Remote work is the new norm these days. More employees are demanding the ability to work from anywhere, at any time, and employers must adjust their operations to suit these conditions. While security and business operations will be impacted, one of the most overlooked functions that face disruption is the employee onboarding process.
Onboarding is an essential task since it is one of the first interactions new employees working remotely have with the inner workings of your company. The process of onboarding global workers has always been a challenge, but remote work has added a new dimension to it.
Here are 4 tips that will help you create a smooth onboarding process and leave your new employees feeling they’re a part of the team.
Enable Online Access Quickly
Remote workers need online access to execute their tasks. This seems like a logical statement but in a traditional employee onboarding process, getting employees online takes much longer than it should. Perhaps this is a holdover from the physical workplace where ‘offline’, employees can still contribute by interacting with coworkers and other office colleagues and are unlikely to be left out in the cold.
However, remote work doesn't offer such possibilities. Therefore, consider enabling online access a priority when onboarding remote employees. It's good practice to enable credentials in your HR system and have employee access sorted before they officially begin working for you.
These days companies use a variety of apps to communicate and collaborate. Make sure employee access to these apps is enabled as well or else there's no way the new hire can contribute to their working environment. Given the wide range of apps in use, it's best to devote time to training new employees and walking them through procedures.
Video calls and virtual onboarding processes work best and supplementing these training sessions with helpful notes will put your new employees in a position to succeed right from the beginning.
Prioritize Company Culture
Company culture is important since it ensures everyone is always on the same page. It defines how communication occurs, and disputes are handled. New hires are often left to fend for themselves as they get up to speed at the workplace. This leads to inefficiency at best and early resignations at worst.
The best way to avoid these issues is to convey the importance of company culture and highlight its points. For instance, creating a digital employee handbook that contains team member stories and workplace-related discussions is a great way to engage new hires immediately.
Remote workers will also benefit from participating in company culture-related discussion channels. For instance, HR can create a virtual watercooler or themed IM channel where employees can banter and build relationships. These methods strengthen existing company culture with current employees and introduce new employees to the workplace.
Typically, new hires are bombarded with material the day they onboard and this creates a lot of confusion. Companies want to hire people who can hit the ground running, but the reams of material they expect these people to absorb in the first few days ensure that never happens. Typically, new employees feel overwhelmed because of this.
The best way to avoid such a situation is to begin early. Most employees provide start dates, and HR should begin onboarding these employees well in advance of those dates. For instance, companies can send onboarding material to new hires a few weeks before they officially begin.
They can be given read-only access to non-sensitive, company culture-related IM channels and apps. This helps new hires get a sense of their virtual workplace, and by the time they've officially joined, they're up to speed with work processes.
Best of all, they won't have to spend valuable work hours watching onboarding videos and learning the dos and don’ts of their new workplace.
Remote employees can be left feeling isolated in new companies since they won't have built relationships in the beginning. The best way to combat this loneliness is to arrange check-ins at predetermined times. Communication is all-important and having their hiring managers check in to make sure everything is fine will help them feel like they belong.
The best way to approach the question of checking in is to create a weekly, monthly, and quarterly check-in plan. Most companies check-in during the first week and neglect to provide support after that. If an employee has tech issues or access-related questions and support is missing, it can be tough for them to complete their tasks.
Set goals for the employee to achieve and combine this with a check-in plan. This is the best way of ensuring the employee knows they're supported and welcomed into their new workplace. It also assists in team-building tasks down the road.
Tough, but Necessary
Remote work has thrown many challenges at companies recently. Creating a remote employee onboarding checklist might be tough, but it's necessary to make your new employee’s first day a breeze. These tips will help you create a welcoming environment and help you grow your business around the world.
Author Bio: This article is written by our marketing team at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee engagement, and intranet software. Our aim is to help your company improve employee engagement, employee productivity, and to save you valuable time!