A fantastic onboarding process is essential for employee engagement and retention. It’s also a great way to welcome them to your company. When you’re hiring remotely, this process becomes even more important. Your new employee will not have an in-person introduction to the company or someone sitting next to them that they can ask questions of. That’s why you need to create a thorough employee onboarding process for remote hires.
Why Is Employee Onboarding Important?
Every company should have an employee onboarding process, although you will notice that at some organizations this is sorely lacking. So, why should you develop an excellent onboarding program?
Let’s give you the facts about employee onboarding:
- Retention can increase by up to 25% thanks to onboarding programs, as well as employee performance by up to 11%
- It’s around 69% more common for those who undergo a formal onboarding program to stay at a company for 3 or more years
- Out of employees who resign, around 15% say that not going through a good onboarding program played a role in their decision
There has not yet been a great deal of research into employee onboarding for remote employees. However, you can expect that for remote workers, these figures would be even more significant.
Just one more fact for you – around 45% of HR professionals estimate that $10,000 each year is wasted on employee onboarding. So, why not do it right the first time around?
What Does A New Employee Onboarding Process Involve?
Any employee onboarding process is all about helping the new hire get to know your organization, how things are done, and what is expected of them.
Tasks that are usually included in the onboarding experience are:
- Setting up for the employee’s first day including computer logins and equipment
- Introducing the employee to the tools they require for their job
- Showing them around the office and introducing them to other team members
- Ensuring completion of hire paperwork
- Making the new hire feel welcome
- Showing them the employee handbook with guidelines for dress code and behavior
How Can an Onboarding Process Be Improved for Remote Hires?
The process described above is usually targeted at new employees who will be working in your office. When you are onboarding a remote hire, a lot of these tasks will change. Here’s how you can optimize some of the different onboarding steps for remote workers.
So, you’ve decided who you’re going to select for your available position. It’s time to write a job offer letter. The goal of this letter is to convey your excitement that this person has chosen to work for your company. Make sure that you write a personal message to show that you value your new employee.
This letter is a great chance to outline some job requirements. It will be especially important to note any that relate to working from home so that you are both on the same page with expectations. For example, if they need to provide their own computer or other tools that they will use to do their job. Include what you will provide such as compensation for internet or anything else. Make sure that you don’t forget to add the start date as well.
Before the First Day
Did you know that the onboarding process begins as soon as the person accepts your job offer? That’s right, the time between acceptance and starting the job counts as onboarding, so use it wisely.
For remote hires, you should send them through a number of things to help them on their first day. This should include logins for any tools and programs they will use, as well as how to download or access these. This will give them the chance to check that everything is working before their first day on the job. Also, send them a schedule for their first week so they know what to expect.
On the First Day
Right at the start of their first workday, you should have a video conference with your new employee. Remember that they won’t be walking into the building to say hello, so you need to greet them promptly online. Have a chat to them about what to expect that day and that week. Find out if they have any questions and answer them.
You also need to schedule a time for a video conference with the person’s team so they can meet their workmates. Make it casual – do an online quiz, game, or other activity as a way for everyone to get to know each other. Remember that the new hire will be missing that informal communication that occurs when everyone is in an office together. These are the people they will need to email or call to ask questions of, so building a good relationship is crucial.
In the first week, you will want to provide the employee with plenty of information about your company. When working remotely, it can be easy to feel disconnected from the company you work for. By giving them information to educate themselves on what your company does, you give them a chance to engage with your brand.
Schedule separate video meetings for your new employee with each team member. This gives them the chance to interact one-on-one with their colleagues as well as find out more about the different roles in the team.
Check in with your new staff member often. You could even call them at a regular time for the first week or two as they are sure to have questions for you. Communication can be challenging for remote workers, so try to answer your phone when they call and respond to emails from them promptly. You never know when they may be stuck on a task or their software isn’t working. You don’t want them at home hitting a roadblock and you’re unaware of it.
With a little extra effort, the employee onboarding process for remote hires can be done well. This will be crucial for retaining your new remote hire, so make sure that you pay attention to their needs and keep up the communication. If you do it right, you could have a loyal employee that will stay with your company for a long time.