You only get one chance to make a first impression – and it can make or break a working relationship. A good onboarding process is crucial for integrating new employees into the team.
In fact, statistics from 2017 have shown that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they have a great onboarding experience.
Yet, this can be difficult when it comes to starting out with remote employees.
Here are 9 tips that can ensure a smooth onboarding process.
1. Meet Them Face to Face
Make sure to meet your new remote workers and introduce them to the rest of the team by using a video call.
This will help them become more comfortable, get familiar with the company values, and establish relationships with other employees.
The first meeting sets the tone for the entire experience, so welcome your new worker with a friendly face.
2. Discuss Expectations
You should always clearly communicate your expectations to new employees. They should have a clear picture of their tasks, upcoming projects, and general company objectives.
Keep in mind that you also have to pay attention to their demands and expectations. It might feel natural to focus on the benefits your company will get, but you also need to ensure that the employees are comfortable and happy to work for you.
3. Make Them Feel Welcome
New employees need to feel comfortable and welcome to express their own ideas – this can be challenging for remote workers. If they establish a connection with the rest of the team, the new workers will be more motivated to share their opinions.
Make sure your new employees get familiar with other team members and encourage your old employees to reach out and build relationships.
4. Assign a Virtual Buddy
You can motivate your new workers to build relationships through a buddy system. More and more companies are introducing systems in which the new employee is given a ‘buddy’ or a mentor who can help them during the onboarding process.
For remote workers, making friends at the workplace is not easy. A buddy can be very useful for answering questions and integrating the new employee into the team.
5. Give Them Clear and Detailed Instructions
For a new employee, there is nothing worse than being unsure about their role in the company.
Remote workers who are still getting to know their co-workers might feel hesitant to ask for help. If they are not given proper and clear instructions, they may feel like they shouldn’t have taken the job in the first place.
This is why establishing clear communication with your new employees is crucial for ensuring a smooth onboarding process.
Provide them with detailed instructions about their tasks and be prepared to answer their questions.
6. Use the Right Tools
Remote work relies on technology, so it is very important to choose the right tools for collaborating. Using only e-mails is not sufficient for effective communication – and there are plenty of better options available.
Slack can be used to easily communicate with your entire team, and Asana or Trello can be useful for organizing and managing tasks. The right tool depends on the size and the type of your company, so make sure to choose the one that suits your team.
7. Don’t Overwhelm Them
If you overload your new employee with too much information on their very first day, they will probably struggle to understand everything at once.
This can be demotivating and stressful, so slowly ease the employee into the team and give them some time to adjust to their new position.
8. Give them Feedback
Don’t be afraid to provide your new employees with feedback. Remote workers usually need more instructions than those who work in an office where they can always get a few tips from their nearby co-workers.
Your new workers will appreciate all the additional instructions that you give them, and you will be able to really see their potential and get better results.
9. Make Changes to Your Onboarding Process
Although every onboarding process has similar aspects, each company has its unique approach to onboarding.
If you already have remote workers in your team, they can give you valuable tips about your onboarding process. Ask them for suggestions and recommendations – their answers can help you understand what you have done well in the past and what you can improve in the future.
Giving feedback is important, but don’t forget to ask for feedback as well.
We hope you found these tips useful and that they will help you ensure a smooth onboarding process for your remote workers.
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