Remote onboarding has become increasingly common today due to the rise of work-from-home opportunities. However, it requires a well-thought-out approach to ensure new team members feel supported and engaged.
The lack of physical presence makes it difficult for new hires to feel integrated into the company culture and to understand their roles and responsibilities. To overcome these challenges, you can follow the guidelines below to ensure a smooth onboarding process and help new employees feel valued and connected to the company:
Image by Drazen Zigic on Freepik
1. Create a detailed onboarding plan
Onboarding new hires is essential to prepare them before their first day. This includes sharing vital documents, such as employment contracts and company policies, and providing access to critical systems and technology tools. By completing these tasks beforehand, new employees can quickly familiarize themselves with the organization’s expectations and start their journey on the right foot.
According to research, 80% of new hires who receive poor onboarding quit, especially if they’re remote workers. This is because it makes new employees feel isolated or disconnected from the rest of the team. A well-structured onboarding plan can help bridge the gap by facilitating introductions through virtual meetings or video conferences. It can also include virtual team-building activities or icebreaker sessions.
Also, incorporate a warm welcome and orientation session for the new employee’s first day. This involves introducing them to the team, giving them a workplace tour, and providing an overview of the company’s mission, vision, and values. Additionally, the new hire should be assigned a mentor or buddy who can guide them through their initial days and answer any questions they may have.
2. Communicate effectively
In remote onboarding, communication is the primary means of establishing connections, clarifying expectations, and providing support. Clear and timely communication helps new hires understand their roles, responsibilities, and goals. Despite the physical distance, it also creates a sense of belonging and inclusion within the organization.
Organizations can utilize various tools and strategies to communicate effectively during remote onboarding, as outlined below:
- Video conferencing platforms have become popular. As predicted by Gartner, only 25% of business meetings will occur in person by 2024. Video conferencing can facilitate face-to-face interactions, fostering more personal connections.
- Regular check-ins with managers and team members ensure questions and concerns are promptly addressed.
- Creating a culture of open communication ensures new team members feel comfortable asking for help and providing feedback. Encouraging active participation and listening from all parties involved promotes a collaborative and supportive onboarding experience for remote workers.
Developing and implementing robust communication strategies can enhance overall efficiency, productivity, and success.
3. Provide adequate training
Online training is widespread in most organizations, with 80% of them doing some compliance training online and 29% entirely online.
New team members must be trained online on the company’s technology, software tools, and job responsibilities. Training should be interactive and engaging, allowing new hires to ask questions and provide feedback. They should also be provided with a detailed guide to the company’s culture and values. This gives them an understanding of what’s expected of them, which will help them feel more comfortable at work and make better decisions.
Providing ongoing training and support through resources such as webinars and training videos is also essential, as remote employees may face unique challenges that require additional instructions.
4. Foster a sense of community
Remote employees may feel isolated, leading to decreased job satisfaction and productivity. Fostering a sense of community can help remote employees feel connected to the company and their colleagues. Ensure they’re included in company events like holiday parties. Also, take advantage of technology to stay in touch with them regularly.
You can also create virtual social events, such as happy hours and team-building activities, to help remote employees feel more connected to their colleagues. Encouraging regular communication and collaboration can also help remote employees feel more engaged and valued. Employees whose managers clearly communicate their roles and responsibilities are 23% more likely to stay with the company.
5. Set clear expectations
Setting clear expectations in terms of performance and behavior is essential to remote onboarding success. You should also clearly explain the company’s systems and procedures, including its attendance policy, work hours, and dress code. This will help improve employee productivity, as well as comfort and confidence in their roles. It can also help them stay on track and feel motivated.
Moreover, regular feedback and performance evaluations can also help new team members understand their strengths and areas for improvement.
Overcoming the challenges of remote onboarding requires a thoughtful approach that addresses the unique circumstances and needs of new hires who are not physically present in the office. By embracing the strategies above, organizations can foster a sense of belonging, connection, and productivity among remote employees, ultimately setting them up for success in their new roles.