Tackling the Challenges of Remote Employee Onboarding and Training

By: Agatha Hernandez

Onboarding is a crucial step when beginning a new job. This is when you, as a new employee, become acquainted with your coworkers, workplace, company policies and procedures, processes, and day-to-day business activities. As a new employee, this is the time during which you connect with your peers and begin to develop a sense of belonging to a team. The onboarding phase of the employee life cycle eases the nerves of starting a new job and is generally the stage in which you identify whether you and the company are a good fit.

Everyone learns differently, so in order to make the most of the training period, you need to know what learning style works best for you and communicate this to your trainer(s). A good trainer can adapt their approach accordingly. Company time invested in employee training pays dividends with work well-done.

As a new employee at Yellow Brick Consulting, this was my first experience with remote onboarding and training. Despite my more than 30 years of experience working in the medical field, it was challenging to wrap my head around the fact that I would complete the majority of my training from home due to COVID-19. As a visual learner who is accustomed to completing hands-on training in-person and being provided handouts for note-taking, this new approach caused some stress. As the “new” person, I had a lot of questions and being unfamiliar with the team, I wasn’t sure who I was to reach out to for specific answers. Shared below are the methods used to conduct remote training and some learning tips that I discovered on my journey.

Daily check-ins with trainers

Establish standing meetings with your trainer at the start and end of each day. This allows you to set priorities for the day in the morning, then review assignments and summarize what you learned at the end of the day. At Yellow Brick, we have a daily morning touch base call, during which we briefly check-in with the entire team. Not only is this effective in ensuring that everyone has what they need to complete work on their projects, but also it establishes camaraderie with the group.

Learning Tip: When starting each day, review assignments and ask questions to clarify the approach. At the end of the day, review what went well during the day and what could have gone better.

Screen Sharing Sessions

Utilizing screen sharing platforms to support training sessions allows you to meet with your trainer virtually as you review documents and processes together. Having never used screen sharing before, this was a challenge. Sometimes I found that I was unable to keep up with the trainer and capture all of the steps in my notes. As with any new technology, there were also some technical hurdles including sound and connection issues.

Learning Tip: When encountering anything new, it’s important to communicate with your trainer. Don’t be afraid to ask your trainer to repeat themselves or ask them to slow down. Summarize what you reviewed after each meeting to confirm that what the trainer said is the same as what you heard. If there is a divergence in information, ask your trainer to go over that process again.

Record Training Sessions

Yellow Brick uses available technology to record training sessions. Making presentations and training sessions available via recordings and videos is helpful to employees learning a new process. Recorded sessions are available at any time from any location.

Learning Tip: While working on a new assignment, refer to the recorded training session for step-by-step instructions. Make use of the pause and rewind buttons to review steps in real-time as you work through the assignment.

There is no doubt that starting a new job is both exciting and intimidating. Whether you are training in-person or remotely, knowledgeable and approachable trainers are key to success. Embracing new opportunities and challenging yourself to learn new things is incredibly rewarding.