Remote employees have become an essential part of the workforce. Ensuring that your remote workers have a delightful onboarding experience will result in better inter and intra-team relationships, job satisfaction, and increased employee retention rates.
Many companies don’t pay attention to the significance of effective remote onboarding. Too much or complicated paperwork can make the process stressful for the employees. Instead of focusing on the procedures, make the onboarding about what the new hires need.
Some simple best practices include facilitating communication between the remote and on-site employees to understand the needs of the former and providing onboarding materials online preferably on a dedicated platform like a website.
Below are some tips and strategies to improve your remote onboarding!
Prepare and implement an early plan:
According to the statistics, employees are twice as likely to search for another job if they encounter a disastrous onboarding experience. To reduce employee turnover, you need to have a well-prepared onboarding plan for the remote workers.
When onboarding remote employees, you need to have a plan prepared at least a month before the official joining date of your new hires. Make a list of the things that you want to include in the process, it can be videos that give an insight into your company’s culture or assigning a mentor.
Once you have a plan, implement it as part of the orientation of the remote workers prior to at least a week before they start. This will enable them to get familiar with your company’s work environment and will also aid with understanding their work routine better.
Streamline the onboarding process:
Work towards making the onboarding process simple and smooth for the new hires. Make it easy for the workers to ask questions and get timely responses. Ensure to follow up and meet the expectations of the new employees by providing them with all they require. Create an immersive and gratifying onboarding experience for the workers to reflect your company’s hiring culture.
A digital employee handbook should be provided:
An employee handbook helps the new hires in getting acquainted with not only a company’s policies but also gives an overview of an organisation’s values and practices. If you have an updated digital version of the employee handbook, send it to the new hires as part of the virtual onboarding process.
Adding the list of projects, company successes, collaborations, and other information will make the new employees well-informed about your business.
Make the remote workers feel welcomed and heard:
Sending welcome messages and videos to the new hires will delight them. A virtual lunch can also be hosted for the remote workers where they can introduce themselves to the team members and talk about their first day.
Remote employees can often feel isolated or less significant. Being not present in the physical office can make many workers reluctant to talk to their colleagues or ask questions. To combat these issues, you need to create a sense of belonging for the remote employees.
Assigning a mentor or a colleague who can answer the questions, and collaborate to complete the different tasks will prove helpful in boosting the morale and productivity of the new hires.
Make the virtual onboarding experience interactive:
A too formal or robotic onboarding process can be stressful for the new hires. One of the remote onboarding best practices is to ease up the experience by providing opportunities where they can socialise more informally with their colleagues working in the physical office.
Regular virtual meet-ups will help your remote and onsite teams to foster strong relationships. Have the new hires interact with the stakeholders as well so that they feel more connected to the company.
Give a personalised remote onboarding plan to every individual:
Remote workers will feel the onboarding process is according to their expectations if they are given clear and concrete work goals. Create an individual plan for each hire after discussing it with their designated managers.
This will encourage the employees to put in more effort and hard work for achieving the milestones.
Provide Growth and development opportunities:
After the orientation process, share the growth and development initiatives for the new hires. Provide the details of the online courses and workshops that your company will pay for. People feel more motivated to work for employers that invest in their professional growth and development right from the start.
Encouraging teamwork will provide the new employees a chance to learn about the dynamics of the work processes. It will also aid in cross-training the teams and helping them achieve collaborative goals.
Create a checklist:
Having a checklist for remote onboarding will allow you to systemise the process. Start off by sharing the company’s culture and processes articles, videos, and other materials’ links with the new hires. Provide the individual or group orientation depending on the remote workers and give a detailed overview of your organisational culture and values in that video meeting. Send the minutes/agenda of the meeting along with the employee handbook to the new employees.
Schedule the HR orientation for the remote workers separately so that they can ask their desired questions, fill in the forms and learn about the benefits of working at your company. Orientation with the IT department in which the new hires are given access to the software and other technical tools will save them the hassle to reach out to the IT people on their own.
Team orientation should be about giving all the essential and relevant information to the new team members about their colleagues and projects. Make it easier for the new hires to exchange contact information with their co-workers and talk to their mentors or managers as well during that session.
During the role-specific training, make sure that the new employees get all their queries answered in a satisfactory manner and can easily reach out to a trainer or manager in case of any confusion.
Get feedback from the new employees throughout the onboarding process, and ask them if they have been able to orient themselves with the work environment, processes, and their colleagues.