The COVID 19 pandemic has challenged employers in many ways. This pandemic has transitioned many companies into the federation of remote work. Most organizations that had a 100% in-office culture, have now moved their workforce to function remotely. Talking specifically about the recruitment sector, remote hiring is a rising trend. So, many companies are formulating and implementing remote hiring plans. As hiring goes remote, companies will most likely change their onboarding process too. So, the purpose of this article is to guide employers to tweak their plans to onboard remote employees.
The onboarding process may seem unimportant but it is extremely crucial in the hiring process. According to a recent study, a good employee onboarding plan can improve employee retention by 82% and boost productivity by more than 70%. The current situations have imposed a remote work style, but this has only increased the need for a strong onboarding process.
A great onboarding process for remote employees is even more crucial than for office employees. During these climacteric times, an effective onboarding strategy is extremely significant. It not only drives employee engagement but also enhances employee retention. Virtually integrating a new remote employee with a company’s culture, mission, and vision can be very onerous. Transitioning office workers to a remote work setup can be challenging during such turbulent conditions. Even more so when you add new hires to the mix. So, a strategic remote employee onboarding process should be the key focus for recruiters.
Tips to Onboard Remote Employees
Wondering how to onboard remote employees during COVID 19? Here are some amazing tips that can sculpt your onboarding process and help you create a great remote work culture.
Engage New Remote Employees Before They Start
Employers need to deliberately create an inclusive engaging experience for their new remote employees right from the beginning. As an employer, you need to go the extra mile to ensure that the new hires feel accepted. An easy and efficient start to the onboarding process will provide a better employee experience. Before the new hires start working, address all their logistical issues and support. For remote employees to be successfully onboard, you need to make sure they have the required access to important programs, resources, and people of the company. You can also digitize the complete new hire paperwork with electronic signatures. This will ease up the onboarding process.
Explain Your Onboarding Expectations Clearly
While hiring remotely, the last thing you need is for your remote hire to be unsure of the onboarding process. Employers should make it a priority to never leave any gap in communication. Employers, as well as the new remote hires, should have clear expectations about how the onboarding experience is going to be. You can design a timeline and set specific milestones. These milestones will be expected to achieved by the new hire, as well as you, as an employer. By taking such steps, you can ensure that you and the new hire are on the same page.
Emphasize On Introduction
Working remotely can make your employee feel disconnected. That’s why you need to make your new remote hire feel like a part of your team. This can be effectively done by emphasizing on the introduction. You can encourage the existing team members of the new hire to reach out and convey their excitement on having him join the team. You can send a warm welcome email initially. After that, you can set up video/audio calls with the team members and other key employees of the company. Introduce virtual team building activities as a part of the employee orientation process. By doing this, new remote hires will feel socially comfortable and accepted within their peers and superiors.
Develop and Convey your Remote Work Policy
Remote work has been a rising trend but the current pandemic has turned it into a need. The number of remote workers is going to increase in the near foreseen future. So, in this situation, having a well thought remote work policy becomes extremely crucial. Companies need to develop effective work from home policy that incorporates all the required specifics. Your remote work policy may include employee safety guide, hours of availability and operations, and other expectations. Also, the company’s remote work policies should be conveyed to the existing workforce, as well as new hires.
Conduct Remote Training
Your new hires may be well-skilled but they need to be familiar with the working paradigm of your company. Conducting trainings and workshops for your new as well as current employees enhance their productivity a lot. This will not only help you to retain your employees and improve engagement, but also will provide faster virtual solutions to employees. Frequent training sessions can also facilitate efficient collaborations between different departments of a company.
Have a Clear Communication Plan
Starting a new role remotely during the pandemic can be very challenging. It can be very isolating and confusing. Effective and transparent communication is the key to onboarding a new remote hire. As an employer, you need to consider how and when you will communicate with the new hire. Not only the peers, but the superiors also need to have a clear communication with the new hire on a regular basis. This will reassure the new hires and provide them with ongoing updates about work. A quick check in with the employee, personal questions about his well being can make them feel supported and boost their productivity.