Onboarding remote employees can be a bit more challenging than onboarding employees in person. Humans are used to the personal connection that allows them to see one another’s body language and non-verbal communication. This can foster trust, collaboration and increased creativity. Not to mention, meeting in person makes it harder for a member of the party to be multi-tasking!
But, technology is evolving quickly, and it is very possible to create a smooth and effective remote onboarding process. In this article, we'll go over some of the do's and don'ts of onboarding remote employees to help you ensure that this human connection is well-established. Following a few virtual onboarding best practices will ensure your new hires feel welcomed and prepared to hit the ground running.
- Communicate the onboarding schedule and expectations. Make sure new hires know when they should expect to hear from you and what tasks they need to complete.
- Use technology to facilitate communication and collaboration. Video conferencing, instant messaging, and project management tools can all be used to help remote employees stay in touch with their colleagues and stay on top of their work.
- Provide comprehensive training. Even if your new hire is an experienced professional, they may not be familiar with your company's specific processes and systems. Make sure they have the information they need to be successful in their role.
- Set up regular check-ins. Keeping in touch with your new hires regularly will help you identify any issues or roadblocks they may be facing and provide support when needed.
- Foster a sense of belonging. One of the biggest challenges for remote employees can be feeling like they are part of the team. Make sure your new hires feel included by inviting them to team events and setting up opportunities for them to connect with their colleagues.
- Neglect to provide support to new hires. Just because someone can work remotely, it doesn't mean they don't need guidance or support. Make sure to provide clear expectations and check in with your new hires frequently.
- Ignore the lack of company culture. Remote employees may not have the same level of exposure to company culture as in-person employees. Make sure your new hires have access to information about your company's values, mission, and history and opportunities to connect with team members.
- Be dismissive of your remote employees' input. Just like in-person employees, remote employees should feel that their input is valued. Make sure to actively solicit feedback and act on it.
- Ignore the time zone differences. Remote employees may be in different time zones than the rest of your team, so make sure to schedule meetings and check-ins at times that work for everyone.
- Neglect to provide access to company culture . Remote employees may feel isolated from the company culture, make sure you give them ways to connect and learn about the company culture.
Onboarding remote employees requires a bit more planning and effort than onboarding in-person employees, but with the right approach, you can create a process that is smooth, effective, and welcoming for your new hires. By following the recommendations outlined above, you can help your remote employees feel like valued members of your team and set them up for success in their new roles.