a new hire working from home engaging in a virtual onboarding mentoring program

Virtual Employee Onboarding – Leveraging Mentoring  

More than 4.3 million people in the US work remotely, which is 3.2% of the entire workforce. Since remote workforce numbers are trending higher, companies should be adapting their onboarding processes to meet this trend.   

Traditional onboarding processes can already be a challenging task for some, but what about if you are onboarding someone who lives in a different location? When shifting a traditional practice to a virtual one, many challenges can occur on both sides. This is where mentoring for the virtual onboarding process comes into play.  

But how do we leverage mentoring in the virtual employee onboarding process? The mentor should begin promoting a great employee experience early on. Mentoring for onboarding should set the new hire up for success by helping them connect with their new colleagues. Engaging new hires and helping them become more productive should be the basis for designing a mentoring program with this specific goal. 


Benefits of using mentoring for onboarding  

When designed correctly, mentoring for onboarding has a ton of benefits for everyone involved. Here are a few examples:  

Benefits for the New Hire  

  • Virtual onboarding can help them feel like part of the team right away   
  • Improved job satisfaction  
  • Increases self-confidence in their ability to fulfill a new job role 
  • Learn missing skills through mentor's knowledge and expertise 
  • Readiness for employee development  
  • A more personal approach to an onboarding experience in a virtual setting  
  • Learn company culture with the absence of a physical location  
  • The ability to get up to speed with their new job faster 

Benefits for the Mentor  

  • Discovers fresh ideas through the new hire  
  • Receive positive recognition and reinforcement from the organization 
  • Growth of their own network  

Benefits for the Organization  

  • Rapidly adopt the new hire into the company culture  
  • Improved employee retention rates  
  • Inspired employee loyalty  
  • Increased speed to improved productivity  
  • Protect recruiting investment  
  • Improved employee engagement  


Planning a mentoring program for virtual onboarding  

The onboarding process is critical for any organization. It’s important to plan ahead to be prepared before the new hires log on for their first day.   

So how do you go about designing a mentoring program that will improve virtual onboarding?  

  1. Determine your onboarding objectives. There are many possible objectives for your organization’s onboarding program. Some options include new employee guidance, increased retention, and decreased time to productivity. Set your goals and objectives early to drive future decisions. 
  2. Identify your onboarding mentors. Determine employees who will best support new hires through their onboarding process. They normally need to have worked at your organization for a couple of years.
  3. Develop your mentor - mentee matching process. After identifying your mentors, use your program goals and objectives to help develop your matching criteria.  This ensures maximum onboarding success. Depending on the size of your program, you may want to consider mentoring software to streamline your matching process.
  4. Develop a standard process for the program. Plan how participants will communicate with each other and how documents will be shared. Will your communications be housed within a mentoring software platform or another program your organization already uses?
  5. Train mentors. Once your mentors have been selected, it’s important that you offer training. The training sessions should help your mentors understand their role, align program goals and objectives, and help them become familiar with the onboarding process for a positive employee experience.
  6. Track onboarding success.  Analyze how well your participants are meeting their individual onboarding objectives and track the success of the onboarding process at the organizational level.  We recommend a cohesive mentoring software for optimal organization, communication and results that can be tracked. 

Currently, more employees are being recruited virtually than ever before across many industries including financial services, healthcare, legal, and technology. Modernize your organization’s approach to onboarding by implementing a virtual onboarding mentoring program.  

Schedule a demo with one of our experts to learn about how our all-in-one mentoring software can support your virtual onboarding goals. 

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Through innovative web-based SaaS technology, Insala partners with organizations to accelerate performance and drive evidence-based decisions for organizations and their people.


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