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How to Create a Smooth On-boarding for a Remote Team?

Avatar of Autonomous Autonomous | Mar 23, 2021
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Onboarding remote employees is one of the more recent challenges that the management team must deal with in the current context of the working world. Knowing how to onboard new employees was never a problem before. However, the question became, how would you continue using a process that required face-to-face presence by design? As you think of it that way, it becomes that much easier to see that a re-strategizing process is mandatory. If anything, pulling it off successfully speaks to the ability to build a productive team.

The point of remote onboarding for a new employee is the same as that of completing the process for one who works in a traditional office. The aim is to ensure that the new worker has all the information and tools necessary to carry out the provided job description. 

A productive team

Without onboarding, how can your employees become adequately familiar with the working processes, the team, and the company culture present? The reality is that it would be impossible. There is a reason why companies look for people with work experience in a field and still go through an extensive onboarding and training process.

Familiarity with a task or position is one thing but learning how company operations work is just as important. One could even say that a lack of understanding of company dynamics can be just as detrimental as not having the required expertise to carry out the job at hand.

How to Create a Smooth Onboarding Process Remotely?

Onboard remote working team

This is where management must get creative to show its resilience in the workplace. A management team must have the ability to adapt to change while maintaining the operational standards and goals that were set. If you're wondering how to get the most out of your team, there is almost no better way to get it done than starting with a smooth onboarding. Consider the recommendations below, and you should be successfully onboarding new staff members in a virtual context in no time.

Plan the Onboarding Well

Plan the onboarding well

If you never had a formal onboarding schedule before and productive work from home schedule for onboarding remote employees as well, this is the time to put one into practice. Should you be struggling with learning how to onboard new employees remotely, you can't start on an incorrect path. The process is still going to require interactions with various staff members. Therefore, you need to start your scheduling early, so all parties can be present when they are required.

It's also in your best interest to prepare an employee onboarding checklist before getting through any of the required activities. In this way, there is an established standard of what needs to be done, which creates the potential for a quality control process when onboarding remote employees.

Use Video Introductions

Use video introductions

Working in a remote context automatically presents an uphill battle against the feeling of isolation. You can't achieve a personal touch as easily as you could if you were using the traditional face-to-face interaction method. Therefore, it's almost mandatory to get things flowing smoothly by taking advantage of the video introductions. 

It's very unlikely that you are going to be able to get the whole team online and able to accommodate a video call at the same time. However, you can work small groups into the schedule. Another benefit is that there is less information for the new employee to process. 

One of the biggest onboarding issues is that while the existing team only has a single name to learn, the newest person joining the company is overwhelmed with a series of names and faces. Most people don't remember them all until they have been working with the company for some time. You should know how to get the most of your team to gather your staff. 

Meeting persons in smaller groups makes the memory requirement much more realistic. Additionally, you could opt to record all the introductions and provide them to the new employee thereafter. That way, there is an even better opportunity to remember everyone.

Welcome Email

Welcome email

Using a welcome email system is another great way to get some personality across. As a part of the onboarding process, send an email to the entire company and copy the new employee. The nature of this email is going to be introducing the new person along with the various information, such as a favorite quote, hobbies, talents, etc. 

The existing employees should then respond with an individual welcome, which also allows elements of their personalities to shine through. This works as an unbelievably effective icebreaker activity that is a suitable replacement for the initial introduction conversations that would typically take place in the traditional office environment.

Address Equipment Needs

Even in a virtual context, the new employee is going to need a few tools to function. These include a computer, potentially a company cell phone, and home office equipment. This is where you could buy an ergonomic chair such as a Kinn Chair, and a home standing desk. Even if the policy does not involve providing the employee with the equipment right away, ensure that you communicate how the provision is to be completed.

If there are any equipment forms to be signed, ensure that you go over these as well. Remember that as soon as onboarding remote employees is over, they are expected to start functioning in their new positions. 

Imagine hiring a new bus driver and letting the person know that no buses are going to be available to drive for the next two months. What would happen then? When looking at it from this perspective, it becomes easy for you to see why getting the office equipment ready quickly makes for a smoother onboarding.

Communication Channels and Organizational Structure

Communication channels

Communication, especially effective virtual communication is going to be an essential aspect of the remote work experience. As you go through remote onboarding for a new employee, ensure that you take the time to highlight all the channels that the organization uses. If the department needs to give access to any of these things, find out if it was done and assist the new employee in doing the necessary testing to confirm that all is well.

It's also important to provide an organizational structure. This is mostly for political and interpersonal reasons, and it does immediately clarify how the chain of command and unity of command work. Even if your company has never formally put together such an image, there is no time like the present to prepare one.

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