Remote work has been on the rise alongside the digital revolution, but nowadays it’s not only a cost-effective decision — it’s also a necessity. The COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping the way we do business nowadays, and companies are now forced to embrace remote work in order to survive. While the future of remote work is bright and there is a lot to be gained by making this transition, this isn’t to say that managing remote teams is an easy task. Quite the contrary, building a thriving remote business model can be a cumbersome challenge. One of the most difficult tasks is, in fact, onboarding and welcoming new remote employees into your company.
In order to manage your remote team efficiently and effectively, your new arrivals need to become productive quickly. Of course, you can’t expect them to spring into action all on their own – you need to onboard newcomers properly. To help you do this without wasting time or money, we’ve compiled a list of best practices you need to implement right now to maximize the potential of your new remote employees. Here’s what you need to do.
Start with a clear onboarding roadmap
First and foremost, you need to put pen to paper and create a roadmap for your new employees. This specific roadmap takes into consideration all the goals and milestones that a new employee should reach in their first month working with your company. It needs to include all the steps that they should take from the moment you hire them, all the way to the moment they become productive members of your remote teams. Of course, all of this will require your direct input, guidance, and constant monitoring to make sure the employee is on the right track to becoming an asset.
It’s important that you set detailed timelines of every milestone and goal that the employee should achieve in the first few weeks. This will help you stay accountable as their guide and help them settle in quickly. You can even integrate a dedicated learning management system to automate this process and make it as straightforward as possible.
Provide newcomers with welcome packs
When a new employee joins a thriving workspace, there’s nothing that can put a smile on their face like a welcome pack. In a traditional sense, this can be a basket of goodies on their desk. However, when it comes to remote work, it needs to be a highly functional welcome pack filled with things that can help them get a head start on their new job. Sure, throw in an electronic loyalty card for Starbucks for good measure, but focus on giving them the info they need to start their journey productively.
In this electronic welcome pack, they should find all the contact info they need to communicate with colleagues efficiently and effectively. They should also receive the official communication hierarchy detailing the vertical and horizontal flow of information in your company. This will help them figure out whom they report to, whom to contact when they get stuck or confused, and so on without bothering the managers if it’s not necessary. Complement this digital goodie bag with a heartfelt welcome video from you and the team and your new employee will have no problem feeling right at home!
Integrate remote employees into your communication system
Every modern business needs to have a comprehensive communication system in place to facilitate internal communication and collaboration. This system also allows you to communicate with clients and customers effectively to boost marketing, PR, sales, and support. Of course, the system needs to be centralized in a single platform like VoIP instead using numerous different apps and software. Voice over internet protocol is a cloud-based phone system that brings various digital features to a growth-oriented company, but for all its perks and fancy functions, the most important thing is that employees can use it with ease.
When choosing providers, it’s important to check professional VoIP reviews that take onboarding and ease-of-use into account. If the system is easy to use, you can integrate new remote workers into your communications quickly. This way, they will be able to kick-start their new job without wasting any time and communicate with colleagues and customers efficiently and effectively.
Organize video chats and get-togethers
To run a productive remote team, you need to have regular video meetings where you’re going to go over the schedule for the day, assign tasks and duties, address pending issues, and more. However, not all digital get-togethers should be about work. If all you do is meet with employees to talk about tasks and projects, you’ll have a difficult time building a positive workplace culture and making newcomers feel at home. That’s why some video conferences and one-on-one calls should be conducted for the sake of employee well-being.
This is especially important for new remote workers, as they need you to check in on them and show them that they’re not alone in this unfamiliar setting. Needless to say, just one of these non-work-related get-togethers a week will have a positive impact on collaboration and communication, and will boost team cohesion no matter where your employees are around the world.
Provide opportunities for collaborative learning
Speaking of healthy communication and collaboration, it’s imperative that you provide plenty of opportunities for collaborative learning to new employees. Again, they’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed right now, so they could use some guidance and assistance from their colleagues.
As their leader, they’re expecting you to help them get in touch with other team members and pick their brains, ask the important questions, and just ease themselves into their new roles. Of course, this is also a great way to bring people together and build a thriving workplace culture.
Remote work is not only gaining popularity — it seems to be the way forward for the business world as a whole. If you want your company to thrive in the new normal, be sure to learn how to onboard remote employees quickly and effectively in order to take your business to new heights.