While it might not seem like an important task, investing in onboarding employees can pay off. When you have a good onboarding process you can increase employee retention by 82% and increase productivity by 70%.
However, in today’s increasingly connected world, more and more companies are offering employees the opportunity to work remotely. Does this change the game? Slightly, yeah. Companies have to change the way they onboard new employees.
Onboarding remote employees can be a little different than onboarding employees who are in the office with you. You need to take into account things like time zones, communication methods, and cultural differences.
Here are five things you should know about onboarding remote employees.
The Importance of Onboarding Remote Employees
Before we dive into tips for increasing employee retention and productivity through your business onboarding processes, you must understand just how important this process is.
The onboarding process is vital for any new employee, but it can be especially challenging for those who are joining a remote team. Without the opportunity to meet face-to-face, it can be difficult to build relationships and create a sense of belonging.
Additionally, new remote employees may feel isolated and have difficulty navigating the company’s culture and values. It’s important to have a well-designed onboarding program that will help new employees adjust to their new roles and feel connected to their teams.
The onboarding process should include opportunities for new employees to meet their teammates, learn about the company’s culture and values, and get familiar with the tools and resources they’ll need to be successful in their role.
By taking the time to properly onboard new remote employees, you’ll set them up for success and help them feel like they belong on your team. Think of it as something that’s just as important as payroll.
Tips for Onboarding Remote Employees
Onboarding remote employees can be challenging, as you can’t just pop over to their desks to answer a question or provide feedback. However, there are some simple tips you can follow to make sure your remote employees feel supported and comfortable in their new roles.
1. Provide Them With a Welcome Packet
When you hire a remote employee, you want to make sure that they feel like part of the team from day one. One way to do this is to provide them with a welcome packet. Here’s what to include in that packet along with other simple tasks to take care of.
Write a Great Introduction Email
Write a great introduction email to your remote employees. Include all the pertinent information they need to know about their new position, such as job duties, expectations, and company culture.
It’s also important to provide contact information for their direct supervisor and other key personnel. Let them know that you’re looking forward to working with them and provide any other relevant information that will help them hit the ground running.
A well-written introduction email will help your remote employees feel welcomed and appreciated, and it will set the tone for a productive and positive working relationship.
In this email, go ahead and include their email signature so that they’re up and running and ready to communicate with clients from day one.
Create a Welcome PDF
It’s a good idea to create a welcome PDF for your new remote employees. Use the following checklist to know what to include in your PDF:
- A brief overview of the company’s remote work policy
- A list of guidelines for working remotely (e.g., scheduled check-ins, best practices for communication, etc.)
- A list of resources for remote employees (e.g., links to helpful articles, contact information for the IT helpdesk, etc.)
- A welcome message from the company’s management team
- A bit about the company’s background and culture (it doesn’t have to all be dry and professional)
By taking the time to create a comprehensive welcome PDF, you can help ensure that your new remote employees have all the information they need to hit the ground running and be productive members of your team.
Ensure They Have All Their Logins
Ensure your new remote employees have everything they need to start working before their first day. In the welcome email (or even in a separate email a few days before they start), include all the login information they’ll need for any media software or platforms you use for work.
This could include items like a Google Drive login, a Slack login, or access to any project management software you use.
By taking care of the logistics in advance, you’ll help your remote employees hit the ground running and feel like part of the team from day one. This increases business efficiency across the board.
Send Them Your Remote Work Policy
As mentioned above, when you hire a remote worker, one of the first things you should do is send them your remote work policy. This will help to set expectations from the start and ensure that they understand your company’s stance on remote work.
Your remote work policy should cover topics such as working hours, communication expectations, and use of company resources.
By sending your remote workers a welcome packet that includes your remote work policy, you can help to ensure a smooth transition to working remotely.
2. Introduce Them to the Team
If you have employees who work remotely, it’s important to take steps to help them feel like part of the team. Introductions are a good place to start.
Make Introductions Via Video, Not Chat
When you’ve got a remote team, it can be difficult to introduce the new person to everyone. You want to make sure that they feel like they’re part of the team from the get-go, but you also don’t want to overwhelm them with too many people at once.
The best way to strike that balance is to introduce them via video, not chat. That way, they can put a face to the name and start to feel like they know the team.
Make sure to do it early on, so they don’t feel left out, and schedule a few coffees or virtual happy hours so they can get to know everyone in a more informal setting.
With a little bit of effort, you can help your remote employees feel like they’re part of the team in no time.
