A great onboarding experience has a lot to do with the quality of content and time given to the new hire. How you choose to deliver this quality content and time management is not necessarily restricted to a physical location or environment.
With more employees opting to work remotely, it should come to no surprise that the deliverability of training and onboarding followed suit. While the pandemic is a major driver behind the rise of remote work, other factors such as flexibility, diversity of ideas, and increased productivity are pushing employees to work remotely. One of the more significant drivers behind this shift is the fact that flexibility, both in terms of hours and location, has become a key source of competitive advantage from an employer branding standpoint. Considering that remote work setups are ideal for achieving both time and location flexibility, more and more companies are finding ways to make it work and communicate its benefits to potential candidates. Not only is it a nice benefit to employees, but employers have realized that a traditional work environment is not synonymous with productivity. In fact, the diversity, creative freedom, and distraction-free environment that remote work can provide have increased productivity. As a result, employers are keen on implementing fully remote or hybrid solutions for their employees.
Whether your organization is already remote or shifting to a hybrid environment, there are a few onboarding considerations that can easily make your remote work culture more effective. Before you even get started with remote onboarding, make a checklist, create milestones, and set aside time and space for feedback, as you would with any onboarding process. Key considerations such as these fall through the cracks the same way in Zoom, just as they would in an office setting.
The main essential when onboarding and working with remote employees is communication. It is important to establish early on how and when orientation, training, and ongoing communication will be held. While there are many communication-related considerations to make, the following are absolutely necessary:
What channels your organization uses and how they set up their account?
Who are the new hire's points of contact for ongoing, task-related, or onboarding-specific questions?
What login information do they need to access to business-critical tools?
What time zone do they work in?
Once basic communication considerations are established, use your organization's project management tools and techniques to set expectations, milestones, and workflows that are flexible and accommodative to all parties. It is equally important to use these tools to establish emotional connections with your remote new hires in the same way you would with an on-site hire. This includes establishing a remote-friendly culture across the organization via regular online meetings, events, and coffee chats. It is also important to adapt the length of your meetings so that they are slightly shorter. This helps keeps your team engaged during your touchpoints rather than feeling like they are an unproductivity necessity.
Remote work is still new to most of us, which can make organizing online meetups and establishing comprehensive communication challenging at times. To help facilitate relationship building and expectations management, consider training your managers on being a remote leader. How can they demonstrate and inspire influence from anywhere in the world? How can they effectively manage multiple remote employees? Equipping your organization with the training, tools, and workflows necessary to work from anywhere effectively is key to reaping the full benefits remote work has to offer.
From understanding onboarding phases, pitfalls, and best practices, our latest e-book breaks down the ins and outs of onboarding with concrete examples, blueprints, and benchmarks.