Onboarding matters—69% of staff members who have a great onboarding experience say they’re more likely to stay at an organization for at least three years. With so many people working from home these days, knowing the best practices for onboarding remote employees is becoming more and more important. Read on for ways to get your remote staff off to a stellar start.
Welcome new staff
One of the simplest ways to help set new team members up for success is to offer a hearty welcome. Send them an email that includes everything they’ll need to know in their first few days, including any equipment requirements, links to necessary paperwork or policies and a short get-to-know-you survey. It’s also a good idea to send along an onboarding schedule, so new employees know what to expect. Roll out the red carpet by sending employee giveaways, like ears buds with a microphone, a branded hoodie or a desk caddy.
Ensure clear milestones
Creating a schedule—and a checklist—will help ensure that new staff members don’t miss important meetings or critical paperwork.
Your checklist may include:
- Reviewing policies and procedures
- Completing necessary paperwork
- Walking through equipment or computer setup
- Meeting with colleagues
- Meeting with the manager and/or CEO
- Settings goals for the coming weeks or months
Onboard in groups (if possible)
If your company hires multiple staff members at the same time, it can be helpful to have them go through the onboarding process as a group (either in person or virtually). Bringing new hires together, whether it’s to go over paperwork or just to have an introductory discussion, can help relieve some of the isolation that comes with working remotely—and being a newbie.
Create check-in points
New staff members may not feel comfortable asking questions or voicing concerns, especially if they are onboarded in a group. Be sure to have a manager, HR team member or even an assigned “buddy” check in at regular intervals to answer questions, review expectations and make any needed corrections to their work.
Onboarding remote employees is an ever-evolving process. Be sure to reach out to each new hire and ask them what went well with their onboarding and, more importantly, what could be improved. This way, you can fill any remaining gaps in their onboarding experience while also polishing your program for future hires.
Best practices make perfect
While getting a virtual staff member up to speed may come with challenges, following best practices for onboarding remote employees can make it feel like there’s “virtually” no difference between staff who works in person and those who work from home. Good luck!