleagues before they even start working as part of the remote onboarding process.

In the People Finder, next to the faces, new hires will find critical information like role description, department, contact information and a bio with fun facts. We noticed that the fun facts can be great ice breakers. 

Schermafbeelding 2020-03-20 om 16.32.17


Send a Welcome Kit for New Employees 🧳

Who doesn’t like gifts? When new hires start, we love to hand out company goodies. That's why we provide every new employee with a welcome kit, and you should too! It’s a small gesture, but it gives a positive boost and creates a welcoming feeling your new hire will remember. They will likely share their excitement with friends and family, and if you’re lucky, they might even post it on social media.At Appical, our welcome kit for new employees includes branded company goodies such as a pen, a notebook, fortune cookies with nice messages from our company, a customized Tony's Chocolonely Seasalt Caramel bar, a reusable water bottle, and a mini bottle of champagne to celebrate this milestone. You can go the extra mile and send them a bouquet of flowers to make colleagues feel extra special when they start at your company. This is an excellent way to enhance your remote onboarding experience.

Schedule virtual coffee dates ☕️

Starting a new job can be very overwhelming, especially if you’re joining during a global crisis such as Covid-19. That’s why it is tremendously important for the manager to give enough structure and basis to ensure the first weeks run smoothly. At Appical we start with planning virtual coffee dates with the key people that she or he will need to work with within the organization. So every new hire can start their first week with a pre-filled agenda, which is crucial for a smooth remote onboarding process.

These virtual coffee dates can be one-on-one and/or group calls. We recommend new hires to meet:

  • Their direct team members
  • Their manager and direct reports
  • Employees from other departments they’ll work closely with
  • A few key people in the organization like the CEO

TIP: Frequently used tools are Google Hangout, Skype or Zoom. When sending an invite through Google Calendar you can select to attach a link in the invitation.  


Use an online onboarding Platform 🖥 

Using an online onboarding platform can be helpful and time-saving when teaching new hires about work procedures, rules & regulations, tools, vision, mission, company terms etc. We found that new hires really enjoy getting to know the company at their own pace. Especially in 2020, anytime, anywhere learning is crucial! Once new hires are familiar with the basics, they can jump into the specifics of their role and how they can contribute to the company. A big bonus is that you’ll be able to fill them in on what your company culture is all about, as well as the organizational values that drive company success. This is a key component of an effective remote onboarding program.

Assign a Digital Buddy 🤝

A buddy is someone who partners with a new employee during the first few months of employment. Providing a digital buddy ensures that your new hire has a dedicated go-to person. 

A buddy at Appical provides insight into the day-to-day activities of our company and is there to help the new employee fit in more quickly. This is especially important whenever your new hire is inexperienced in remote working. The buddy should make him- or herself available to go over procedures and policies, and generally help the new hire become familiar with the company’s inner workings and culture. Ask the buddy to check in with the new hire frequently through Slack, WhatsApp, Google Hangout…so your new hire feels connected with the company and team. This support system is vital for successful remote onboarding.

Schedule Virtual Team Meetings 🏆

Working remote can be lonely and disengaging if you don’t know how to frequently engage with others. To keep up the team spirit and make sure new hires feel part of the team it’s important to schedule frequent virtual team meetings with all team members.

A photo of the Appical team having drinks over Zoom
A photo of the Appical team having drinks over Zoom

At Appical, we love daily stand-ups. You don’t need to be a scrum team to start the day with a stand-up; we found it is a great way to share challenges, milestones, and achievements while keeping everyone in the loop. Besides the stand-ups, we have knowledge-sharing sessions where we ask team members to take a turn and teach each other something new. This can be a recent best practice or just a great customer story! Ensuring regular interaction is essential for effective remote onboarding.

Onboarding your new hires doesn’t stop after the first week. In fact, the upcoming weeks will be crucial for your new hires' success, particularly in the context of remote onboarding.

Explore Our Remote Onboarding Solutions

If you found these tips helpful, we invite you to read more about our comprehensive solutions for remote onboarding new employees. Discover how our digital platform, adaptable for both apps and laptops, can streamline and enhance your onboarding process, ensuring your new hires have the best possible start at your company. By leveraging our platform, you can improve engagement, foster connection, and accelerate productivity from day one. Learn more about how we can help transform your onboarding experience and set your new employees up for success.

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