Try Virtual Onboarding Activities
If you’re looking for a way to introduce remote employees to the team, try virtual onboarding activities. This can be a great way to help new hires get to know their colleagues and learn about the company culture.
Virtual onboarding activities can include things like a video tour of the office, meet-and-greet with the team, and Q&A sessions with senior staff members. Or, it can include actual icebreaker games.
By taking part in these activities, remote employees can get a feel for what it’s like to work at your company and start to build relationships with their co-workers.
Connect Them With a Senior Employee
If you have remote employees, it’s important to introduce them to the team and help them feel connected.
One way to do this is by assigning a senior employee to be their mentor. The mentor can help the new employee get acclimated to the company culture and answer any questions they have about the organization.
This will help the remote employee feel more comfortable and part of the team. Additionally, the mentor can provide guidance and support as the remote employee adjusts to working in a new environment.
All in all, connecting a remote employee with a senior employee is a simple way to help them feel like part of the team and ensure that they are successful in their new role.
3. Focus on Organization
As any manager knows, it can be difficult to keep remote employees engaged with the organization.
Without face-to-face interaction in an office environment, it can be easy for employees to lose sight of the company’s goals and objectives. However, there are a few things that managers can do to help keep remote employees focused on the organization.
Defining workflows is an important step in managing remote employees. By doing so, you will be able to better focus your team on the organization’s goals. Workflows should be designed to meet the specific needs of the organization and the team.
They should be simple and easy to follow so that employees can work independently and efficiently. In addition, workflows should be flexible, so that they can be easily adapted as the needs of the organization change.
When you take the time to define workflows, you can ensure that your remote employees are focused on the tasks that are most important to the organization.
Establish Clear Communication Preferences
Communication preferences should cover topics such as how often to communicate, what type of communication is preferred, and what time of day is best for communication.
Establishing clear communication preferences can be done by setting up regular check-ins, using project management tools, and using video conferencing for meetings.
Establishing these preferences at the outset will help to ensure that all employees are on the same page and can focus on their work, rather than trying to communicate with each other.
Furthermore, it will help to reduce the amount of time spent communicating, as well as the number of misunderstandings that can occur. In short, clear communication preferences are vital for remote employees in an organization.
4. Create Spaces for Feedback
Assuming you have a remote team, it’s important to still create spaces for feedback. Feedback is crucial for the growth of individuals and teams, and it can be even more important when people are not in the same physical space.
Create dedicated times and channels for giving and receiving feedback, and make sure everyone on your team knows how to provide feedback that is clear, concise, and helpful.
Set Up Weekly Check-Ins
Set up weekly check-ins to give employees a chance to share how they’re doing and what they need from you. This regular communication will help you stay attuned to your team’s progress and identify any areas where they might need additional support.
Additionally, make sure to give employees plenty of opportunities to provide feedback on their work. Ask them for their thoughts on upcoming projects, changes in company policy, etc.
By creating a space for feedback, you can encourage open communication and ensure that your remote team is always moving forward. It’s also just nice to check in with everybody to prevent people from feeling isolated!
Create a Feedback or Rewards System
It’s important to create a feedback or rewards system for your remote employees. This will let them know that their work is appreciated, and it will also help to motivate them to do their best. There are a few different ways that you can go about this.
For example, you could create a monthly bonus system based on performance. Or, you could set up a quarterly review process where employees are given feedback on their work.
Whichever system you choose, make sure that it is fair and transparent. Employees should know what they need to do to earn a reward, and they should feel confident that their work is being accurately assessed.
5. Consider Using Remote Onboarding Software
As you know, it can be a challenge to onboard remote employees, who may not have the opportunity to meet their colleagues in person or receive hands-on training. While these tips above help, you might also need to use remote onboarding software.
This type of software can provide new employees with the information they need to get started in their roles, and it can also help them to stay connected with their colleagues. However, we’d argue the best employee onboarding software allows you to automate mundane tasks.
For example, look for software that allows you to easily and quickly collect digital forms, guide your employees through tax forms, and complete the entire onboarding process remotely. This site offers a good example of what we’re talking about.
By taking advantage of this tool, companies can ensure that their remote employees are given the best possible chance for success.
Browse Other Helpful Business Tips
Hopefully, this guide has provided you with everything you need to know about onboarding remote employees. However, that’s not all that matters when managing a remote team. To learn more about building your business, browse our other helpful business tips.
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