Tips to Onboard, Manage and Engage Remote Workers

When a company hires a new employee, there is always a chance they may not take up the position. In fact, a report published by Jobvite shows that 30% of employees end up leaving their positions within 3 months of coming aboard, and this could also happen to remote staff. This turnover is not only expensive — but can also affect a company’s prestige. Below are helpful tips to onboard and managing remote workers.

 

1.Connect Your Remote Workers with the Broader Workplace

One of the biggest steps in a successful onboarding process is to ensure they are connected to the workplace as much as possible. Since human connections in the business world are important, you should ensure that the onboarding process is conducted in person if possible.

Unlike in the contemporary workplace environment where you can walk up to someone and shake their hands, it’s impossible to replicate the same in the virtual world, hence offering a human touch will go a long way in establishing connectivity and boosting morale.

 

2.Introduce Them to Your Company Culture

Through the daily interactions at the office, on-site workers are able to familiarize themselves with the company’s culture. However, for remote workers this can prove to be more difficult.

As a company looking to nearshore outsource, it is important to become proactive and introduce the new remote hires to the company’s culture and values in a controlled manner during the onboarding process.

Some of the things to include in the introduction include:

  • A succinctly laid-down description of your company, its mission statement, early history, major milestones, and short- and long-term goals. 

  • A breakdown of your company’s values and code of conduct.

3.Redefine Communication Norms

Office workers have the privilege of interacting with each other and getting advice on professional and personal issues. In fact, research has shown that informal discussions among employees help understand job expectations and keep the feeling of social isolation at bay.

If you are looking to hire remote workers, it is important to come up with communication norms that fit every worker’s context. Also, you need to encourage team members to over-communicate, even if it feels awkward.

 

4.Define Expectations

If you have ever worked in an office environment, you may be privy to the fact that you get to learn a lot from context. Unfortunately, this is not the case for remote workers, which means they have a blurred idea about their manager's expectations.

As a manager, you need to be explicit in communicating with the remote teams about the expected deliverables. The work parameters, performance metrics, and deadlines must be crystal clear, and so should your personal feelings as the manager be.

 

5.Focus On Goals, Not Activity

Another key element of effective remote management is staying focused on the end goals without having to worry about the nitty-gritty of how it’s being done. After all, it’s the end results that matter and not the process. However, you can choose to intervene in situations where they aren’t meeting their target goals.

 

6.Have Reliable Tools

If your remote employees can't execute simple tasks such as download files or even communicate through conference calls without glitches, you will have failed in addressing the basics of remote working. As such, you need to start by investing in reliable communications and collaboration tools to make the process successful. 

Along with that, you need to use these tools to develop and establish clear processes for your remote teams to follow.

 

7.Encourage and Support Your Remote Workers Emotionally

Sometimes, remote work entails long and abrupt shifts. As a manager, it is important to listen to your workers and acknowledge their stress and anxieties. If your new recruit is facing challenges but struggling to communicate, take the time to ask them how they’re fairing.

Even a simple question like “How is remote arrangement working out?” can give you important information. Once you have posed the question, carefully listen to their response, and restate it back to ensure that you have understood what they are saying correctly. This way, you will be able to offer the appropriate solution.

 

8.Recognize Their Career Paths

When working with a remote team, it’s easy to get trapped in the mentality that your remote team members are mercenaries that simply help you get things done. Instead of treating them as contractors, ensure that they are treated like your regular employees.

After all, they have goals and aspirations just like your in-house team, and ensuring they make strides in their personal and professional life will help avoid frustration or confusion.

During the one on one meetings, you have the golden opportunity to discover about their aspirations and their career development plan.

 

9.Occasionally Get Together Physically

Breaking bread together with your remote workers helps build a stronger team. However, it may appear awkward setting up a video conference meetup inside a restaurant. As such, arranging on how everyone can meet in person occasionally can help strengthen the bond and nurture friendships.

 

About the author:

Anastasia is a passionate writer and Information Technology enthusiast. She works as a Content Manager at Mobilunity, a provider of dedicated development teams around the globe. She is fond of keeping abreast of the latest news in all areas of technology, Agile project management, and software product growth hacking, at the same time sharing her experience online to help tech startups and companies be up-to-date.