Remote Employee Onboarding 101

A guide to onboarding new employees remotely

Remote work’s been popular for a while. But when COVID-19 hit us, even in Yorkshire, remote work literally became the law. With that, thousands of managers and HR professionals suddenly had a new problem to deal with. How do you get someone settled in when you’re not in the office to hear their woes? Tricky, yes. But by following the below steps, this uncharted territory can be far less treacherous.

Get the tech sorted

Before any new employee starts, ensure their logins are functioning and their tools are in perfect working order. Back and forth with your IT team will be the opposite of a smooth start. If necessary, you may need to organize IT training. Namely security training as working from home + BYOD (bring your own device) is tempting to cybercriminals.

Start small

And start with something collaborative. A new hire’s confidence will have a solid foundation if they get their feet wet with an easy, manageable project. This confidence will be compounded if said project helps familiarize them with the rest of the team.

Ask for feedback

No new hire is likely to risk coming across as precocious by offering a manager or a team pointers. Still, if you’re new to this, that may be just what you need. You may find that inviting new remote employees to offer their verdict on how they’re being onboarded makes people’s lives easier.

Outline specific goals and expectations

Remote work usually means less hand-holding. Outlining tasks and goals as specifically as possible facilities and optimizes this. If workers have fewer questions, they’re not reliant on their manager being online to clear things up and solve their problems. This is complemented quite nicely by…

Regular check-ins

Ideally over video call –WiFi permitting. This helps build rapport, community, and allows any worries or confusion to be cleared up face to face. Even if there are no work issues, it’s a great opportunity to have a water cooler moment and get to know co-workers a bit better. Another community building hack can be asking the entire team to check in with new hires over the first two weeks.

Pair them with a mentor

Ideally someone senior to them but not a direct manager. Fulfilling a similar requirement to regular check-ins, a mentor acts as a point of contact for any concerns a new worker may have. Assigning one employee responsible for a new hire builds a welcoming culture.

Onboarding in summary

A common thread through a lot of these pointers is around the creation of culture. Ensuring new employees have mentors, regular check-ins and the right technology all contribute to a culture that is often lost outside the office. This is where creativity can be useful. Virtual happy hours. Quizzes. Sending welcome packages or personalised gifts are all great ways to make people feel welcome. If your business does nothing else when remote onboarding, try and recreate as much of the social aspects that your business enjoys in real life. Installing a “virtual coffee break room” isn’t as mad as it sounds.

Get in contact with our team to learn more about the technology you can use to onboard new employees.