Four Steps to Onboarding Remote Workers

Four Steps to Onboarding Remote Workers


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How do you welcome a new employee you’ve never met face to face? It’s a question that companies everywhere are grappling with as the COVID-19 crisis forces them to work remotely. Figuring out how to find and hire new recruits in this environment is tough enough. How do you tackle remote onboarding once they’re ready to join the team?

To avoid the common pitfalls of remote onboarding, consider incorporating these steps into your process.

Prepare, prepare, prepare

You don’t want your employee’s first day to be filled with confusion and chaos, so take the time to make sure everything is in place before they log on.

If your company provides employees with the tech they need to perform their job, make sure it’s in their hands before their start date. The same goes for any documents they may need to sign or review. Most forms can now be signed virtually, so choose a service and advise new hires to create an account ahead of time.

Set clear expectations

We all know the feeling: It’s the first day of a new job, and you’re sitting at your desk trying to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing. Now imagine that same scenario, except the desk is your kitchen table and your nearest coworker is 100 miles away.

When onboarding employees remotely, it’s essential to set clear goals and expectations for the short and long term. Provide the new employee with a task calendar containing the objectives, and schedule regular one-on-one follow-ups to discuss progress and adjust expectations.

Meet small, then meet big

Even at a small company, meeting all of your new coworkers at once can be intimidating. On your new employee’s first day, start them off with small virtual meetings or phone calls with their team, supervisors, and direct reports. Save the full-staff introduction for later in the day. This way, they will have familiar faces to refer to when scanning the crowd.

Share your culture

Your culture makes your company unique. But without an office, how will new hires get a sense of that culture? To truly integrate new employees, it’s important to include aspects of your corporate culture into the remote onboarding process. This can be accomplished in several ways:

  • Make a slideshow of pictures and videos showing your physical workspace and past social gatherings among coworkers.
  • Host a virtual happy hour to welcome your new employees. Include games or activities to foster useful interactions.
  • Create virtual versions of any office rituals, such as weekly group lunches or trivia nights.
  • Randomly team up new hires with one or two other staff members for semi-private “Get to Know You” video chats.

Sooner or later, the day will come when companies can once again welcome their full staff back into the office. But even then, professionals expect remote working to remain more common than before. With that in mind, approach your remote onboarding protocol not just as an emergency measure but as an investment in your company’s future.

Need help onboarding remote employees? Contact Yeo and Yeo Technology. Our Sage HRMS solution is a single source for flawless payroll processing, employee administration, registration, analysis, employee life-cycle management, and all other crucial employee-related information.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at Sage

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