7 Things Any Small Business Can Do Today To Give Employees a Better Remote Onboarding Experience

Claire Hastwell

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Claire Hastwell

Author

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Small and Medium organizations in the Philippines like Coda PaymentsMars Pet Nutrition PhilippinesQavaloBalsam Brands and PANDR Outsourcing made its debut as List-makers in this year’s Best Workplaces™ in Asia. They were identified among the Top 100 companies in this category across Asia and the Middle East who share efforts in ensuring workplace practices benefit their employees on flexibility, purpose, inclusion and well-being.

They have proven that size does not matter if you want to create a positive workplace experience for your employees, regardless of your company’s workplace setup. In this article, we share some of the best practices small businesses can copy to have a better remote onboarding experience for their employees.

One in four new hires quit within the first six months. That’s what studies by Recruting.com and BambooHR each found.

I’ll give you a moment to read that again. A quarter of all the people who you see from interview to onboarding will leave. (!)

Here’s another stat for you: Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. Companies with shaky onboarding programs lose the confidence of their candidates and are more likely to say goodbye in the first year.

How to improve remote onboarding experiences

Spread across 33 states in the US – with some team members even reporting from overseas – You Need A Budget (YNAB) has been remote since the dawn of its time. YNAB climbed to the top of the 2020 Best Small Workplaces™ list, so let that be evidence of the company’s flourishing remote culture.

Over the years, YNAB has developed some onboarding tactics to help create a great experience for team members right off the bat. I’m not talking about product training and W-4 forms. I mean those human touches that make new team members feel appreciated.

Here are YNAB’s tips for building a sense of camaraderie and intimacy early on:

1. Mail a fun welcome package

On their first day, new YNAB team members receive a welcome package in the mail. YNAB tries to schedule the delivery so that the package arrives just in time for the team member’s first day. Wrapped up inside is YNAB swag, along with some of the company’s favorite books and a short booklet about YNAB’s vision and company mission.

2. Get employees to write a bucket list

Every new hire is encouraged to write a 50-item Bucket List. The lists are held in a giant spreadsheet, internally available to everyone. YNAB told us it’s a great way to get to know people, because when you read their Bucket List you think, “Oh! You want to climb the highest point in each U.S. state? Intriguing. I’m going to have to talk to you about that at the next team meeting.” It’s also a sneaky way of getting birthday gift ideas.

3. Gift a welcome meal

Celebrating special events and milestones helps employees feel valued. YNAB gives new hires a gift card so they can go out for dinner with their family or friends to celebrate their new job. If managers have done some successful sleuthing in the interview process, the gift card will be for the employee’s favorite restaurant.

4. Collect and send personalized welcome notes

In the week leading up to a newbies first day, YNAB leaders collect personalized welcome notes from everyone on the team. YNAB said it’s not just the new hires who enjoy the personal notes, but current employees get a boost out of writing them.

5. Have local employees’ hand-deliver

When the new hire lives near other employees, YNAB will often organize dropping off the welcome package in person (wearing masks of course). Meeting a friendly face on your first day is a fast way to bridge connections from the real world to Zoom calls.

For employees at PANDR OutsourcingQavalo and Mars Pet Nutrition Philippines, 100% of their employees say that they are made to feel welcome when they join the company.

6. Elect a friendly onboarding buddy

Being the new hire can be daunting. With so many “dumb questions” to ask, this is one area where sharing a physical office wins. YNAB nominates a peer on the new hire’s team to “walk alongside” them the first few weeks. This person is an extra support and there to answer the hundreds of tiny questions that the new employee might be hesitant to ask co-workers.

7. Connect via video more than you would normally

YNAB makes sure there are plenty of video calls between new hires and various members of leadership. They also set up video calls with individual teams, giving plenty of opportunity to learn about the business and ask questions.

It takes more time to understand each other’s communication styles without the in-person opportunity to observe body language and how managers work with others. YNAB’s extra “facetime” helps cultivate a bond early on that leads to great communication.

Want to get a benchmark on the level of trust in your organization? Since 1992, we’ve surveyed over 100 million employees around the world and used those deep insights to define what makes a great workplace. This research is the science behind our Trust Index™ survey. It’s the only survey that lets you benchmark against Best Workplaces like YNAB. Ask us about it today.

Claire Hastwell

As the Content Program Manager at Great Place To Work, Claire helps decode the psychology behind high-trust workplaces using Great Place To Work’s extensive data repository on employee experience. Claire has co-authored noted reports such as “Women in the Workplace” and “The Power of Purpose at Work,” and contributed to Fortune with her profiles of the Best Workplaces™. Her latest report on employee retention strategies draws on the experience of 1.3 million employees to give leaders strategic guidance on retaining their top people. 

For All™ Methodology

Great Place To Work®, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ in IT-BPM 2024 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 450,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

This recognition helps attract and retain the best talent in the industry, ensuring that your organization continues to thrive with top-notch employees. Additionally, it strengthens the company’s brand as a desirable place to work, instilling pride and loyalty among current employees. It provides a significant competitive edge in the industry, showcasing the company’s dedication to employee satisfaction and well-being.

These organizations set themselves apart in the IT-BPM sector by cultivating an excellent workplace, contributing to their overall growth and success.

The IT-BPM sector is a cornerstone of the Philippine economy, known for its rapid growth and substantial contribution to employment and economic development. Companies in this industry play a pivotal role in driving innovation, enhancing business efficiency, and providing critical services on a global scale. Being recognized on the Philippines Best Workplaces in IT-BPM 2024 List not only highlights a company’s commitment to creating a positive workplace culture but also enhances its reputation in a highly competitive industry.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces™ in Asia by surveying over 1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting over 4.7 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2021 or early 2022.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying 2.1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting 5.9 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Bahrain, Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2022 or early 2023.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000+) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

For All™ Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 450,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

For All™ Methodology

Great Place to Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2022 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 130,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Categories:
These organizations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

  • Small 10-99 Employees

For larger organizations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organizations to share with us their practices, policies, and programs to create a great workplace For All™ and evaluate the approach they take.

  • Medium 100-999 Employees
  • Large 1000+ Employees

Why do you say in one place your national list scoring is based on 85%/15% and in another place that it is 75%/25%?

We are explaining two different things:
1.  The criteria we evaluate

  •  85% concerned with Trust and Maximizing Human Potential and
  • 15% concerned with everything else

2.  Where the data comes from

  • 100% Trust Index for organizations with less than 100 employees
  • 75% based on the Trust Index survey analytics and 25% based on responses to the Culture Audit for organizations with more than 100 employees.
For All™ Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 450,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Categories:
These organizations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

  • Small 10-99 Employees

For larger organizations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organizations to share with us their practices, policies, and programs to create a great workplace For All™ and evaluate the approach they take.

  • Medium 100-999 Employees
  • Large 1000+ Employees