Best practices for onboarding remote team

Onboarding is the process of teaching new employees about the company’s culture, values, and ways of doing things, as well as giving them the tools and resources they need to do their jobs well. This is especially important for remote and remote-first employees. This process can be particularly challenging in a remote or remote-first setting, as the employee may not have the opportunity to meet their co-workers in person or get a physical tour of the workplace.

Getting remote and remote-first employees up to speed can be difficult for companies, but it’s important for them to fit in well with the company culture. The process of onboarding and offboarding remote employees can be a bit different from that of onboarding traditional on-site employees. Here are some best practices for onboarding remote and remote-first employees to help ensure a smooth transition and a positive experience

Onboarding process

  • Pre-boarding: Pre-boarding is the process of preparing for the new onboarders’ arrival before their first day. This can include sending them company information, setting up their email, and sending them an employee handbook. By doing this, you are setting the tone for a smooth onboarding process and letting the new onboarders know that they are valued and important.

For example, you could send the onboarders a welcome email with information about the company and links to videos, blogs, and social media accounts. You can also set up a virtual tour of the company for the new onboarders to get a feel for the company culture and values.

  • Introduction to the team: Remote employees may not have the chance to meet their coworkers in person, so it’s important to set up virtual introductions to the team and key stakeholders. This allows the new onboarders to get to know their colleagues, understand their roles, and start building relationships.

For example, you can set up a virtual team meeting so that the new employee can meet their coworkers and take part in activities that build teamwork. You can also arrange one-on-one virtual meetings with key stakeholders to help the new onboarders understand their roles and responsibilities.

  • Setting up technology: As a remote employee, technology is the key to success. Make sure the new onboarders have access to all the necessary technology and tools they need to do their job, such as a laptop, software, and virtual collaboration tools. Test the technology before the new onboarders start and make sure everything is working properly.

For example, you can set up a virtual onboarding session to show the new onboarders how to use the tools and software they will be using in their role. You can also provide a list of helpful resources and tutorials to help the new onboarders get started.

  • Orientation: An orientation program is essential for all new onboarders, including remote employees. During the orientation, you should talk about the company’s rules, procedures, and expectations, as well as its culture and values. This helps the new onboarders understand what is expected of them and how they fit into the organization.

For example, you can create an orientation video or presentation that covers the company’s history, values, and culture. You can also set up a virtual Q&A session where the new employee can ask questions and learn more about how the company works.

  • Role clarity: It is important for the new onboarders to understand their role, responsibilities, and how they fit into the overall team and organization. Give the new onboarders clear instructions and regular feedback to help them do well in their job.

For instance, you can give a detailed job description and list what you expect from the new hires. You can also set up regular virtual meetings with the new onboarders’ manager to give feedback and answer any questions.

  • Training: It’s important for remote workers to get the right training so they can do their jobs well. Verify that the new employee has the experience and education necessary to do the job well. Give the new employee regular training and feedback to help them improve in their position.

For example, you can give the new employee virtual training on the software and tools they will be using in their new job. You can also set up virtual mentorship or coaching sessions for the new employee to give them more help and direction.

After-boarding process

  • Check-ins: Regular check-ins with the new onboarders are important to see how they are adjusting and to address any concerns or questions. This can be done via video call, phone, or email. Use these check-ins as an opportunity to provide feedback and support.

For example, you can set up weekly or biweekly virtual check-ins with the new employees to talk about their progress and any problems they may be having. You can also use these check-ins to get feedback from the new employee about their experience and what could be done better for future remote onboarding.

  • Communication and Teamwork: Make it easy for employees who work from home to talk to the rest of the team and work together. Build relationships and foster community by providing virtual team-building activities, such as coffee breaks or team lunches.

For example, you can create a virtual communication platform, such as a Slack channel, for remote employees to stay connected and collaborate with their colleagues. It is also possible to organize virtual team-building activities, such as virtual trivia games and happy hours, in order to foster a sense of community and build relationships.

  • Career Development: Provide opportunities for career development and growth for remote employees. Help employees who work from home reach their full potential by giving them virtual training and development programs, mentorship opportunities, and regular performance reviews.

For example, you could offer virtual workshops and training sessions on topics that are relevant to the role and career goals of the remote employee. You can also set up virtual mentorship with experienced colleagues or experts in your field to get advice and help.

  • Engaging Employees: Make sure that employees are engaged and that remote workers feel valued and a part of the company culture. Offer opportunities for remote employees to get involved in company events, projects, and initiatives.

For example, you can create virtual employee engagement programs, such as a virtual book club or community service project, to help remote employees feel connected to the company culture. You can also include remote employees in company events, such as virtual holiday parties or company-wide meetings, to help them feel included and valued.

In a nutshell

Effective onboarding of remote and remote-first employees is crucial for their success and integration into the company culture. By setting up a clear and thorough onboarding process, putting the focus on building relationships, offering ongoing training and support, and using metrics to measure success, organizations can make sure that remote employees have a good and effective onboarding experience.

By following these steps and best practices, companies can make sure that the transition for their remote employees goes smoothly and helps them feel valued, supported, and successful in their role.