7 Keys to Revamp Your Onboarding Process for Remote Workers

Nowadays, many (if not most) organizations have at least some remote workers on their payroll. In 2020, even before the arrival of COVID-19, there were some 7 million remote employees in the United States alone (3.4% of the population). Of course, that number has skyrocketed since then.

One of the biggest challenges employers face when it comes to remote workers is the implementation of an effective onboarding process for new hires. If you’re facing that issue, here are 7 important tips to help you revamp your onboarding strategy.

1. Personalize Your Welcome

Maybe you can’t greet a new hire in-person. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t welcome him or her face-to-face over Zoom or another videoconferencing platform. It’s important for each new hire to connect a voice to a face in order to build a good working relationship. Managers should take the time to welcome each new employee personally, and address any questions or concerns they may have at the outset.

2. Provide Introductions to Their Team

If your organization still has in-office employees, provide your remote workers with a “virtual tour” of the workplace. Let them meet fellow team members. By familiarizing remote hires with their team at the very start, you’ll make it easier for them to feel a “part of the family,” so to speak. In turn, they will feel more comfortable about communicating with their managers and peers in the future.

3. Give New Hires a Task List

Any new hire can easily feel overwhelmed during the onboarding process. This is especially true of remote workers. For that reason, it’s a good idea to provide your new hire with a detailed task list, perhaps via a shared document. This task list will help him or her to stay focused; and when each task has an associated deadline, it will also help the employee to prioritize the duties of the position.

4. Gradually Introduce New Responsibilities

This suggestion is especially vital for new remote hires that must learn how to handle several responsibilities as part of their role. Instead of “dumping” all these responsibilities onto the remote employee at the beginning, it is more productive to start with a few main activities, and then gradually introduce additional tasks throughout the onboarding process. Make sure that each job-related activity has been mastered by the employee before introducing a new concept.

5. Incorporate “Virtual Shadowing”

In a traditional office setting, new hires are often able to “shadow” experienced employees and learn from them in real-time. In some respects, you can implement a shadowing strategy over videoconferencing. For example, you may want to have a new hire “listen in” on project meetings and client sessions, or even have one of your experienced team members screen share with the new hire as they perform certain duties.

6. Provide Continuous Support for Upskilling

Obviously, learning and development will not stop once the onboarding process ends. For that reason, make sure that your new hire knows what to expect in terms of periodic “upskilling,” and provide him or her with the tools needed to access L&D modules. Also, implement a consistent “coaching cadence” to track your remote employee’s progress and provide feedback as needed.

7. Promote Company Culture

Even though your employee will be working remotely, he or she should still adhere to your company’s culture and core values. During the onboarding process, be sure to instill these elements of your organization into your new hire’s mentality. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to pair your new hire with an on-site “mentor” that can maintain an open dialogue with him/her throughout the stages of onboarding (and even beyond, if necessary). Employees that are highly engaged with company culture will usually work harder and have a greater sense of purpose around their efforts.

Of course, the remote onboarding process also comes with its share of technical challenges. If you need any assistance in these areas, reach out to our team of experts at DevReady today!

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