The onboarding process for employees is one of the key tools that organizations have to improve engagement, reduce turnover and increase productivity. When you have remote employees as part of your team, your onboarding process may need to change.
Research has found that 4.7 million employees work remotely. Remote work has grown 44 percent over the past few years. Researchers also found that companies that have remote workers have seen a growth in productivity. So, whether you have been working with remote teams for a long time or are new to the process, there are some good reasons to develop a onboarding program for new employees who will be working from home.
Essentially, the purpose of an onboarding program doesn’t change whether you have in-person or remote employees starting work with your organization. But, the way you deliver that program will change. While not having in-person time can be a challenge, there are ways to overcome it and provide your new hires with the best onboarding experience.
The process of onboarding an employee or new hire is different from any orientation programs your organization may have for new employees. Onboarding has a more long-term focus. While orientation instructs employees on how to do their job, onboarding goes deeper and helps integrate them into your company.
Most onboarding programs have been designed for in-person hires, but they are just as important for your remote workers too. Even if they don’t work out of your office, remote onboarding still needs to help employees understand your policies and practices and feel connected to others in your company. With employees who work from home, video conferencing is one of the best technologies that you can use in your onboarding process.
Thanks to COVID-19, most organizations and individuals have become wizards with video conferencing technology. When it comes to video conferencing platforms, there are several different options on the market including Zoom, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting and more. There are a number of benefits to using video conferencing with your remote employees including:
While there can be an adjustment period for those who are not familiar to the technology, video conferencing can be an important communication tool for remote teams.
The advantages of onboarding your employees extends to remote workers too. These include:
Engagement - by starting your onboarding process early, you’ll help your remote employee to become more engaged with your company.
Belonging - building a sense of belonging for new hires is one of the most important benefits that come with an onboarding process.
Understanding - unlike in-person employees who can often pick up on your company’s unique practices and policies during their time in the office, remote employees cannot. A good onboarding process will help new remote employees come to understand the personality and practices of your organization.
Paperless - a digital onboarding experience is environmentally-friendly by reducing the amount of paper that is produced during the process. It also helps employees reduce clutter on their desks.
It can be challenging to onboard new employees who will be working from home. Some of these disadvantages include:
Lack of in-person contact - it can be easier to get to know someone if you have some in-person interaction. Unfortunately, that can be one of the biggest challenges that comes with remote teams.
Camaraderie- building a collaborative team can be tough when your team members are scattered all over. When you bring a new employee into the team, creating an atmosphere of comaraderie can be a big obstacle.
Here are some ways you can prepare a remote onboarding process:
If your organization is looking to simplify the onboarding process with your remote employees, let us help.