How To Onboard Remote Employees Efficiently


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How To Onboard Remote Employees Efficiently

Remote employees are growing more and more common with each passing year. But onboarding remote employees is still a fairly recent process. Before the pandemic in 2020, many businesses still went through onboarding with remote employees in person. Those employees may have begun as in-person employees before transitioning to remote, or they may have come into the office for onboarding before beginning to work from home. Today, it’s almost all done online.

Knowing the most efficient ways to onboard remote employees will be helpful both for you and the employee. Here are some of our tips for onboarding remote employees efficiently and easily.

Appoint an Onboarding Liaison

An onboarding liaison is there to answer any questions the new employee might have during onboarding and to guide them through the process. Some companies make the mistake of simply having the employee’s new manager onboard them. While this might seem to make sense on the surface, it could result in the employee not feeling comfortable to ask questions about the company or onboarding process to a superior. If the onboarding liaison is not their manager, they may feel more comfortable. And if they have experience helping with onboarding in the past, it may help the process move more smoothly.

Create An Onboarding Plan

Before you begin onboarding a new employee, take time to create an onboarding plan that you can refer back to when new employees join the company. This should outline the process of going through paperwork, training, and anything else to help integrate the new employee into the team. Give your onboarding plan a time frame. A week? A month? Longer? Only a few days? Whatever the case may be, work in some time to check in on the new employee throughout the process as well.

Ship Any Equipment To Them Beforehand

Few things are more frustrating than getting ready for a first day only to realize that your new employee isn’t fully equipped so they’re not able to do the job you hired them for. There may be some cases in which employees are meant to provide their own equipment, but in many remote jobs, the best practice is for the employer to provide the equipment they need if it’s something beyond a computer. If you’re in charge of providing the equipment, make sure you do so within enough time before the first day.

Make Them Feel Welcome

Onboarding isn’t just about training and equipping the new employee so they can get to work. It’s also about immersing them in your company’s culture. This can be difficult to do remotely. Consider adding them into the employee group chats so they can get to know everyone or having a video chat where you can play games as a team including the new employee. You can also send a welcome package to them from the team as a way to show your appreciation for joining your company.

Set a Realistic Schedule

Just because your remote employee doesn’t have to commute to the office doesn’t mean that they should be overworked morning and night. Even with office work, it’s easy to fall into burnout and frustration if there’s too much work. Set a realistic schedule: if you don’t have a set time to clock in or out because of timezones, give them a realistic idea of the amount of hours that are expected for the job. Make sure your new employees are taking time to rest as well so they can return to work refreshed and productive.

Prioritize Bringing Them Into the Online Workspace

One of the most important things to prioritize on the first day of onboarding if not before is to bring your employee into the online workspace. Without being a part of the Slack channels or the Trello board or whatever your team might use, they’re going to be out of the loop and may not be able to do their job — at least not effectively. The sooner you integrate them into your team online, the sooner they’ll be able to start work. It will also help them to immerse themselves in the company culture and get to know their team.

Encourage Excitement Amongst Your Team

Before onboarding the new employee, you should also talk to your existing team. Get them excited about their new teammate! This is someone who can help take some of the burden of the work off their shoulders and help projects go more smoothly. Let them know how you expect them to be welcoming and encouraging. You might even assign roles to your team to help the new employee feel more comfortable in their new job.

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