Bringing aboard employees from diverse geographic locations is becoming more common. However, fostering a sense of belonging for remote workers is more difficult. Learn how onboarding plays an important role in uniting remote workers with in-office staff and helping your business grow.
Set Aside Adequate Time for Onboarding
Onboarding remote workers may be more involved and time-consuming than onboarding in-office workers. Physical distance and time zone differences may pose additional challenges for communicating and building relationships. Also, cultural differences may hinder remote workers from blending with the in-office teams. Because remote workers will need additional help absorbing company culture and knowledge, they need information given to them as quickly as possible.
Your onboarding schedule needs to be customized for each remote hire. Consider each employee’s role, skill sets, and responsibilities when creating your plan. Set clear expectations as to what each new hire should gain from onboarding and what the manager should provide. Define each worker’s responsibilities, individual and team goals, your company’s values, and timeframes for onboarding, goals and reviews. Document the process so the new hire can refer to it as needed. Be sure you review your expectations and ask for questions at the end of each day.
Encourage self-guided learning by providing product documentation online, self-help articles, company processes and policies, online training opportunities, and performance tracking tools. Also, create measurable performance targets and goals so your remote workers know what needs accomplishing and when.
Transfer Company Culture
Because remote workers don’t get to participate in watercooler talks or have casual conversations with co-workers throughout the day, they don’t have the advantage of determining the beliefs and behaviors of your company through in-person interactions. Therefore, it’s important that meetings and personal communications are done through video as much as possible so remote workers pick up on and absorb company culture. Ensure managers and co-workers show supportive and inclusive behavior by checking in regularly with remote workers and seeing their progress. Offer opportunities to visit the office and collaborate with colleagues in-person when possible. Building company culture helps your employees work together more effectively for greater output and an increased bottom line.
Remind Your Staff to Include Remote Workers
Introduce your staff to remote workers as soon as possible, and remind staff to include them in events whenever they can. When co-workers find things they have in common, they feel a stronger need to perform their work and fulfill expectations. Having all of your employees sharing ideas and experiences helps promote collaboration and increased productivity. Also, remote hires will know who to turn to when they have questions or need help.