March 08, 2021

10 Tips For Onboarding Remote Employees

If your team works from home, you may wonder how you’ll onboard new employees. Fortunately, the onboarding process can be exciting and effective, even if you’re unable to do it in-person. As long as you’re creative and patient, you can ensure your remote onboarding program is a success. In this post, we'll provide 10 tips for onboarding remote workers.

How to Master Employee Onboarding Remotely:

1. Send Welcome Gifts

As soon as an employee accepts an offer, send them a welcome gift in the mail. This gift may be a t-shirt, mouse pad, or any other item with your company logo. In addition, you could consider giving them a gift card to a coffee shop or restaurant. A welcome gift can help employees feel like they're already part of the team. Receiving a thoughtful gift will also excite them about the upcoming onboarding process.

2. Invest in the Right Technology

If you don’t already use a video conferencing platform like Zoom or GoToMeeting, you should consider investing in this technology. By hosting employee training programs through video calls, you can ensure personal connection while still working remotely. In addition, you should also invest in a group messaging tool like Slack and Webphone applications such as Broadsoft. Make sure you introduce these technologies to your new team members and thoroughly explain how to use them. Don’t forget to clarify which types of communication require immediate responses.

3. Set Up Employees For Success

Provide your new employees with everything they need to go through onboarding and perform their jobs from home. They may need a laptop, multiple monitors, and certain software programs. You should also give them access to their company email and other accounts they’ll be using. Send out clear step-by-step instructions to help them set up their equipment and navigate their accounts with ease.

4. Share Essential Documents and Information 

To ensure your employees understand your company mission, vision, and expectations, you’ll want to provide them with a variety of documents. These may include your employee handbook, words of wisdom from current employees, a company policy overview, and culture deck. If you can, it’s a good idea to create videos that relate to each document. Doing so will make it easier to keep employees engaged and connected to your company culture. Onboarding-Employees-Remotely

5. Be Welcoming

Send out a group email or message to welcome new employees. Highlight who they are, where they came from, and what their role will be. This can help employees feel included and encourage others to reach out to them. In the message, make it clear that you’re thrilled to have them join your team and encourage others to welcome them as well!

6. Avoid Information Overload

Training remote employees can be overwhelming, especially if you provide them with too much information. Prioritize information that you know they’ll need to thrive in their position and avoid sharing more than they need. If an employee will never work with the marketing department, for example, there’s no need to dive deep into what strategies marketing is currently working on. Unfortunately, information overload can easily lead to stress and confusion.

7. Schedule Ongoing Check-Ins

When you’re onboarding employees, it’s helpful to check in with them on a regular basis. This way they’ll feel connected to the process and can ask questions or address concerns they may have. However, make sure you avoid micromanaging. You can always reduce the check-in frequency if certain workers seem to be doing well.

8. Pair New Employees with Mentors

When a new employee has a mentor they can turn to, they’re more likely to feel confident and excited about their position and your company. Pair each new employee with a mentor that has something in common with them. Encourage mentors to communicate with new employees daily. By doing so, they can truly get to know them and serve as a valuable resource throughout the onboarding process and beyond.

9. Don’t Forgo Traditions

Chances are your company culture involves certain traditions that employees enjoy. Be creative and figure out how you can implement them in a remote environment. If you provide lunch in the office every Friday, for example, consider sending your employees gift cards to local restaurants so they can enjoy these complimentary lunches. If you host happy hours once a quarter, organize virtual happy hours via Zoom.

10. Ask for Feedback

Feedback from your employees is essential, regardless of if you’re onboarding remotely or in-person. As soon as they complete the process, send them a survey with questions about the experience. Ask them to share what they liked, what they didn’t like, and how they believe you can improve your onboarding process. Be sure to act on the feedback you receive to improve future onboarding sessions for employees that are working from home.

A Positive Remote Onboarding Experience is Possible 

There’s no denying that onboarding remote employees can be tricky. However, with proper planning and resources it can be done successfully. A solid onboarding process may be just what you need to keep remote employees satisfied during the COVID-19 era. It can also help you reduce turnover and keep your employee retention rate high.