Remote work is a prominent trend in today’s workplace. However, HR processes like onboarding differ depending if it’s done on-site or remotely. Since remote employees are in different locations, onboarding them requires a specialized process to set them up with the necessary equipment and technology.
These measures may also include remote engagement activities to make remote workers feel connected, included, and valued by their new team. Remote work is here to stay, which is precisely why onboarding for remote workers must improve since it plays a vital role in an employee’s experience.
6 Tips for Your HR’s Remote Employee Onboarding
If you’re looking for proactive ways and expert executive advice to onboard your employees, here are some actionable tips your HR team can consider.
While it’s not unusual for new hires to feel anxious about their first day at work, onboarding can be especially daunting for remote workers. They may be unsure who to ask when they have questions—not to mention afraid of asking the wrong questions to the wrong person.
The challenge for HR departments is that managing a remote workforce is more complicated than ever to ensure your new hires feel welcomed and supported as they transition into their roles.
Here are some remote working arrangements ideas to help your remote employees get off to a good start.
The first is scheduling a phone call with each new hire before they start working at your company. This way, they’ll have time to ask questions and get any clarification before they start.
Simultaneously, you can send an email before they start with an overview of the company’s culture, values, mission statement, and employment regulations so they’ll know what to expect. You can also include links to company websites where they can learn more about these topics if needed.
Set up synchronous and asynchronous communication
One of the most critical initiatives a manager can take to help a remote team succeed is to set up synchronous and asynchronous communication between team members.
Synchronous communication occurs in real-time, meaning both parties are physically present simultaneously. Sync communications include phone calls, video conferencing, and other video conferencing methods.
The benefit of synchronous communication is that it helps people build trust and rapport with one another. It allows you to build relationships and get to know your employees personally. The more you know about them as individuals, the better you’ll understand how they work best and their goals.
Synchronous communication allows managers to correct mistakes quickly rather than letting them worsen for days or weeks before addressing them.
Organize engagements for new hires
Engagements are a vital part of the onboarding process, and they allow you to get to know your new employees more personally and gauge their compatibility with your company culture. However, ensuring that all employees are engaged effectively can be challenging if you have remote workers.
Create opportunities for employees to interact with one another. Even if they work in different locations, they should have options to interact face-to-face, whether through video conferencing or other means of communication. These team engagements will help them feel more connected and invested in the company.
Match new remote workers with a remote buddy
The first few days in your company are crucial for new hires. During this period, they’re getting their bearings, learning how to navigate the job, and meeting their colleagues. Unfortunately, this can be challenging for remote workers who don’t have the benefit of being in the same physical space as their coworkers.
When onboarding new employees, it’s important to pair them with a remote buddy. The work buddy must be a peer who has worked in the company for some time, serving as a mentor to help ease the transition into the office-less culture.
The most significant benefit of having a remote buddy is that it provides a built-in support system for new hires who may not have anyone local to turn to in times of need. A remote buddy can also answer questions or serve as a sounding board when something at work is overwhelming or frustrating to the new hires.
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Make onboarding processes collaborative
When onboarding remote employees, it’s essential to make the process collaborative. Unlike office employees, remote workers do not have the luxury of being in the same room with their colleagues and managers, so it’s vital to incorporate strategies that make onboarding more interactive.
You can leverage technology to help new hires feel more connected and included in the company culture. Use video conferencing software or other technology to bring remote workers into meetings where they can interact with team members and managers.
You could also use collaborative tools such as Slack or Google Hangouts to keep everyone updated on what’s happening within your organization and between departments.
Host non-work-related events
When a remote employee first joins your company, it’s crucial to have a plan for bringing them into the fold. Even if you’ve hired someone who has worked remotely in the past, it’s still essential to ensure they feel like part of the team. Hosting non-work related engagements is a great way to encourage the team to bond with each other.
These non-work related events can be as simple as inviting them out with other employees for lunch or dinner after work. It could also mean taking them out of the office and conducting team-building retreats and trips. The important thing is that it’s something fun and different than what they would typically do on their own time.
Non-work events are also great for getting to know people better and building trust between team members. They allow you to talk about anything other than work and get to know each other better as humans instead of just coworkers, managers, or employees.
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Cultivating a Welcoming Environment
Onboarding can cause anxiety to new hires because they’re utterly clueless about the environment and regulations in their new company. It is crucial and part of HR’s job to ease that anxiety and introduce them to their new workplace. As you onboard incoming remote workers, consider these tips to ensure a seamless transition and an excellent inclusive workplace experience.
This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.
This guide was designed to help you navigate through those difficult tasks and help determine the right software for your organization, download our ebook now.