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Tips on How to Design an Onboarding Program For Remote Employees

The process of onboarding new employees can be challenging and impacts your workforce greatly. A study of Corning Glass showed that employees are 69% more likely to stay with a company for three years or more if they experienced great onboarding.

In addition, implementing an onboarding program for your organization increases retention of employees by 50%, provides training consistency across the organization, and contributes to a 54% increase in new hire productivity. Furthermore, onboarding programs that are at least 90 days in length have been found to reduce the time to proficiency by 34%.

Clearly the right onboarding program can lead to long term positive results for your employees and organization. However, this year has added the extra challenge of most new employees working from home. So, where do you start?

Streamline the process

Typically onboarding begins on a new employee’s first day, but by using online solutions you can get a jump on the process.

ProcessLMS™ makes it easy to create an onboarding journey for employees to complete in preparation for their first day. Once an employee profile has been created, new hires can submit paperwork and read the employee handbook on their own time. Additionally, if your employees are required to supply trade tickets, driver’s abstracts or first aid certificates, ProcessLMS™ can set up requirements for additional documentation to be uploaded. New hires are then able to see their progress and onboarding journey in an easy to understand dashboard, very similar to having a digital checklist.

Orientation: Culture & Values

Onboarding a new employee is not just about logistics and acquiring paperwork. This is the new hire’s introduction to the company, and first impressions matter. A well known statistic shows that 20% of new hires leave for new opportunities within the first 45 days. Why is this?

Over two thirds of professionals who responded to a LinkedIn survey stated that they would not work for a leading company with bad culture. However, the same survey found that 71% of respondants would be willing to take a pay cut to work for an organization that aligns with their values. Culture is clearly a strong determining factor new employees choosing to stay with the company.

New hires working remotely will not have the benefit of seeing firsthand how the team works together and will not have the ability to understand the nuances of the workplace.

The onboarding orientation is one of your first opportunities to showcase your corporate culture. It is an opportunity to provide an overview of the inner workings, and how you work together as a team and with clients. Solidifying the company’s culture, mission, and values early on will help the new hire orient themselves to the organization, buy in to that culture, and affirm their decision to joining the team.

Here are a few tools that can help deliver key messaging.

  • Video: Short videos can introduce new hires to the organization, tell them what to expect and share the benefits of working there. Try capturing key leaders in the organization explaining the company mission and what they hope to build together. Follow that up by engaging others from different areas that explain their favourite things about the organization.
  • Animation: Animation can make it easier for new hires to understand complicated processes employed by the organization. It can also convey the company culture in a character who acts as a guide throughout the orientation.
  • Activities: This takes the new hire from being a passive viewer to a participant in their training. Interactive activities make it fun for new employees to get to know the organization.

These orientations can then be uploaded and tracked as a part of the new hire’s onboarding journey in ProcessLMS™.

Convenient & Comprehensive Training

Whether bite-sized, just-in-time information or comprehensive courses, training is only as effective as it is accessible.


It’s important to consider that not everyone within a team or the organization will be working the same hours if they’re working remotely. On-Demand training that is accessible anytime increases the convenience for new hires and raises compliance. If training is being live streamed from the office, ensure it is properly recorded. Then it can be uploaded to a learning management system where new hires can access it at any time. This will also increase the likelihood that a new hire will complete the required training by the set deadlines.

Mobile First Design

The use of smart phones and tablets to access training is on the rise. Designing your training content for mobile devices makes sure that your key messages are being received and understood.

Bite-sized Training Content

It is well documented that adult learners prefer short, relevant content delivered at the right time. Breaking up content into two-minute segments based on key training concepts ensures learners don’t suffer from content fatigue and allows them to fit training into their busy schedule more readily.

For tips on transitioning to online training, check our previous blog.

Ask for Feedback

Regardless of whether you are developing an onboarding program for the first time, updating a current one or have had one for years, an important factor is to ask new hires how they like the onboarding process.

Employing a survey and analyzing responses will help you develop a more intuitive onboarding program and experience for future employees. Make sure to ask open ended questions about the process, such as what their favourite part was, whether the system user friendly, and if there was something missing to the process. We can also offer advice on best practices and avoiding common pitfalls.

Need help with your remote onboarding and training? We can help!

We have over 25 years’ experience developing successful online training, onboarding, and orientation content from documents, presentations, and videos. We’ve developed ProcessLMS™, our learning management system specially designed to manage, track, and deliver courses online.

Reach out and we can chat about the right onboarding solution for your organization.