These Are the Best Ways to Onboard New Remote Employees

The quality of your onboarding experience matters. When handled properly, it sets new employees up for success, giving them a strong foundation that propels them toward full productivity faster and increasing their comfort level with the organization.

While many companies had robust in-person onboarding programs, those didn’t always translate well into the remote work paradigm. However, since COVID-19 means telecommuting will remain the norm for many, finding effective ways to onboard remote team members is increasingly a must.

Luckily, it is possible to craft a robust onboarding experience for remote new hires. If you want to know how, here are some tips that can help.

Create a Comprehensive, Formal Plan

Every new hire will have unique needs, some of which will be harder to address remotely. Ideally, managers should craft a formal written plan for every incoming employee, making each one unique to the worker.

Along with critical milestones, the plan should also include training activities and check-ins. It will essentially serve as a schedule that guides the new hire for the coming months, giving them clear insights into what they will be learning and when.

When developing the plan, managers shouldn’t look to rush the new hire. It may take more time for them to get the hang of certain tasks or acquire various skills since they are working remotely, so build in a buffer or extend the process, ensuring they have time to get comfortable in the role.

Embrace Preboarding to Expedite the Process

If you can have the new hire complete critical paperwork before their first day, make it happen. Not only will starting with a preboarding process keep them engaged, but it also streamlines crucial parts of bringing them onto the team.

For example, you can complete any agreements or policy reviews in advance, allowing you to send company-issued equipped before day one. It also gives them a chance to familiarize themselves with critical rules and norms before meeting their team members, giving them insights that may help them fit in faster.

Make Them Feel Welcome

With remote employees, they don’t get a chance to explore the office and shake hands with their new colleagues. That means some of the social component is missing, making it harder for them to mesh with the team.

Ideally, you want to make the new hire feel welcome quickly. The easiest way is to add some social moments. For example, have teammates send them a welcome email or coordinate a video call where everyone can say hello and chat.

You can also assign them a buddy. That colleague will serve as a touchpoint and can help them acclimate faster. Plus, it lets the new hire know they aren’t in this alone, and that can make a big difference.

Discuss Your Expectations

Outlining clear expectations ensures that the new employee stays on target. Early in the onboarding process, schedule a private discussion to cover the role’s nuances, the associated core objectives, and how their efforts contribute to grander goals or the broader mission.

Additionally, have a conversation about availability and communication. Let them know which methods are favored, the expected degree of responsiveness, and where they should turn if they have a critical question.

Ultimately, by following the tips above, you can set the new hire up for success. If you’d like to learn more about effective remote onboarding techniques, the staff at The Squires Group can help. Contact us today.


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