Onboarding is the process companies use to introduce new hires to their culture, team members, and the expectations for their positions. It’s also meant to be an experience that makes new employees feel welcome and motivated; however, it can be challenging when onboarding remote workers because much of it goes beyond just introducing them to their desks or cubicle.
Here are some recommended onboarding strategies for getting your remote employees off on the right foot:
Hire Slow, Fire Fast
Don’t forget that every employee you hire should have clearly defined duties that contribute positively to your company’s bottom line. If they aren’t meeting those expectations after a certain period of time, it’s better to let them go before they start burning bridges and souring your other employees’ attitudes. If you do end up firing someone for not meeting expectations, be sure to explain the reasons why in a professional and courteous way so that it doesn’t come off as a personal attack.
Train Them Well
Remote working is an increasingly popular trend, but there are still many companies that don’t have policies or processes in place to guide employees who work from home. Be sure to create guidelines for what types of technology and equipment they should use (if any), how often they should check in with their managers and teammates, and what kind of information their job requires them to share on a regular basis. You can also include a section on expected work hours so that people who are interested in working from home realize that it doesn’t mean they can sleep till noon every day.
Tell Them What You Want And How They Can Get It.
New hires need to know how they can make an impact at their jobs, and part of this goes beyond just the tasks they perform. Remote workers should be told about the company culture and what’s expected of them as employees; otherwise, they might feel like cogs in your organization rather than valuable team members. This not only helps new employees understand the scope of their job but also lets them anticipate any challenges or difficulties that could arise during their time with your company. Be clear about goals, deadlines, money-related details, and how you like people to contact one another.
Allow Them To Work Their Own Way
Remote employees should be told what the company’s general policies are about communicating with co-workers and managers, but they shouldn’t feel bound to those guidelines if there’s a technique they prefer or an issue that requires them to deviate from your plan. For example, some introverted personalities might feel more comfortable calling in for conference calls than joining via video chat; others might find it easier to communicate by email during certain parts of the day instead of having constant IM conversations. It’s important for each person to feel as though they can work their own way as long as the results meet expectations.
Provide Regular Feedback
Sometimes new hires put too much pressure on themselves to make a positive impression immediately, which causes them to neglect their daily responsibilities and wait for a formal review period to roll around. It’s important to tell remote workers what you think about the work they do from day to day so that they know whether or not they’re meeting your expectations. This should take place in person whenever possible, but it can also happen via email, phone calls, video chats, live chat sessions, or any other communication channel that works best for both parties.
Make Them Feel Welcome
Of course, onboarding wouldn’t be complete without going over some of the basic rules and guidelines related to your company culture. Be sure to mention your dress code (if there is one), appropriate language and behavior at the office (or on company property), and any other policies that are consistently enforced. It’s also important to explain what kinds of activities are not permitted, especially if they’re commonly overlooked–for example, drinking alcohol at lunch is often allowed in casual work environments, but people who aren’t aware of this might end up causing a serious problem by bringing an open bottle into the office after hours one day without realizing it.
Be Honest About The Risks Of Working From Home
Remote work can sometimes be more dangerous than working in an office because there are more opportunities for distractions. Make sure new hires understand the risks by providing them with statistics about how many people get injured or sick from becoming exhausted or disoriented due to long periods spent sitting down, staring at screens, and being cut off from communication with their co-workers. If you have employees who are already working remotely, share this information with them again so that they can be aware of the potential issues and take steps to avoid them.
Offer Outside Assistance
Some organizations might feel inclined to limit remote work because they believe it requires more time and effort on their part in order for things to run smoothly. However, if there are employees who are interested in staying home while still meeting expectations, don’t discourage them by making the process overly complicated; instead, offer some assistance (if possible) so that they can continue doing great work without needing to worry about whether or not it’s worth your time and energy to keep everyone happy. This can involve finding ways to ensure everyone has the technical equipment and software they need to do their job, hiring a trusted person to play supervisor on days when it’s too difficult for you to focus entirely on their work, or training other team members on how to handle certain issues that are likely to come up while someone is at home.
Manage Their Performance
Just because remote employees are less visible doesn’t mean they should be given fewer opportunities for advancement. Even if someone isn’t in charge of scheduling interviews with HR personnel directly, make sure prospective candidates meet certain requirements before moving forward with an offer. If you hire someone who doesn’t have any experience working remotely, consider having them relocate temporarily so that they can get used to the idea before letting them go off on their own.
Don’t Assume They’re Lazy.
It’s easy to think that people who are staying at home don’t need structure because they have fewer distractions, but everyone needs some kind of regular schedule. If your remote workers are feeling underappreciated or are struggling for other reasons, it could be due to the fact that you haven’t given them enough opportunities to prove themselves. No matter how much (or little) someone is getting paid, make sure their work is challenged by giving them regular assignments and proven ways of completing them in a timely manner. Make expectations clear from the start so that they can adjust their habits accordingly; if necessary, provide incentives like company-sponsored professional development courses or gift cards for doing well on certain projects.
When it comes to whether or not your organization should let employees work from home, the answer is simple: if they’re interested and able to do a good job, allow them. Work-from-home arrangements can benefit everyone involved if they’re properly managed (or simply allowed without any additional restrictions), and there’s no reason not to make things work smoothly if you have people who want to stay at home instead of commuting. By offering assistance and keeping an open mind about what kinds of changes remote employees might need in order to do their job well, you’ll be able to discover how much more productive and motivated everyone can become when they aren’t held back by commute times or overly crowded cubicles.