How to Onboard Remote Employees

According to William Shakespeare “Small cheer and a great welcome makes a merry feast”. A strong onboarding process results in much happier employees while helping them discover how their roles fit in with the rest of the company’s workforce. Considering the outbreak of the coronavirus, it is essential that employers and HR experts get a clear path towards remote operations which includes recruitment and onboarding of new employees to maintain operational standards and outcomes.

What is Employee Onboarding?

New Employee Onboarding is the process of acquainting new employees with the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors needed for them to become effective members and insiders of an organization.

Aside the fact that onboarding employees integrates employees into the company’s system, It also engages employees, creating workers that are committed to the company’s success and helps in retaining new hires by making them feel like a member of the team.

As much as it is important to give new hires a proper onboarding, it is likewise so important to do the same for remote employees.

Who is a Remote Employee?

A remote employee is someone who is employed by an organization, but works outside of a traditional office environment. A remote worker does not have to commute to an office daily, instead works from a location of their choosing, typically their home or a co-working space or a coffee shop.

How to Onboard Remote Employees

  1. Setup guides: providea quick reference guide that remote workers can keep handy from email and computer setup to essential processes and platforms your team uses.
  2. Tech Equipment: make sure any tools or tech equipment they need to successfully do their job is ready before their first day. Sending the equipment out to them a little early is okay, but don’t ever let it show up late.
  3. HR paperwork: signing employment contracts and other legal documents could be time-consuming especially when it involves printing, scanning and sending via email or mail. It is advisable to consider using e-signature tool where employees can add their signatures digitally and share contracts in a secure environment.
  4. Setup welcome video Conference:  within the first few weeks of the new remote worker joining the organization, the new hire should have face-to-face meetings with their new colleagues through a video conferencing platform. This meeting might not be daily but it could help build trust between the new hire and current employees as well as create a comfortable environment.
  5. Welcome Packages: make sure your remote worker get the company’s care package. This should include what you usually give a new hire, and maybe something extra to show that even if they are out-of-office, they are very much a part of the team.
  6. Support System: providing encouragements like monthly allowance to use for co-working space rentals, home office equipment or other tools and technologies for remote worker is an effective way to make them more productive.
  7. One-on-one meetings: having frequent check-ins with new employees who are working remotely with give them more opportunity to share questions or their difficulty in settling into the new job. This does not have to be done physically – voice calls, messaging or video calls can go a long way.
  8. Out of sight should not be out of mind: be conscious about making remote employees know they are still considered part of the team even if they are out of the office. Reach out to them frequently, especially if there is anything going on directly related to them or their role. Make it clear that your virtual door is always open and you welcome contact from them at any time.
  9. Set goal and expectations: this could be done on weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. Make them know what is expected of them ahead of time, so they won’t have to wait for directions at every point in time.
  10. Invite to term events: Send invitations of company-sponsored team events or maybe just casual gatherings to remote workers.  Even though they might not be able to attend just sending the invitation is a big gesture and will make them feel more a part of the team.

While these tips will help you onboard your remote employees, it is also important to get feedbacks from your remote staffs – ask questions like what helped them settle in, and what could have been done better? Being open to feedback gives you room for improving and getting better at the process.