( ENSPIRE Business ) Best Practices for Onboarding Virtual Employees
Reflecting on my first day at a new job, I constantly felt a little nervous. In today’s workforce, where many of us are working remotely, there’s a lot of pressure on new hires at many companies. They’re expected to get up to speed quickly and impact immediately. It’s more important than ever for companies to create seamless onboarding plans for remote workers. Here are some tips for ensuring your virtual employees know precisely what they need to succeed with your company.
Create a Seamless Plan
An effective technique to onboard remote employees is to tailor an onboarding plan to the employee, role, and company. It should include everything from how you will introduce yourself to new colleagues to what resources are available for your first day at work. The plan needs to be clear and include built-in checks for comprehension, training opportunities, and a directory of who can help with each aspect of the onboarding process. It is best practice to use this time to establish trust with your leadership team.
Instill Your Values & Mission
When it comes to implementing your company’s culture, gone are the days of handing new employees a copy of your company’s handbook and telling them to read it cover to cover. For virtual workers, you need an onboarding presentation that explains the main concepts and adds context by describing how they relate to your industry. This approach is constructive as it gives the presenting team member a chance to answer all questions at once.
Use Virtual Resources
If you’re a fully remote company, you can’t be there in person to go through the onboarding process, but you can provide access to onboarding resources on your website that walk employees through the process on their own time.
Provide documents where they can revisit topics such as using the company’s communication software and essential tools like video call software, calendars, and tech support. When it comes to welcoming new employees, there is no one way to onboard—remote or in-office. The best approach for your organization will depend on your unique needs and how you onboard employees in the first place.
The Buddy System
One of many effective techniques to onboard remote employees is the use of a peer mentor. When you’re a new employee, it’s easy to feel like you don’t belong in your new surroundings. A work mentor will provide a way to ease these feelings by helping you get acclimated to the work environment and company culture.
In addition to assisting with getting settled, a buddy can also help you get to know the team and processes better. They can help guide you if you get stuck or give advice without you having to reach out to management. It’s important for remote employees to feel connected and cared for, which can be accomplished by providing a peer mentor.
Regardless of how you onboard, it’s important to remember that remote workers still need the same attention as their in-office counterparts. You must ensure that you give them equal levels of engagement, especially when you wouldn’t otherwise see them face-to-face every day.
The key is communication. Make sure you update them with what’s going on at your company and answer their questions promptly, so they feel like they’re part of the team from day one.