5 tips on how to onboard employees from a distance

5 tips on how to onboard employees from a distance

Here are 5 tips on how to welcome a new recruit remotely.

Plan ahead

Make sure there’s an IT person available to help things go smoothly, especially with accesses to the company’s systems.

If the company has a welcome kit for new employees, send it ahead electronically a few days before the person is due to start work.

Stay close on the first day

Organize a team meeting the first morning to introduce the new employee to his or her colleagues. You won’t get a second chance to make a good first impression…

Be available during the day to answer questions. If you aren’t free, then assign someone to take your place.

Even if you have a busy schedule, make time to check in with your new recruit by phone or videoconference instead of email.

Their tone of voice and body language will give you a better read than if they write to you and are trying to sound confident.

Make contact:

  • At coffee break time to discuss their first impressions and any concerns they may have.
  • At lunchtime, with a few team members, to get to know the person in a less formal way.
  • At the end of the day, to make sure they are feeling confident and to reassure them if necessary.

Provide them with all the documentation they will need for their day-to-day: attendance forms, expense reports, etc. Tell them who they can contact about any employment issues.

Give them the big picture

Schedule virtual meetings between the new employee and key people so that the new hire understands the connections between his/her role and the others.

This will help to build confidence and:

  • Learn more about their role and the contribution they can make to the company
  • Take the initiative more quickly and be more creative
  • Have a better grasp of organizational issues and internal rules of diplomacy.

Tell them about the company history, successes and challenges.

Tell them about the company culture, values, objectives, customs and practices.

Pair them up with a mentor for the transition period as they adapt to their new role and career path within the company.

Talk to them

Your remote employees will do better and be more efficient if you know what their expectations, priorities and career objectives are. Just ask!

Keep them informed about the projects the team is working on, any difficulties and highlights.

Provide the opportunity to contribute to their colleagues’ projects. You never know what a difference a new perspective can make. And will help build confidence too.

And be patient

Joining a new team in person can be intimidating. Being a new employee means new challenges and things to learn. Feeling stressed, inadequate and overwhelmed are often par for the course.

So imagine what it’s like when you join a new team remotely!

Don’t expect your new recruit to be able to perform as well as those who’ve been there longer. Give them time to adapt and learn. Be there for them.

Put them at ease so they feel comfortable asking questions.

And give them praise!