Whether you are working in an office or starting a remote job, the first day is always challenging. However, it is more challenging for companies to turn working remotely into the new ‘normal’. One of the primary goals of remote employers is to know how to onboard new employees.
Best Practices for Onboarding Remote Employees
There is no denying the importance of a successful onboarding remote employee experience to ensure you can make them familiar with their responsibilities. It should also be communicated about what behavior is expected of them regarding company policies and the working environment.
Here are a few best practices if you lack an effective onboarding remote employee plan. These practices have been thoughtfully designed for a successful onboarding strategy.
1. Organizing and Developing an Onboarding Plan
You cannot expect your employees to follow unorganized plans and strategies, especially if they are working remotely. To start with, organize an onboarding plan and document every step. The documented process is given to the remote hires before they start working. Moreover, it is essential to make this process repeatable and consistent.
The onboarding plan should include goals up to the first week. It can be in the form of a checklist. A to-do list or a checklist is effective because it lets you keep track of the plan’s progress. Also, make sure the plan is provided to the remote employees in the correct sequence.
2. Introducing the Company
Many remote companies face unique challenges on how to onboard remote employees. It is partly because there is no physical office with which you can make the employee familiar. However, that does not mean it is not possible to manage virtually.
One way to establish the employee’s connection with the company is through virtual tours, meetings, and presentations. You can send out detailed documentation, videos, and presentations regarding the company’s goals, ethics, environment, history, and team.
3. Introducing the Team
Remote employees are unable to experience the interaction of a typical office environment. The nature of their employment might make remote employees feel isolated.
Companies can handle this challenge of onboarding remote employees comfortably through virtual communications. In the onboarding process, you can walk the remote hires through the office hierarchy one by one. You can introduce them to various team members via video or audio calls and different real–time communication apps.
You can pass out information regarding each employee’s department and team members. In this way, they can feel involved and part of the team.
4. Explaining Key Tools
Remote work requires working through several tools that are critical to the company’s functioning. Remote employees must log in to dozens of apps that they may be unfamiliar with.
One of the best ways to have a quick start with new remote hires is to familiarize them with the necessary tools. Companies can start by providing remote employees with credentials and access beforehand.
Companies should send out a detailed guide of all the business-critical tools being used to remote employees before orientation. It will make onboarding remote employees a lot quicker. Explain to them later via screen sharing and videos on how to use them to become self-dependent.
5. Teaching the Company’s Culture
One of the most difficult challenges companies must face while hiring remote staff is instilling the company’s culture. It almost comes naturally to new employees who are hired on-site. However, it is difficult to transmit the same to remote employees.
When onboarding remote employees, it is imperative that the company has effective communication with the new hires. One way to get new employees to understand the company culture is through group meetings, daily check-ins from the team leader, and reporting.
Carrying out interactive sessions between remote and in-office employees, regular progress reporting, and updates from the CEO are a few activities that can motivate remote hires.
6. Plan Regulation
When working remotely, it is easy to get distracted since you are secluded in your home. The comfort and flexibility of working from home surpass the attentiveness required for working in an actual office. However, it is both a disadvantage and an advantage to the companies.
When companies look for ways to onboard remote employees, it is recommended that the companies clarify the importance of following a plan. In doing so, the company is ultimately assessing the efficiency and success of their onboarding process.
By assessing the goals set in your onboarding plan, you are making sure that your remote employees are progressing. Moreover, you should check-in time to time with your remote employees both on a professional and personal level.
When the CEO, manager, or even the HR team checks-in with the remote employees, they feel included, involved, and more determined.
7. Collaborative Learning and Feedback
The biggest issue with remote employees is involvement. You must put extra effort into producing plans and strategies that are relevant to remote workers.
The most important task is to keep them motivated and engaged. Indulging in opportunities and activities in which employees can learn from each other can prove incredibly useful. You can highlight the importance of being motivated in the onboarding process.
You can encourage remote employees right from the start about how their feedback will be valued at the end of the session. Allow them to participate and share their opinion regarding how effective the onboarding process has been for them.
To prove the importance of creating an onboarding strategy, statistics suggest that over 69% of employees would likely stay long-term with a company if they have a successful onboarding experience.
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