Many businesses took a hit when the pandemic started. Suddenly, it wasn’t safe to go to the office or roam outdoors. This forced companies to adopt remote work, which has and is still a challenge for many. Thankfully, most employees have gotten used to working remotely and are even more productive than before. However, employers and managers are still facing difficulties when onboarding new hires.
A physical onboarding process is usually easier and more effective in ensuring the new hires properly understand their jobs. However, doing the same online can be tricky, especially if the position involves lots of responsibilities. Luckily, we are here to make your onboarding process easier than ever. In today’s article, we will teach you how to welcome a new employee to your remote team.
1. Create a Remote Onboarding Plan
Onboarding is a crucial process that requires careful planning. As the employer or manager, you should study how to properly welcome new hires to the team and explain their new roles. If the employees need training, ensure they understand how that will be carried out. It is also crucial to let your team know if the increased workforce will affect any operations.
Make sure to create your onboarding plan about one or two weeks before the actual day to avoid forgetting any crucial details.
2. Introduce Yourself and the Team
Since you might not manage to physically meet with the new employees, hopping on a video call could be a great idea. Furthermore, doing so will help you connect better with them than just emailing or texting. So, schedule a welcome meeting with the new hires on a platform like Zoom to introduce yourself and discuss the job further.
You can also ask them about their hobbies, hometown, and skills. Find out how they feel about their new jobs. This makes the conversation warm and friendly, creating a great expression of you and the entire company.
After introducing yourself, invite the new hires to the team’s communication channels. Then, ask the team to welcome the newcomers and also introduce themselves. That way, the new employees can feel at home and quickly connect with everyone. The first-day interaction should be more casual and less interrogative to help create a comfortable environment.
3. Apply the Buddy System
A buddy system is a method whereby new employees are assigned to existing ones to guide them on their roles for a certain period. Using a buddy system eliminates the loneliness associated with being new. The existing employee is usually responsible for guiding the new hire on the company’s culture and how to flawlessly execute different tasks. This gives the newcomer a perfect chance to understand the role better and faster, guaranteeing high productivity in a short time. So, if the newbie was used to old tactics that aren’t encouraged in your company, the experienced employee can easily call them out and teach them accordingly.
Another excellent way to welcome a team member is to arrange a physical meet-up with a colleague. Just because you’re managing remote employees, it doesn’t mean the new hires shouldn’t meet even one teammate. So, if the experienced employee is in the same locality as the new hire, they could meet and discuss how to get the most out of the buddy system. This will help create a fantastic connection and trust between the two, making it easier to learn from each other.
4. Request Feedback
Feedback from the new hires allows you to quickly determine what works for them, enabling you to create the best working environment. The feedback also helps you tweak the onboarding process to make the welcome meeting of future hires even better. To get the best feedback, ask questions like:
- Which methods do you use to learn new information about your career?
- Which part of the onboarding process was more informative about your role and the whole company? How would you like the same tactics to be applied in your training?
- What are some of your weaknesses that you would love the training to focus more on?
- What do you think about the onboarding process? Is it going as expected?
- Are there things about the onboarding process that you sincerely feel should be done a bit differently?
5. Invite Them to Weekly Coffee Calls or Happy Hours
Before the pandemic, meeting with colleagues for fun outdoor activities was the norm in most companies. Unfortunately, that is quite impossible today. All is not lost, though, as you can still arrange coffee meetings or happy hours over Zoom. People can talk about anything—from hobbies to family events.
If your team conducts such meetings, ensure you always invite the new hires. This will be an excellent way to welcome new team members and show them that they are now part of the family. What’s more, the regular interaction will help nurture friendships that could lead to productive future collaborations.
An Excellent Checklist to Use When Welcoming a New Employee to the Team
You now understand the primary factors to keep in mind when onboarding new remote employees, right? Let’s now look at some of the things you must remember during the entire process for better results.
Provide the Essentials
Do the following things before the newcomers’ start date:
- Send them the company policies and any necessary paperwork.
- If your company has a digital workspace, provide company email addresses and the required login information.
- Inform team members of when to show up for the newcomers’ welcome meeting.
- Schedule virtual meetings with other superiors who also need to meet the new hires to ensure they will be available.
On the start date:
- Help the new employees to carefully review the company policies and benefits.
- Specify their exact working hours.
- Show them the allowed modes of communication.
- Provide their first month’s assignments.
- Encourage them to freely say when they’re getting overwhelmed or confused.
Help the New Hires Set Up Their Virtual Workspace
- Teach the new employees how to use the company’s internal knowledge-sharing tool, if applicable. Do the same for other communication tools, like Slack, used by the team. However, ensure they get a different trainer for each platform. This will help build stronger connections and make them feel more welcome to the team.
- If your company has a collaborative digital space, you could ask them to post their nonurgent questions there, then check for answers later. This will allow them to get answers to their general queries from anyone, creating a great opportunity to foster connections.
- When allocating tasks, give clear deadlines and specify how to submit them.
- Most remote companies have weekly or monthly virtual meetings where people address different issues. If you usually hold such meetings, make sure to let them know so they don’t feel left out. Also, make sure they understand the relevant meetings for their positions and the roles they need to play during the meetings.
- Encourage them to use a professional time tracker. New employees may sometimes feel overwhelmed and anxious, especially during their first days, making them miss some deadlines. To prevent this, encourage them to install a professional time tracker on their computers. Doing so will help them manage time better and remain focused when working from home.
A perfect time tracker that experts highly recommend is Traqq. This app helps determine the time wasters that need your attention, enabling you to easily eliminate them for maximum productivity. What’s more, you can set reminders to prevent forgetting some assignments. As the manager, you could also use this app to track the new hires’ activities on their computers to ensure they are working as expected. Traqq randomly captures screenshots and video recordings of the employees’ desktops, making it easier to guide them when they go wrong.
If you have been tirelessly looking for ways to make your new hires feel welcome to work in your company, we hope this post has helped. Applying the above methods will result in a happier workforce and reduce the chances of new hires quitting within months. Also, remember that your onboarding process will never be perfect. Every time you onboard new hires into the company, you will learn new things that could be incorporated in the future for better results. Lastly, do not forget to use Traqq to ensure more productivity from your team. The program is actually free, so download it and start enjoying its unique benefits.