Working from home is not an entirely new concept for employers and employees, but onboarding work from home employees can be very challenging.
We have compiled some tips and steps that can help you to create effective and efficient onboarding strategy.
- Shorten your interview cycle
- A delayed hiring process frustrates both candidates and employers, causing the talent to lose interest and the company to lose the candidate. Our recommendation is to keep this process to 5 days between the 1st and final interview.
- For contract employees, companies should be able to assess whether they want to make an offer after just one interview. Understandably, you may want more than one interview with potential full-time employees. But keep in mind the longer you extend the hiring process, the less chance you have in a successful hire.
- Managing Paperwork
- There are few services like DocuSign or HelloSign and e-signature tools that are legally and legitimately binding and are real lifesavers for signing paperwork remotely. These services allow employees to be able to sign contracts digitally and share them with their employer in a secure environment.
- Equipment & Tools
- While onboarding the new work from home employee make sure they have all the tools and equipment like laptops and phones required for completing their tasks.
- Order the needed hardware well ahead of their starting date and make sure your employees receive them on time.
- Have your IT department pre-record a ‘How To’ video for setting up all their equipment
- Emphasise your company’s culture and values
- When it comes to keeping employees happy and engaged, company culture is king — and queen. A LinkedIn survey of over 3,000 professionals found that 70% said they would leave a leading company if it had a bad culture. Some 71% said they would take a pay cut to work for a company that shares their values and has a mission they believe in
- It’s important that you present an introduction to your company’s vision, mission, values, and products. You could also include a brief history of the company. Our recommendation is that you do this during the interview phase and throughout the onboarding process.
- Set expectations and goals
- Setting clear expectations and goals from day one is very important and critical when onboarding an employee that will work from home independently.
- Ensure these are reviewed daily and you have an end of week link up to discuss the outcomes, identifying underperformance and/or a lack of understanding can ensure any future issues are rectified early.
- Remember to keep lines of communication open in every aspect whether it’s via one-on-one video calls, team meetings or email.
- Our recommendation is that in the first week it happens every morning, and in the first week you go to Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
- Training Process
- It is very challenging when it comes to training the work from home employees, as the communication in real-time is often limited. For effective training, you can start by using user-friendly interactive courses, then recording videos of processes / protocols / software to help your remote employees better understand the features and boost their engagement. After the end of each training session follow up with your new employees to answer any questions that might come out.
- Make your work from home employees feel welcome
- Your new work from home employee most likely will become a very valuable member of your team, but because of the remote nature of the work, they might feel a bit isolated. You can start by sending them a welcome package with some branded products, like a T-shirt or coffee mug, personalized gifts like headphones, gift cards from some particular store, etc.
- Since the onboarding process is the time where your remote employee will have the most questions, make sure that you are there for them whenever they have issues. Also, encourage your other colleagues to be as helpful as possible so that the new employees can get up to speed very quickly, otherwise if the new remote employee is left without guidance with the projects at this sensitive period, they might feel overwhelmed and quit.
- Educate managers on the importance of one-to-one time with direct reports
- One way to do this is to educate managers on the importance of carving out time for one-to-one meetings with their direct reports. It could make a huge difference in the success of onboarding programs.
- Unfortunately, this often gets overlooked because we assume that managers/leaders already know this. But leadership is an iterative process. It is essential to involve and educate team managers and the broader leadership team into the essential components of successful onboarding. Education and knowledge sharing needs to flow openly and effectively between both sides.
- Evaluate the process of hiring a work from home employee
- Within a few weeks of hiring the work from home employee, have an open conversation with them about questions that arise from the working process, some suggestions, concerns, etc. Also, ask their co-workers for their feedback.
- After gathering all the information, evaluate them and determine if there should be made some changes to improve the whole work from home process. Be aware that there may be some trial and error before getting this whole process right.
First impressions are everything. How you welcome a new hire and usher them into your company will have an enormous impact on how engaged they are and how quickly they reach their full potential and productivity.
If you feel like you would benefit from more training or support on this then our consultants are on hand to guide you through your new remote onboarding strategy. Contact us today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org