With 47% of employees wanting to continue working at home often or all of the time, it’s no surprise that businesses are changing their approach to onboarding employees. However, it can be challenging for new employees to embrace the company culture and get to know the team when they’re sitting behind a screen, often hundreds of miles away. Without the small talk by the coffee machine or the offer of grabbing lunch out with your new teammates, the first few days may be a little daunting.
We’ve pulled together a few tools employers can use to ensure their remote employees get off to the best start in their new role.
Prepare ahead of their first day
Ensure your remote employee has everything they need to do their job from day 1. If a package can be sent with the essentials such as a laptop right down to the details that show you care – Coffee? A few snacks? – this can really help to ease those first day nerves and allows the employee to instantly feel a connection to the business.
Access to the usual applications is essential, but also consider other systems that your new employee may need. If you’re able to set everything up ahead of their first day, it will ensure they can get going from day one, rather than feeling as though they are having to battle with the IT department!
Assign a dedicated teammate
During the first few weeks, it’s likely your new team member will be spending a lot of time with their manager as they outline the business and how their role supports this. Whilst it’s necessary to introduce them to the role, it can often be a good idea to introduce them to a member of the team who sits separately from them, but still has a good understanding of their role. This allows the new employee to have more informal conversations about the business and how things are run. It also allows them to ask anything they don’t yet feel comfortable asking their manager. This is something that is formed quite naturally in an office setting but can be quite difficult when onboarding remotely.
Share the business culture
After their first day, employees can often pick up on ‘the way things are done’ in a business, from dress code, working hours, meeting etiquette and how the team tends to communicate with one another. However, this is often lost when working remotely and can leave the new employee either left guessing or missing the mark on the social etiquette expected via video calls. Discuss each element of your company culture with your new employee, to ensure they are comfortable with what is expected of them.
Make time for informal discussions
According to HRreview, 31% of remote workers suffer loneliness and isolation. It’s important to create opportunities to connect to the team as well as the wider business in a more relaxed format in order to give them a sense of belonging. This can be through face-to-face social events, regular informal check ins with and without the team, or even just a coffee (provided or expensed to the company) and chat to allow your new employee to get to know each of you on a personal level. Be sure to ask them how they’re finding the role and specifically managing this from home, allowing them to share any anxieties or struggles they have. Once the new employee opens up about any issues, discuss ways you can work together to alleviate these and check in regularly to offer continuous support where needed.
The recent increase in remote working has transformed our lifestyles. Whilst we have had to think carefully about our communication particularly when we onboard remote employees, they now have the opportunity to develop a healthier work-life balance and better fit their jobs into their lives.
If you’re looking to recruit remote employees, get in touch with our expert team.