Nearly 60 percent of employees are currently working from home, and we don’t expect that number to go down any time soon. Workers appreciate the flexibility that remote work provides them, and many say they’re actually more productive at home than they are in the office thanks to fewer distractions. However, onboarding a new employee remotely can be a daunting task, but we have some tips that can help you do it effectively.
To find the perfect HR software to help you onboard your remote employees, use our Product Selection Tool. After answering a few short questions, you’ll get a free, personalized list of tools to meet your needs.
How to onboard remote employees efficiently
- Be patient with your new employee
- Set clear goals and expectations
- Use standardized training tools
- Encourage collaboration and informal conversations
- Remote onboarding doesn’t have to be scary
Be patient with your new employee
You can’t expect your new employees to understand everything within the first week. Because remote employees aren’t in the office with their other coworkers, it sometimes takes them a bit longer to get the hang of things. Try to be on the first few calls they have with other members of their team if possible. Yours is a face they’ll recognize, and it’ll put them at ease to have you there.
You should also make a plan for onboarding and use performance management software to outline and share it with them. With performance management tools, your new employee will be able to view their onboarding plan and come prepared with questions. This also helps them identify applications that they don’t have access to yet.
Set clear goals and expectations
Your new employees won’t be able to succeed if they don’t know what’s expected of them from day one. Set clear, SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals, and put them in writing somewhere your employees can easily access. Having these goals handy is not only helpful for the employee, but it’s also important for performance reviews.
Project management software is perfect for tracking employee goals and progress. Managers can assign tasks to their direct reports and monitor the steps they take to complete them. Additionally, employees can comment on tasks and tag relevant coworkers to get help when they need it. And integrations with collaboration software make it easy to share relevant files.
Use standardized training tools
If all new hires aren’t trained on the same policies and information, the business can descend into chaos quickly. Different processes and information can cause confusion and lead to incorrect work. You need to have standardized training tools and modules in place to keep all of your new hires on the same page as the rest of the company.
Learning management systems (LMS) allow organizations to create standardized training modules that new hires can complete when it’s most convenient for them. Many also include gamification to improve information retention and employee engagement. Your LMS of choice should also integrate with your critical software systems like HR tools or enterprise resource planning (ERP) to measure how effective your training methods are.
Encourage collaboration and informal conversations
Onboarding can be an intimidating time for new employees, especially when they’re doing it remotely. They don’t know anyone yet, and it’s sometimes unnerving to ask for help when you don’t know who to go to. When onboarding new employees, you should try to balance work-based meetings with some informal chats, so the new team members can get to know their coworkers on a deeper level.
For example, when we get a new team member at TechnologyAdvice, we’ll often send fun questions in our team Slack channel, like, “What’s your favorite candy bar?”. With the discussions that take place in the thread, our team gets comfortable with each other pretty quickly.
Slack and other collaboration tools are invaluable when dealing with a hybrid work environment. Instant messaging gives employees the same convenience as being able to pop over to someone’s desk to ask a question, but it also lets them set boundaries when they need to focus with the ability to mute channels and notifications. Channels help keep discussions small, and they integrate with many other apps to streamline workflows.
Also read: Best Team Collaboration Software in 2021
Remote onboarding doesn’t have to be scary
Remote onboarding can be intimidating for new employees, but with the right mix of technology and clarity, it doesn’t have to be. Give new hires clear goals and expectations and help them get to know their new teammates in a casual setting. Make sure all new hires go through similar training protocols and be patient with them when they take longer to onboard.
Onboarding, especially for remote employees, is much easier when you have the right tools in place. Use our Product Selection Tool to get a customized list of onboarding software recommendations for your business.