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Tips for Onboarding Remote Employees

June 02, 2021

With more and more employees joining the remote workforce, human resources (HR) professionals need to understand how to properly onboard remote workers, so that they can feel just as connected to and a part of the company as they would be coming into the office each day. Here are some tips for onboarding remote employees.
Tips for Onboarding Remote Employees

Creating a successful employee onboarding program for remote workers

When hiring remote employees, HR professionals can struggle with creating an onboarding process that meets the same standards as their current process with new hires who work in the office. In general, keeping remote workers engaged is not easy. It requires a bit of effort on the part of the employer. 

When it comes to hiring remote employees, getting them engaged and making sure they feel connected to the rest of the company is no easy task. Here are five tips for onboarding remote employees.

Employee Onboarding Starts With Pre-Onboarding

When onboarding remote employees, one of the best ways to ensure a proper onboarding experience is by getting started before day one. Ensure your employee has the tools and information they need for their first day, before their first day. What equipment do they need? Do they have access to the applications, networks, and communication systems on day one?

For new hires working in the office setting, on day one they have a workspace, equipment, and technology they need ready for them when they arrive.  Ensure your remote workers feel just as prepared as they start their first day.  Mail them equipment, office supplies, and company swag that typical new hires receive before their start day so they are not only set up for success on day one but truly feel like a part of the company. Adapt your onboarding process to include IT early on to ensure the employee is able to start their experience with the best foot forward.

Early communication for any new hire is important; however, for remote employees, it's vital to their success in the first week.  Keep them informed on items being delivered, new hire paperwork, and expectations for their first few days. Sending an itinerary a few days before allows them to prepare their workspace and equipment for their first day.  

 

Digitize Materials & Paperwork

Do you have a companywide handbook that all employees receive? What about a folder with materials and information about your company?  Now is the time to digitize them and simply scanning them won't do the trick.  Make sure all printed materials and paperwork that is traditionally given to new hires on their first day are in digital form which allows remote workers to access and view them easily. This is something easily accomplished with modern HCM technology.

PDF, PowerPoint, Google Slides, Video Links, and Protected Documents are ways to share handbooks, presentations, and HR paperwork with your new hires who will be working remotely. Your goal as a company or HR professional is to offer the same quality and experience to all new hires remotely or in person.

 

Make Expectations Clear For Remote Workers

Communication should not only start early but should be transparent and clear starting with the recruiting process.  Remote employees should know the expectations they are being held to and how they are being monitored, tracked, or evaluated.  

Setting expectations and goals gives the employer and employee a clear picture of success. Things to consider when setting expectations:

    • Working Hours - Does your employee work in another time zone?

    • Accessibility - Can the employer call your personal cell any time of the day?

    • Work Load - How much work will the employee be expected to accomplish within specific timelines? 1 week, 1 quarter, 6 months, etc.

    • Goal Setting - Does your company use software or methodology for setting professional goals?

 

Engage Remote Employees & Include Them In Company Culture

A large portion of a company's culture is the office culture. Water cooler small talk, office celebrations, team building exercises.  How can you include and connect your employees to the culture of your company from their home office?  

Similar to an office environment, companies should create a virtual environment that fosters collaboration, connection, and comfort.  Employees want to feel heard, appreciated and celebrated no matter where they work. HR professionals are taking a virtual approach to engaging their employees to integrate them into the culture of their companies. 

Ways you can keep remote workers engaged and connected include: 

  • Introduce new employees with virtual meet & greets

  • Establish a mentorship or buddy program for new hires

  • Have pictures of remote employees at the office

  • Provide a virtual office tour

  • Setup virtual coffee meetings leadership

Develop a Sustainable Communication Plan

Setting up a communication plan that fosters consistent and inclusive dialogue will allow remote workers, their managers, and their team to stay connected.  When developing an outline for sustainable communication companies should include remote employees in the process.

Not sure where to start?  Consider these ideas:

    • Communication Style or Preference - Phone, email, chat, video conference; what works best in certain settings. 

    • Team Check-Ins & Brainstorming Sessions - Consider designating a time each week for the team to collaborate together virtually. 

    • Avoid Disconnect or Delayed Approaches - Important company-wide announcement next week?  Ensure you are communicating with all team members remotely or in person in a similar and timely manner. Remote employees shouldn't be an afterthought with important updates; send an email, give them a call, or setup a live viewing for them to see in real-time. 

A successful onboarding process allows new hires to feel welcome, prepared, and ready to start their new position within your company. With some thoughtful consideration, strategic alignment, and flexibility HR professionals can create a positive onboarding experience for their remote workforce. 

Get Help With Remote Employee Onboarding

Onboarding remote employees can be really tough without the proper solutions and system in place. One great way to start creating a better onboarding experience for remote employees is by implementing an HCM solution, complete with modern talent acquisition software. 

To learn more about how TruPay is already helping countless businesses with remote employee onboarding, contact us today.

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