Welcoming new remote employees to your team is an interesting new challenge, even for experienced managers and team leaders. No matter how many times you’ve onboarded a team member in person, the process requires a new approach when your new hires are miles away and seen only through a screen. How do you make your new team members feel welcome, start their productivity momentum, and cover all your legal bases in one smooth process?
Fortunately, you’re not alone in this challenge and many other companies are facing the same remote onboarding gauntlet. Let’s dive into the best practices we’ve discovered through the experience:
Get New Hires Onto Your Online Platforms Immediately
Your online platforms are critical for both remote work and remote onboarding. Whether you have an all-remote or mixed hybrid team, everyone shares the same online platforms for paperwork, project collaboration, and communication. Get your new team members onto your platform or array of platforms ASAP so they can connect with their team, become familiar with the tools, and are looped into current team developments.
Provide a Digital Employee Handbook
Employee handbooks have long been provided as a printout or even a bound little book that can be held onto. With remote employees, however, a digital employee handbook is not only easier to send, it’s also more convenient to search. Make a digital employee handbook available for online reference and easy at-home download. This will help employees onboard themselves and keep track of the policies covered in guided onboarding.
Cover Your Bases Through Online Paperwork & Signing
It’s important to cover your legal bases when onboarding begins. Most onboarding starts with the usual new-employee paperwork: The I-9, the W-4, and the WH-4. You guide employees through filling out their HR files, get registered for health insurance, and enroll employees in benefits programs. All this paperwork done remotely needs a document and signing platform that can legally process digital signatures.
Run your new remote employees through the document selection, fill-out, signing, and submitting process for an easy digital copy of all the necessary onboarding paperwork.
Welcome Them to the Team Experience
Once legal and technical matters are taken care of, it’s important to make every remote new hire feel like a part of the team. Make them feel welcome by bringing them into the team experience. Introduce them to the collaboration software and, most importantly, introduce them to the team via shared group chatrooms and video chat spaces. That feeling of connection is essential for a strong and coordinated remote or hybrid team. Team inclusion also prevents remote team members from feeling or becoming isolated.
Keep In Touch with Individual & Group Video Chat
Video chat is an essential part of the virtual workplace. Whether you have an all-remote or hybrid team, establish a pattern of regular meetings or an always-open video chat room where team members can share a space.
Keep in touch with your onboarding new hires through video chat either one-on-one or with the group.
Set Expectations and Check-In on Goals
Expectations help remote team members stay on-task and fulfill the work your team needs while mostly self-directed at home. Set performance, delivery, and schedule expectations early so your new hires know what to do and how to manage themselves while working remotely.
Encourage Collaboration and Teamwork
Finally, wrap up your remote onboarding by encouraging teamwork. Remote teams are stronger when they work together. Teamwork prevents isolation that can corrode both remote employee performance and morale. With collaboration, your team will remain unified, coordinated, and each feel stronger working either in the office or remotely at home.
Looking for more expertise for onboarding and HR management for modern hybrid and remote teams? Contact us today!