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How to Onboard Remote Employees

— April 29, 2021

Within the first six months on the job, 33% of employees start looking for opportunities to jump ship, while 23% leave the company within the first year.

Employee onboarding is one of the most crucial processes in every organization. It can help you prepare new hires for the job and teach them how to maximize their potential. If you do it successfully, you will reduce your turnover rates and improve your bottom line.

According to the latest employee onboarding statistics, up to 20% of employee turnover occurs within the first 45 days of onboarding.

Within the first six months on the job, 33% of employees start looking for opportunities to jump ship, while 23% leave the company within the first year.

If they’ve had a great onboarding experience, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with the company long-term.

It is, thus, clear that onboarding plays a paramount role in retaining talent and driving business success. 

Onboarding remote employees comes with specific challenges, but you can overcome them by taking these eight steps.

1. Provide the Necessary Business Equipment

Depending on the type of your business, your remote employees will need specific business equipment. Whether it’s a computer, company vehicle, or any special facility, make sure you provide it in advance.

It’s vital to send them all the tech equipment they need for their daily activities to ensure they are productive from the very beginning.

You can also add some company swag in the welcome pack, such as T-shirts, mugs, notebooks, pens, and anything else that makes them feel like a part of the team.

2. Introduce New Hires to the Team

Introducing new hires to the team is an integral part of onboarding. It helps build relationships from day one and share positive vibes for making new employees feel at home.

It’s a bit tricky when remote employees can’t meet face to face to get to know their colleagues better, but that’s where video-conferencing tools come in. They can help your new workers put faces to names, feel more relaxed and less isolated, and assimilate better with the company culture.

Meeting new colleagues can be just as fun and exciting virtually as it is in a physical office.

3. Create and Share a Remote Onboarding Plan

It’s essential to create a remote onboarding plan that your new hires can refer to anytime. It will help them understand what to expect from the onboarding process, including all the goals and activities for each week. It will serve them as a roadmap for setting them up for success.

For instance, the first week can include:

  • meeting with the team and manager
  • filling out the HR paperwork
  • setting up the necessary accounts, such as email.

The end of the fourth week can mark successfully completed employee training.

Create a detailed checklist that will help both you and your remote workers track all the onboarding tasks and milestones.

4. Walk Them Through All the Tools They Are Going to Use

It’s a good practice to introduce your new hires to all the necessary tools before their first day on the job. However, don’t just inform them about what tools they’re going to use without showing them how to make the most of them. It’s vital to help them use the tools effectively, even if it’s something as simple as an internal messaging app.

Share useful resources, such as documentation, tutorials, and product demos, to help the new hires get the hang of every tool they’re going to use.

5. Utilize Employee Training Software 

Employee training software is one of the most critical tools for onboarding. It can help you provide training on products, services, tools, and job roles & responsibilities.

With the right online training software, you can empower your remote workers and maximize their potential. You can flatten the forgetting curve, identify and close knowledge gaps, and ensure high engagement, productivity, and performance.

One of the most reputable providers of employee training solutions is ProProfs. Its user-friendly online training software comes with many useful features for remote training. Pre-built online courses, quizzes, gamification, manuals, a knowledge base, real-time communication and collaboration tools, and AI-based reporting are only some of them.

It’s free to get started, so give it a go and see if it fits your needs.

6. Set Communication Expectations

It’s essential to stay connected with your remote employees. You should check in regularly to see how they’re doing, if they need any help, and provide and receive feedback.

You should also keep them in the loop about the latest company-wide achievements, upcoming events, their next steps, tasks, etc.

To avoid any potential inefficiencies in communication, set clear expectations upfront. For instance, email might be your company’s standard communication tool, while you may be using a specific instant-messaging app for urgent matters only.

Whatever standards for communication you use, make sure the expectations and potential boundaries are clear.

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Photo by JuniperPhoton on Unsplash

7. Ask About Communication and Feedback Preferences

Not all employees learn and work equally. Some employees prefer micromanagement, while others are more productive and effective when they have more freedom to complete their assignments.

Ask your new remote hires about their preferences regarding communication and feedback. Find out when they prefer having one-on-one meetings, how and when they would like to get feedback from you, and what would help them become more productive.

All of that is something that you can be flexible on, improving employee experience and performance significantly.

8. Schedule Virtual Team Meetings Regularly

Remote workers often feel isolated, negatively affecting their job satisfaction, engagement, and overall performance. A 2019 HubSpot Remote Work Report shows that 35% of remote employees feel lonely 2-3 days per week.

That’s why it’s crucial to schedule virtual team meetings regularly. They bring benefits to all employees, especially new hires who are still adjusting to a new work environment.

You wouldn’t want to overwhelm them with daily meetings, though. Daily meetings can be stressful and negatively affect your team’s workflow.

Weekly meetings are a better option, as they don’t take too much time. They’re an excellent way for new hires to feel included, for you to reflect on their and other team members’ progress, and to make a plan for the next week.

Redefine Remote Employee Onboarding!

Onboarding remote employees can be challenging, especially when doing it for the first time. But with these steps and the right tools at your disposal, you’ll make sure your new remote hires are ready to take on any challenge.

Equip them with the necessary skills, boost their engagement and performance, and help them work in unison with the rest of the team. Most importantly, help them feel confident in their skills and abilities and create a pleasant work environment where they can grow and thrive.

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