Over the past few years, working remotely has become more popular in the workplace. More organizations are recognizing how effective remote work can be. In addition to reducing health risks, working remotely has also proven to increase productivity, and reduce employee turnover and absenteeism.
What does hiring a new remote employee look like?
Bringing on a new team member doesn’t look the same when some, if not all, of your employees aren’t in the office.
It’s important that new employees have what they need to feel connected to the organization and to their peers, and have the tools they need to be successful at their job.
Here are 6 tips to help improve remote onboarding within your organization.
Make New Hires Feel Welcome
A warm welcome to the company can certainly help get things started off on the right foot and reinforce a new employee’s decision to join the team.
Sending some company swag is a great way to impress a new employee and get them excited to be a part of the team.
Break the ice by sending a welcome email to introduce them to their team members. Giving small intros prior to their first day will help “put a face to the name” and lessen the fear of not knowing anyone (especially when they aren’t directly down the hall).
Share An Employee Handbook
Providing an employee handbook is a crucial part of onboarding. If you were to purchase a new T.V. you’d expect it to come with a manual, some kind of instruction to get it set up, what to expect from it, and what kind of features there are.
Similarly, a new employee should be well versed in the company culture and protocols, the so-called “rule book”. This prepares employees on what to expect when entering this new relationship.
Using a HRIS (human resource information system) is a effective way to make sure all employees have acknowledged and signed the handbook.
Scheduling a Zoom call to go over these documents will help create a more personal connection with your remote employee.
Provide The Tools They Need
Make sure that your remote employees have the tools they need in order to do their job successfully. Confirm that they have a dedicated working area within their home that they can use as a home office.
If you have a budget in place for setting up a new employee’s home office, consider sending items like a printer, computer, paper and anything else they might need before their first day. This gives them plenty of time to get set up and prepared to start.
Make Their First Day Special
On the individual’s first in person day at the office, you might show them around, introduce them to various employees, peers and upper level staff. You might point out where the conference room is or the employee kitchen.
With remote employees, it’s still important to make them feel comfortable and connected. Set up a “first day coffee chat” via video conferencing with your new employee. Encourage team members or managers to join in on the call.
This is a great way to make “face to face” introductions, help them understand the team roles, and how they will fit into the mix.
Schedule Routine Check Ins
After a while, there might not be a need to check in with your employees on a frequent basis, however, starting a new position remotely can sometimes feel isolating. Routine check ins can be helpful in making sure your employee doesn’t feel disconnected and, even more importantly, understands the details of their job.
Give employees scheduled check in times and encourage them to come prepared to ask their own questions. You don’t want to make them feel micromanaged, the goal is to find a balance between efficiency and proper acclimation.
There is a lot to consider when adapting your onboarding process to accommodate remote workers. For many this is uncharted territory, so it’s important to be open to making adjustments along the way.
Be sure to frequently connect with your new employee during the onboarding process to assess the experience and to make sure he/she doesn’t feel lost. Asking for feedback from your new hires will allow you to make any necessary changes while streamlining your remote hiring process. This will help retain talent and future-proof your business as we adjust to our new reality.
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The workplace has been permanently altered and new challenges are still emerging. To thrive, companies must rethink their workforce strategies and reinvent their workplaces. Read what you need to consider to help you build, manage, and maintain a productive and steadfast team.