The pandemic has compelled many businesses to opt for a remote workforce. However, as the organizations make the shift to remote work, they are facing many challenges in communication and trust-building leading to employee turnover.
Employee turnover is indeed costly and reports suggest that 20% of employees leave within the first 45 days of employment. Given the pandemic situation and evolving expectations of employees, a robust onboarding program for the remote workforce would be a worthwhile investment.
When new employees are physically distant, it is crucial to make them feel included and empowered. Though it is a herculean task, having a sound strategy in place would work wonders. Let’s understand some of the key strategies to keep the remote work smooth here.
Here is a simple checklist that you need to tick-off as you onboard remote employees.
There are several services like DocuSign, HelloSign, and many more that are legitimate and legally binding. You can help the remote workforce join your organization easily by allowing them to complete their paperwork using these user-friendly services.
It is essential to equip your new hires with all office accessories before time. It may include a laptop, phone, charger, keyboard, desk, and many more. Take advantage of premium shipping services for guaranteed delivery. Also, alternatively, you may ask them to order themselves through your office account, as convenient. All these should be done before the official start date to make them feel enthusiastic to work for your organization.
Send new hires a welcome package and make them feel included in your organization. It could be an office mug, T-shirt, gift cards, welcome note, or any other gifts. You may also organize a team meeting to introduce the team. It acts as an ice-breaker for the new hires. Also, you can share a digital employee handbook, share presentations, pictures, or videos on company values.
It is crucial to introduce them to the communication technology used in the office and help them get familiar with the office tools. It could be a company email, video conferencing software, project management tools, group messaging tool, and others.
Ensure that the new hires’ immediate supervisors are online to share tasks, define short-term and long-term goals with them. The managers should encourage the new hires to get accustomed to the new environment, work tasks, help them speed up tasks, communicate with other team members and leads, and so forth. A weekly one-on-one meeting would help to understand the organization better, know the progress, and resolve potential issues.
It is essential to train new employees. To make it more effective, sharing product demo recordings, interactive training courses, quizzes, questions and answers, online team meetings, are best recommended. The managers must have a close follow-up and ensure positive vibes among the new team members. Of course, this does not suggest micromanagement.
An in-person meeting is not possible when the remote hires are far-off from the office location. However, in any case, the employee is based near the office, consider calling them to the office depending on the situation (considering the ongoing pandemic). If your organization has distributed employees, it is recommended to schedule a quarterly or annual retreat and meet the entire team.
Remote onboarding could be a passive experience. So, it is recommended to create opportunities to let employees express their personality, demonstrate skills, or share what and how they like to work. Understand their background, interests, and humor.
With remote work, the biggest threat to employees’ success is disconnect and isolation. It may forge weaker relationships among the teammates. Annual conferences, get-togethers, and other small efforts are necessary to make them feel connected. Virtual meetings, hangouts, or celebrations would boost employee morale to a greater extent.
Moving forward, let’s understand what is more needed than this checklist. This checklist is simple comprising of paperwork and technology accessories. More than this, inculcating a sense of belonging and company culture is extremely important when there is no physical office space. The talent manager's role is of prime importance here.
Remote jobs are increasing today at a steady rate owing to the pandemic. Many companies may resort to remote work partially or completely post-pandemic owing to its convenience and other advantages.
Strong connections take time. Pay special attention when it comes to remote jobs. Give space and time for new hires. Give an onboarding partner for every new remote hire. Introduce new hires to people across the departments which will lead to cross-functional collaboration. Customize activities as per the learning and social needs of the employee. Give personalized and individual time for a new hire.
Managing talent is a talent indeed. Lead by example by redefining your talent through talent management research and studies. Upgrade yourself, keep your learning curve unceasing to meet the evolving needs of employees and employee culture.