How to onboard a remote workforce

Successful onboarding of employees is an important part of any organization or business that seeks to retain qualified and competent team members. Onboarding plays a key role in the new employee’s ability to understand your company’s culture and objectives. Remote employees usually don’t have enough opportunities to organically integrate with your organization’s processes. 

Whether you’re onboarding employees at a satellite office, opening a new branch, or bringing home-workers into the team, you need to offer everyone a warm welcome and make them feel valued. Here is how to effectively and efficiently onboard a remote workforce. 

Help Remote Employees Complete HR Paperwork 

Your remote employees need to sign employment contracts and other necessary legal documents. This process can be time-consuming if they have to print, fill, scan, and email all the required copies to the HR department. You can help them carry out the process by using e-signature tools offered by your organization. Every employee usually considers this to be a normal and necessary part of joining a given company. Therefore, make sure that your organization or business has made this step effortless for new employees. 

Undertake Virtual Introduction 

You should not let your remote employees feel isolated because this can easily threaten their sense of belonging and productivity. In order to onboard them and make them feel part of your organization from the very first day, schedule video calls with the coworkers they will mostly interact with as well as with the whole team. These introductions will help you to communicate team structure, create a constructive sense of shared goals, and build team spirit. 

Create Online Communication and Collaborative Learning 

For the remote workforce, their connection to the rest of the team is through online means. Without continuous access to the digital workforce, such as the company’s video conferencing software, messaging apps, emails, and other communication tools, new hires will feel isolated and detached from the rest of the workforce. Thus, you need to get the new team members on virtual communication platforms as soon as possible. 

When the new members are required to work as a group in order to complete a project during onboarding, it builds and establishes bonds with other team members. This is also an opportunity to cross-train your teams. You can also bring on a sales rep to work with new employees and share their advice and experience. This will help new employees to understand where to start and what they can do to succeed. 

Ensure they understand their Roles 

Don’t make the mistake of creating the onboarding plan and fail to include the big picture. Besides learning about the company, hierarchy, communication channels, and messaging apps, remind the new hires about their roles. Explain to them their planned departmental goals and the role they are expected to play in order to meet the objectives. You may also want to hear from them about how they can help improve the position. This will help you to turn your new employees into a meaningful and productive part of your workforce. 

Stay Connected 

Though remote work means staying out of sight, it should not mean staying out of mind. Disconnection and isolation can spell the biggest threats to remote worker’s motivation and the overall success of your company. The lack of physical presence can potentially lead to weaker relationships if you don’t stay connected to remote employees. You need to hold annual company meetups, extend invites, attend conferences, and make effort to meet up with them at their remote workstations. Also, take advantage of video conferences and make sure that your remote employees are constantly in touch with what is happening at the company


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