Best Practices for Onboarding Remote Employees
The beginning of the Internet era made some severe changes to our workplace and how we see it. Traditional 9 to 5 jobs are disappearing rapidly: employees prefer to have more flexibility, and companies have the opportunity to hire the best talent. It seems like it’s a win-win situation. However, with this new order of things arose new challenges, much different than the ones we had before. One of them is onboarding remote employees.
Everyone is talking about the importance of successful employee onboarding. And we get why. But we also know it’s a complicated process. It requires both time and engagement from HR managers and other employees. It’s highly individual at its core, and “one size fits all” doesn’t work. So, if it’s hard offline, how to make it successful online?
Onboarding remote employees have to begin with a face-to-face introduction
Emails and chats are cool, but they shouldn’t be the first thing employees see when they start working for your company. Real bonds are made a face to face. Or at least after one Skype call. Remote employees will be more likely to feel welcome and that they belong if their employer introduced them to a company via video call. This means you’ll be able to use eye contact while communicating and observe body language, which is lost if you insist on emails and chats. Make a bond from the beginning and start your relationship with a video call.
Plan the onboarding process
To secure a frictionless transition into a new role and make onboarding remote employees successful, make sure you have a plan for how you’re going to do it. Obviously, you cannot expect the employee to know everything. This is why you have to break the training into small sections which will allow you to see how much they’ve progressed and what are things you should be focusing on. After a while, you can give them tasks with “real deadlines” and monitor how well they’re managing them.
Make sure they feel and understand the company’s culture
This might be hard while onboarding remote employees but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The problem is that remote employees cannot feel the company’s culture as much as they would if they were in the office. However, building a strong bond between off-site and on-site employees via group chat, for instance, frequent feedback and practicing working in a team can make things easier and better.
Always reexamine yourself
You shouldn’t stop trying new things once you determine how onboarding remote employees will look like. People are different and have individual needs and motivations. Just because someone was able to transition seamlessly easy into your company, doesn’t mean somebody else would. And it doesn’t mean these people are less worthy. Always listen and pay attention to people’s reactions. Then, adjust where you can and where you see fit.
Set effective communication channels
Communication is vital when it comes to remote work. And it’s especially important while you’re onboarding, remote employees. When we work in the same office, it’s easy to reach out to anyone who’s sitting next to you and ask for help. However, this is something you cannot do while working remotely. This is why you have to make sure your remote employees have communication channels they can use if they find some problems working. You can try online collaboration channels such as Asana and Slack and incorporate them into your daily workflow. This is how you will ensure nobody gets stuck doing some task and that it’s able to always reach out for help.
A cat enthusiast and a cupcake maniac, Ana is a freelance Content Writer passionate about HR, productivity, and team management topics. When she’s not at her keyboard, you can find Ana in the kitchen, trying to make delicious cookies.