7 Effective Tips for Onboarding Remote Employees
7 Effective Tips for Onboarding Remote Employees
It’s no secret that remote work is on the rise. But, as with any new practice, it can be hard for employees to get settled. This is especially true if you’re a brand new company, or have only recently begun allowing remote workers to join your team. That’s where onboarding comes in: It’s a critical part of any employee-retention strategy but also something most companies overlook when they first bring on remote employees. Onboarding can be tricky—especially if you don’t have an LMS (learning management system) in place—so it’s important to hire someone who knows what they’re doing and how best to help your new hires succeed in their new positions. Here are seven tips that will help ensure that onboarding goes smoothly for everyone involved:
1- Send a welcome package
A welcome package is a great way to get to know your new employee. It can be sent when they first start, or after they’ve been with the company for a while.
Here are some things you should include in your welcome package:
Computer or laptop and mouse: Nowadays, almost everyone has their own computer or laptop at home. But that shouldn’t be an issue. If you wouldn’t expect onsite employees to bring their personal laptops to work every day, don’t expect a remote employee to do so either.
A company phone and/or headphone set: This depends on the circumstances. However, if your new hire will be working in sales or customer service and will be making several calls to clients every day, they should not be required to use their own devices.
Orientation guide: You’ve most likely already scheduled an orientation call with your new hire, but providing them with a tangible guide they can refer to whenever they have questions is still essential. An orientation guide serves as a GPS for your new hires so they don’t get lost on their first day.
This is a great way to get the new employee up to speed while also helping them feel like they’re part of something larger. It can also be helpful if you have multiple employees starting at around the same time, as it will give them all some context for what’s expected of them.
A welcome package can be a great way to get your new employees up to speed on what’s expected of them. It can also help you keep their expectations realistic and avoid any misunderstandings about what their job will actually entail. If you want to learn more about how to create an effective welcome package for new hires, contact us today!
2. Designate a “new hire buddy”
New remote workers require a friendly face to whom they can turn for clarification and business guidance. Having someone that each new hire “knows” can also foster the social support that helps remote teams thrive.
Check-ins should be scheduled on a regular basis in a buddy system. This provides a dedicated safe space for new remote employees to ask questions that they might not feel comfortable asking in a group Zoom or Slack channel.
Consider your options carefully when selecting a new hire buddy. A good friend is someone who:
- Embodies the core values of the organization
- Serves as a business ambassador
- thriving as a go-to resource for others
It is critical to ensure that the buddy genuinely wants to be a part of the journey that others are on. (Bonus points if your buddy’s development includes coaching.)
3- To keep new hires engaged, use checklists and nudges.
It is common for new hires to become distracted from their onboarding and training, especially when learning remotely.Use checklists of onboarding activities to help keep people focused and engaged, and don’t be afraid to nudge them every now and then.
This can be as simple as setting up onboarding reminders or utilizing your preferred project management tool. In any case, checklists and nudges provide visible progress indicators for learners as well as positive reinforcement.
4- Create transparency around decision making
When you’re onboarding remote employees, make sure that they are given access to the information they need in order to make decisions. This might include:
- Accessing your company’s internal databases and email system
- Being able to reach out directly to other team members (or their managers) if there’s an issue or question that needs resolving
In addition, make sure your remote employees know how they can get in touch with the right people when needed. For example, if someone needs help with something technical but doesn’t have time during normal work hours because they’re busy working remotely on their own project, give them access so they can reach out via email or chat room if need be!
5- Using an LMS for onboarding remote employees
An LMS (learning management system) is a tool that can be used for training and development, as well as performance management. It’s also great for onboarding remote employees.
The best way to use an LMS for onboarding remote employees is by creating an interactive employee training platform where they can watch videos or listen to audio content on their own time, whenever they want. LMS platform enables you to create engaging courses and content that establishes the tone and pace for your new employee’s first few months at your company.
This will provide them with the opportunity to learn about your company culture, values and mission statement before joining the team full-time.
6- Check in and stay in touch
You can check in with the remote employee regularly. When you first hire someone, it’s important to make sure they’re getting along well with their team members and feeling comfortable working in their new role. If you see that there are any problems or issues, be proactive by asking questions or offering solutions so that everyone stays on track.
A good way to stay connected is by sending periodic emails or calls to check in on how things are going for them at work—and if there’s anything else that might need fixing, like an issue with their tools (like a computer program), ask them about it!
7- Onboarding does not end on the first day.
Onboarding is a process, not an event. It’s not just for new employees and managers—it can also be helpful to onboard new team members if they have experience in the same field as your company.
While you may have a few key principles that need to be reinforced throughout onboarding, there are many different ways you can approach this process and make it as effective as possible:
The key takeaway is that onboarding a remote employee is not just about the first day. It’s about the entire relationship, including regular check-ins and feedback throughout the process. And if you really want to make sure your remote employees are happy with their new job, then be sure to build in some time for them to get involved in decision making as well!