A checklist for onboarding remote employees

The shift to remote work is expanding to various industries beyond a temporary timeframe. It is not uncommon that your recruitment and other HR processes will have to be slightly adjusted. Here’s a highly practical checklist to ace the onboarding process.

· 3 min read
A checklist for onboarding remote employees

Are you a meticulous recruiter with a particular onboarding routine? Nine times out of ten you feel like your carefully crafted human resource methods are the backbone to your office. But let’s get real; nine times out of ten these methods weren’t crafted for remote work either.

The shift to remote work is expanding to various industries beyond a temporary timeframe. It is not uncommon that your recruitment and other HR processes will have to be slightly adjusted. Here’s a highly practical checklist to ace the onboarding process.

1. Start with a crash course

A prerequisite to successful onboarding, or even long term success, is that you convey the relevant information about the organization. A SaaS platform looked at the issue of onboarding more closely, and showcased that 50% of new hires are retained more when organizations integrate effective onboarding, compared to competitor organizations that do not.

The platform furthermore, reveals the importance of 5C in onboarding: compliance, clarification, culture, connection, and check back. The three former Cs especially support the importance of conveying the relevant information on the organization.

Some useful tools to use in this regard are:

Internal documents on the vision of the organization and long term goals, action plans, or other forms of work reports. To go one step further, you could always draft an onboarding internal document that summarizes the relevant information.

2. Choose your channels wisely

There are two factors you would want to maximize through your onboarding process: productivity and adaptability for the new hire. It is estimated that it takes 8 months for a new hire to reach optimal productivity. Who wouldn’t want to accelerate that a little? You must therefore, set up all the needed technology and tools to ensure that the onboarding sets up a solid foundation for the recruit’s future performance in working remotely.

To set the ground for maximum productivity, you must use productivity software options. Different software options have some great, user-friendly features that will allow to assign tasks, track, and communicate them very easily. Measuring productivity with the aid of these tools has never been easier.

Adaptability, though, is a little trickier. Because remote work in itself makes even the best of us feel isolated, adapting to it may naturally be more so to new hires.

However, the digital shift has given rise to advanced tools crafted specifically to connect remote teams. Among the most feasible tools to make your new hire feel more included are virtual co-working spaces. These virtual spaces have the ultimate office-y toolkit: separate conference rooms, lounge areas, and presentation options.  Apart from their effective features in providing an “office-but-better” option, data show that virtual co-working spaces are increasingly being used for avoiding isolation and bringing back a team spirit in remote work.

The top channel picks for a smooth onboarding experience include: Asana, Trello, Todayly, and Slack.

3. Be precise with expected results

Saving yourself valuable time as a manager and avoiding any productivity bumps along the way requires specific goal-setting for the recruit. As Harvard Business Review puts it:

More than anyone else the hiring manager understands what his or her people need to accomplish and what it will take — skills, resources, connections — for them to become fully effective.

HBR goes furthermore on what is required for setting out clear expectations and providing the right guidance. In this regard, many sources apart from the latter overlap in the following tips:

-Give tasks with measurable outcomes or milestones

-Provide a timeframe and set a calendar

-Conduct a weekly progress report to track completion of goals

-Collaborate with the recruit on identifying long-term goals

4. Stay proactive to joint team meetings

Thanks to highly useful and affordable tools that bring an office-effect to you and your team, onboarding can be way less stressful than you might’ve anticipated. However, the same might not apply to new hires. As such, joint team meetings shouldn’t be underestimated during the onboarding process.

Bringing the team together when onboarding new hires is key to breaking the ice and maintaining good team dynamics. Moreover, with all the necessary tools at your disposal, this is become a piece of cake. Here are some ideas for engaging the team during remote onboarding processes:

1) Organize an introductory meeting

-Conduct touching-base team meetings

-Rent a co-working space to hang in virtual lounges

-Organize virtual games for team bonding

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