April 20, 2022
With changing times, many businesses are making the smart choice to go remote, which can affect every part of your business, especially onboarding. Remote workers require a slightly different onboarding process to feel part of the team, especially when they cannot see meet their team face-to-face. Below we look at some handy tips that can help your remote business onboard new employees.
You will need a remote working employment contract for a remote business, which may look a little different from a non-remote working business. Here, you need to set out clear expectations as a remote worker, such as timekeeping and working hours. If you can be, remote workers appreciate businesses that can be lenient with working hours, so make sure this is written clearly within the contract.
Send employees their contract before they start, so they can check through everything and make sure they are happy before their first day. Preparing a thorough employee contract will ensure that your new employees understand everything they need to do as part of their job role, understand their pay schedule and holiday hours, and know about any other collective agreements. As a remote business, also consider things such as employee safety and business security while working from home.
An online onboarding academy is a terrific way to give all your new employees the same information they can go through at their own pace. This can include any eLearning that is required for their job role, as well as information about the business and its culture. You can make this as interactive as you want, with useful guides, quizzes, and videos.
This also saves managers time when onboarding new starters, instead of having to go through the same slideshow again and again. Whilst there should be a time to meet up at the end of the onboarding for questions, an online onboarding academy is a streamlined approach for remote businesses.
First impressions matter, and onboarding needs to be extra special when you can only see your new employee through a camera. Setting a standard on their first day will show your employee that you care and that your remote business still has a great working culture and environment. In the morning, the first thing you should do is have a video call with your new employee and introduce yourself and their team.
Do something different, like offering to order lunch to their home or sending a gift package for their first day with some branded merch. This will make them feel comfortable and appreciated, which is all any employee really wants from their job role.
Working remotely and coming into a new business poses a new set of challenges, as you often do not see who is at the other end of the screen. Assigning your new remote workers with a buddy means that employees will get a chance to know each other and feel part of the team straight away.
This is a fantastic way for employees to see how the role works and to ask any questions. For your current employees, this can also develop leadership skills that could progress them into management roles further on in their careers, making this a win-win all around.
As a remote business, you cannot expect that employees will have access to certain programs or software that can make their job easier. For anything that is used regularly, you should provide a subscription for them or create a business login so every employee can access what they need.
You may want to provide a work laptop so that home and work life can be separate, as there are plenty of opportunities for security breaches when remote workers use their own computers. Before starting, create an onboarding checklist with anything they require for their job role and what you will provide.
As you probably already know, feedback is how we improve our business and make it better for everyone. Nobody is perfect, and your onboarding may need some work still. Following this guide is one way to improve your process, but you should also gather feedback from your new starters.
Ask what worked well and what they would have liked to see during the onboarding process, so you can keep making it better. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can see something that you have missed.
As a remote business, your work culture can be the difference between remote workers feeling welcomed or left to their own devices. An onboarding process can make your new employees feel supported and part of the team from the get-go. Make sure to give a warm welcome, assign a buddy, and gather feedback to improve your remote onboarding process.
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