Remote work has rapidly transitioned over the last few years from a rare form of employment to the global norm for countless industries, and that’s caused big changes in onboarding. Remote employees are often looking for a completely different set of resources than their in-person counterparts; and since successful onboarding is a major factor in employee retention, it’s important to set up stable systems for onboarding remotely on a permanent basis.
The additional flexibility of remote work is great, but it also creates a need for managers to provide structure. Remote employees need strong online resources and clearly defined goals to make the best use of their digital schedules. Start off on the right foot when bringing in remote employees and retain your top digital talent with these tips!
1) Get Incoming Employees Looped In Right Away.
A remote employee’s toolkit, from company messaging apps to website logins, will functionally be the digital equivalent of their office. It’s important to make sure they have access to these tools and time to get comfortable with them right away. Ideally, you should aim to get everything set up with IT during their first-day orientation.
2) Give a Warm Welcome.
A simple welcome package can go a long way! Treating new employees to a virtual lunch with some time to socialize can help cultivate a sense of belonging. Orientation can often be daunting for employees not physically there, so a quality orientation is sure to leave a big impression.
3) Build Strong Online Resources.
Sourcing your relevant resources alone isn’t enough; you also have to make sure they’re easily accessible! An employee handbook and guide to company values are important for all employees. For more creative-oriented positions, you’ll want to consider having a formal brand guide and style guidelines as well. Most important is building best practice guidelines for the specific position that you’re onboarding; that way, new hires have easy access to clearly stated expectations and responsibilities for both the wider company and their specific position right from day one!
4) Provide Clearly Defined Goals and Regular Check-ins.
Flexible schedules can make it more easy to get distracted, so immediately provide remote employees with a sense of structure by setting up clear 30/60/90 day expectations. Regular one-on-one check-ins with HR and management can set remote employees up for success; ensuring they’re always on the right track!
5) Integrate Remote Workers into your Culture.
Many new remote workers can feel isolated from the wider company. Plan remote-focused events at least monthly, and make sure that new employees feel comfortable at them. If they aren’t, work with your remote employees to draft some events that sound fun to them. Bridging the gap between in-person and remote employees ensures a successful hybrid team.
Nearly half of all employees report feeling as though they’d messed something up on orientation day, whether it’s in meeting new co-workers or finding the right resources. The key is to be understanding, empathetic, and patient with your new employees, giving them the resources and direction they need to become remote rockstars!