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How to onboard new staff remotely

10 days ago by Ben Dugan
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With many companies choosing to hire remotely in this current climate, we thought it would be a good time to look at how businesses can onboard new employees remotely. There is no doubt that fully remote working adds additional challenges to the onboarding process, so we’ve put together five recommendations on how you can make the process as smooth and effective as possible.  

Pre-boarding 

There is nothing worse than digital silence for a new remote hire so make sure you set clear expectations even before their first day. Enboarder reported that 53% of best-in-class businesses are more likely to begin their onboarding before a new employee's official start date.  

As a business you want your new hire to be effective as quickly as possible. This means sharing key documents, company values, culture, working hours, their exact role description or project expectations. If your business has regularly scheduled meetings, send a calendar over as this can help them feel immediately part of the team and prepared for day one. 

Setting them up 

Thanks to tools such as DocuSign or HelloSign, delivering contracts and employment documents is easy and secure. It’s important that this process goes quickly and smoothly to make the right impression on your new hire.  

Ensure that their IT peripherals show up early, as a late delivery means a delayed start for any new remote employee. Coordinate with your IT team to ensure they know exactly what your new staff member needs to be effective and make sure calls have booked in to support equipment set up where needed. 

Put together a care package of company-branded items, pens, post-its, tote bags etc. All things that show them that even though they may not be working at an office location they are very much part of your team.  

Introductions

It’s always best to go big before you go small with introduction meetings so arrange for a team video conference on a platform like Zoom, Jitsi or Microsoft Teams before you move on to one-on-one meetings. A new hire is a big event for any team so it’s important to make sure everyone is involved. This will give them a feeling of how people interact and put some faces to names they might have come across already. 

Encourage managers to organise regular one-to-one meetings with your new employee to set specific goals and expectations. A survey but Enboarder confirmed that 72% of employees felt that the most important aspect of the onboarding process was one-to-one time with their direct manager.  

Assigning a mentor

Research has shown that providing the new hire with a mentor who they can contact for advice or ask for support through their first few months at the company is invaluable. An onboarding mentor can improve productively, employee satisfaction and provide context where needed. There are a plethora of digital collaboration tools out there to aid mentor system implementation such as Slack, Basecamp, Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams.  

Staying connected

Out of sight should not mean out of mind so making an effort to keep your remote employees feeling connected and part of the team is vital. Organise regular check-ins to offer them a chance for them to express any concerns or for them to ask for further support. 

Forge a community within your teams to help all the members work together as one. This goes beyond work-related discussions and it can be very helpful for teams to organise virtual coffee breaks or provide them with an arena for day-to-day office chatter.  

There are many digital tools and techniques available for a business to craft a remote onboarding process that works with their brand and company culture. If you’d like to discuss remote onboarding further please don’t hesitate to contact us.