Oct 2, 2016
While having remote team members is often more cost effective for businesses than having in-office employees, it is important for you to remember that such individuals are humans with human needs! Remote members must become part of their teams in spirit as much as in name before you can expect productivity on par with team members that are all in an office together. Even though welcoming remote employees into their teams is an ongoing process that cannot be completed in a single step, providing an outstanding new employee orientation experience is the right place to start. In order to help your employees have an ideal new employee orientation, we’ll cover the challenges and successes of remote employee onboarding.
Challenges to remote employee onboarding
There are challenges to bringing remote employees onboard that are not present for their on-site counterparts. One obvious challenge is that communication is more difficult! Unlike their live counterparts, remote employees are less often able to digest information verbally or in context. Fortunately, this challenge is not insurmountable and you can overcome this with a little extra effort!
Achieving new employee orientation success with remote teams
In order for remote new employee orientation to succeed, it must meet a couple of basic conditions:
Hire self-motivated people
In the hiring process make sure that your screen to hire the services of remote employees who are both capable and self-motivated with a history of strong performance.
Onboard and introduce step by step
Provide remote employees with the means of carrying out their duties with the right remote communication tools. Have a series of steps in place to help remote employees integrate into their assigned teams. Having formal procedures in place means that you will be better able to ease them into their positions so that the learning process is as smooth and uncomplicated as possible. Separating the onboarding experience into smaller and less complicated steps makes new employee orientation more manageable.
Set up well-defined processes and set expectations
Remote employees thrive with the support of defined business processes and clear expectations. This means less room for expensive mistakes and misinterpretations. Help remote employees understand how their team functions, connect them with the individuals on their teams, and plug them into vital team communications so that they can be productive and comfortable with their roles as quickly as possible.
The problems of remote communication can be remedied with clear communication. For example, you want to remain in contact with remote employees as much as possible, both to monitor their progress and to resolve their concerns. Email, instant messaging, conferencing, and project management tools remain excellent tools for keeping in touch, but you can also use Skype and similar services to replicate in-person meetings as much as possible. Relationship building is a key benefit of in-person meetings, so you want to strive to offer as many relationship-building opportunities as possible.
Finally, ask remote employees about their opinions on the onboarding experience. This information is invaluable and should be used to improve over time. Helping your remote team members feel like they are an important part of your team starting in the new hire orientation is both the right thing and the smart thing to do.
What steps are you taking to make your remote team members feel important during new hire orientation?