Well-prepared onboarding is essential to ensure new employees gain the necessary skills and understanding to start their new roles. However, as many companies continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future, they are having to adjust their traditional processes to support new hires who are beginning new jobs whilst at home.
Managers need to integrate their new employees and ensure they get to know their new company, roles and colleagues without face-to-face meetings in the workplace, and instead through a virtual environment.
Although many aspects of the onboarding process may remain the same, for example required training and introductions to company systems, there are some aspects that should be altered to integrate your new team member in a remote working environment.
As well as ensuring your new employee has the correct technology and set up to work from home before their first day, take a look at our tips for onboarding remote employees:
Set up video calls
Video calls are a great alternative to introduce your new employee to team members in a virtual environment. Invite your new starter to group team video meetings so they can see your company culture virtually and how your team interact and conduct meetings together.
As well as having a video team meeting to introduce your new team member, you could set up individual video calls with your new employee and colleagues so they can have more in-depth conversations and get to know each other. These one-to-one sessions can replace daily face-to-face meetings which would usually take place in the workplace. During these one-to-one meetings, encourage your team to share information about their roles and current projects so they can provide useful information for your new member. This is also a great opportunity for your new starter to ask plenty of questions and understand how they will be working together in the future.
Provide communication details
Strong communication is vital for all remote teams, however it’s even more important for a new employee so they don’t feel isolated in their new role whilst working from home. To help with this, provide key information about what modes of communication your team uses to interact with each other on a daily basis, including video software and instant messaging platforms. This will enable your new employee to approach your team and communicate with them whilst working remotely.
It’s a good idea to supply them with key contact details for people they can reach out to for day-to-day queries and help, which may also include yourself. This information could be in the form of a helpful digital welcome pack that they can read through when they start and refer back to during their first few weeks.
Set expectations and create a task list
It’s worthwhile to create a task checklist for you and your new employee to keep track of what tasks need to be carried out during the first few weeks or months of their employment, this could include project tasks and required training. Not only will this help to track accomplishments, but it will also provide clear guidance and work for your new employee to get through in between introductions and meetings.
As your new employee is working remotely, it is best to set out expectations for them to follow whilst in a home working environment, for example expected working hours and breaks, and if your company allows any flexibility. If clear guidance is provided from the start, it will help them to create a successful working routine in their new role.
Schedule regular check-ins
As part of the remote onboarding process, it’s a good idea to schedule time in the diary for you and your new employee to catch up, potentially even once a week. This is a chance for you to go through their checklist, any problems or queries they may have and talk about their professional development goals. This is also a good opportunity for you to give any feedback that you may have on how they are doing in their new role. This will ensure the onboarding process remains organised and you have scheduled time to talk to your new employee face-to-face regularly using video as well as via other communication platforms throughout the week, such as email.
Avoid information overload
Be mindful that your new hire will have to consume all of the new information about your company and their role via a computer screen and not first-hand in the workplace. Therefore, don’t overload them with too much information from the start. Try and create a flexible routine, such as spreading out calls and mixing up their week with training and tasks that can be completed independently. This should provide a good balance whilst working remotely and stop them from being burned out.
As expected, the onboarding process for remote employees can vary from traditional processes in the office, however it is possible to help make your new team member feel welcome and part of the team from the comfort of their own home.
If you would like any more information about onboarding remote employees, please contact our team on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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