— April 16, 2019
When you hire new employees at a physical office, those new hires can come in, meet with the whole team, see how your company works first hand, and shadow other employees all day to learn exactly what to do. But with remote work, you don’t have that ability.
Remote work is on the rise. In fact, according to a global survey of part-time remote workers, 60 percent said that if they could, they would leave their current job for a full-time remote position at the same pay rate. But many companies might still be wary of going remote because of the lack of in-person onboarding and training. They might worry about how they will ever properly train new hires through a computer screen. But they don’t have to worry anymore. With the rise in popularity of remote work, comes a wide range of new tools and tips to help you onboard remote workers effortlessly and effectively.
Here’s how to onboard your new remote team members easily.
Create onboarding docs.
First, you need to provide your remote team members with all of the information they need to be successful in their new position. So, be sure to create a number of onboarding docs and give your remote workers the ability to electronically sign important online forms. Some onboarding docs you may need to provide new hires include:
- Company Policies and Handbook
- Instruction Manuals/Tutorials
- List of Company Employees, Position, and Contact
- Company Style Guide
- Project Details
- Product Information
- Company Values
- Role Description and Goals/Deadlines
Anything you would provide to your in-person employees, provide to your remote employees in a digital format. You can provide these onboarding documents to your remote hires easily using a free tool like Google Docs. Using Google Docs will allow you to put all of your important onboarding docs into one easy-to-find location. Plus, your new remote team members will be able to access the important docs from anywhere.
Take advantage of video meetings.
Just because you’re hiring remote employees, doesn’t mean you can’t meet with them “face-to-face”. Video meetings are the perfect replacement for those in-person chats you’ll be missing out on. Video meetings are great for introducing new remote hires, team building, and for one-on-one meetings where you can talk in-depth about projects, goals, and timelines. Consider holding a company video meeting each week as well as a weekly one-on-one meeting for new hires.
There are a number of tools you can use for video meetings, including Zoom, which you can start using for free. Zoom meetings include video conferencing along with real-time messaging and content sharing. Plus, remote workers can join in on video meetings from any device.
Use communication and project management tools.
Aside from weekly video meetings, your new remote hires will need to be able to easily communicate with you and the rest of the team. In a survey from AND CO and Remote Year, 44 percent of respondents said that the most important tool was real-time communications solutions. Instead of relying on email for this, use a communication tool like Slack. Slack is a collaborative communication hub that makes it easy for remote works to connect with each other. You can organize Slack channels by project, team, topic, or whatever makes sense for your company.
You’ll also need to be able to check in on the new remote hires’ progress and see what tasks they’re working on as well. You can accomplish this by implementing a project management solution like Asana. With Asana you can easily organize and plan projects as well as assign tasks with due dates to team members, so you can keep your remote team on schedule.
Send them some swag.
A key part of onboarding is making new hires feel welcome. So, you want to make your new remote hires feel like a part of the team too. Since you can’t do that by throwing them a party or giving them an office with their name on it, send them some sweet company swag.
Getting some company swag in the mail will make your remote hires feel appreciated and can help promote your company culture as well. For instance, you could get company t shirts made. Use a WordPress plugin to create an online form for remote workers to choose their size and provide shipping details, and then ship them out their swag. Making a new remote hire feel welcome and keeping company morale up is just as important as giving them the information they need to be successful in their new position.
Onboarding remote team members doesn’t have to be difficult and it shouldn’t stop your company from going remote. With these tips for how to onboard new remote team members easily, your new hires will feel confident in their new positions, which will give you peace of mind that your business is in good hands.