Onboarding is a crucial part of every employee’s experience. It is especially important for remote employees, since they don’t have the physical ties and opportunities that others in the office have. Remote workers have different needs than office employees. Their employee experience is completely different. Therefore, the onboarding process must cater to their needs as remote employees.
Onboarding is not just about job training, it’s about welcoming and integrating new employees into the company and its culture. Remote workers are confined to their home office, they must be provided with the proper tools to make them successful. They don’t have as many opportunities to integrate with the company processes and culture. This is why onboarding is so important for remote employees.
Remote work has been on the incline, which was then sped up by Covid-19 causing more employers to look into remote work. Onboarding plays a pivotal role in employee retention. 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding. This is why we will lay out the 8 best tips for remote employee onboarding.
1. Warm Welcome
First impressions mean a lot, especially when it comes to new hires. Nearly 33% of new employees look for a new job within their first six months on the job. Show the new staff how excited you are about them joining your company. A warm welcome helps to reinforce a new employee’s decision to join your company.
One of the best ways to welcome new hires is to send them some of your apparel. Send your new employees a Swag Box full of your company’s merchandise. This is a great way to make new hires feel welcome and more connected to the organization.
2. Strive for a strong personal connection
A warm welcome is a good starting point, but establishing strong personal connections plays a large role in successful onboarding. Encourage your current team to reach out via Zoom or Linkedin, this helps build the relationship before even starting at the organization.
A mentorship program is a great way to acclimate new employees to your organization. This allows new hires to feel comfortable in their new organization. A mentor can help new hires transition into the company by being a guide for their onboarding process. This helps new hires establish a foundation for strong relationships across the organization.
3. Make an onboarding plan
Starting at a new company is a difficult transition for new hires, this is why proper onboarding is so important. Before onboarding new hires and welcoming them to the organization, an onboarding plan is key. New employees who went through a structured onboarding program were 58% more likely to be with the organization after three years.
Create a plan, set up a schedule for meetings, and agenda for the onboarding process. This reduces the stress and anxiety new hires may have and ensures they are getting introduced to all the people, processes, and projects that will be a part of their work.
4. Get Feedback
How do we know if the onboarding process is working ? It’s great to have an employee onboarding plan, but we must determine if that process works. Employee feedback is essential for designing and executing great HR programs. Ask new remote employees to pay close attention to the process and tell you what worked and what didn’t.
Include a question whether the employee works in the office or remotely. This allows you to gain a better perspective on the feedback you received. These new hire surveys allow human resource managers to constantly improve the process of onboarding.
5. Make sure new employees have all the resources they need
This may seem very simple, but is a crucial part of making new employees feel at home. Implement a budget for each remote worker to set up their home office. It may be helpful to provide a list of all the equipment needed to simplify this experience for your new hires. If you send equipment to remote workers, confirm they have everything before their start date. Make sure the new staff is assimilating with the organization’s culture. Send them a Swag Box to make them feel more part of your team.
6. First Day
The two main goals on the first day should be setting expectations and introducing objectives. New employees must have a clear understanding of what their job entails. One of the biggest goals for the first day is aligning expectations of employees and managers.
Employees who know what to expect from their company’s culture and work environment make better decisions that are aligned with the organization’s culture. The goal of the first day is to welcome the new staff, but also to set expectations and objectives for them to follow.
7. Use a checklist
Give the new staff a getting started checklist to work through. Lighten your own load and allow new hires to drive a part of their onboarding process. What equipment and tools do they need? What communication channels do they need to join? Who do the new employees need to meet with? Giving a structured list to new hires frees up your time and also speeds up the onboarding process.
8. Explain the company culture
New employees must learn about the company’s culture from the start. Create the space for your new colleagues to ask about the way things are done as well. Many organizations rely on organic ways of communicating shared history and norms. Inform all new hires about your culture by giving them a summary of your organization’s “about us” section.
Rules around norms are sometimes taken for granted. The company’s tone and level of formality, dress code, virtual etiquette on videoconferences, messaging norms, and working hours all play a part in the onboarding process. Don’t leave new employees to guess at these issues; doing so can create stress for new hires.
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