Onboarding employees who work from home is different from onboarding employees who work on site. Let’s say that remote onboarding employees are the same as… spoons are like vacuum cleaners are to mops.
There are a lot of similarities between these things, but the way they are made makes them useful for different things.
The goal of a special checklist for onboarding remote employees is to make sure they are happy and interested in their work.
Checklists for successful remote employees
Prepare virtual employees to deal with the problems that come with working from home.
Help people who work from home connect with their teammates outside of the office.
Show employees how to use a variety of tools for communication and work.
Help employees get excited and involved from a distance.
Do these sound like perks you want for your new employees who will work from home? We’ll help you get there with our 6-step remote onboarding checklist.
Step 1 is to hire remote workers.
Goal 1: Send messages that are easy to understand
Your website, job descriptions, and interview processes should give remote employees (and really all employees) a clear idea of what your company wants in a role and who you are as a company, including your mission, values, culture, and people.
You can work with a company like Caroo to make personalized remote onboarding experiences that fit with your values and company culture. Their platform lets you save time during the onboarding process and set up automated triggers to send unique new hire kits to each employee who joins your company.
Goal 2 – Look for remote culture compatibility
The way a group works together can make or break remote teams. Check out how candidates use the tools and processes that your remote workers use. Even if you get along well in a traditional interview, that doesn’t mean you’ll get along well at work.
Working with the remote onboarding experts at BambeeHR can help you define and clarify your virtual onboarding plan so that your new hires are set up for success from the moment they accept their offer letter until their 5 year work anniversary.
Step 2: Let people work from home
Goal 1: Explain how work will be done and what is expected
Employees who work from home sometimes feel like they’re working in a void. Clear expectations give them good ways to measure how well they’re doing, even if they don’t get the smiles, high fives, and “good job” comments that we take for granted in the office.
Goal 2: Make sure all the necessary paperwork is filled out by new hires.
Since you don’t have to wait for remote employees to come into the office to hand them a stack of forms, you can get this easy task done soon after the offer letter is signed. This gives new people who work from home a lot of time to fill out the forms. (Plus, when that first day comes, they won’t have to worry about boring logistics.)
Phase 3: Getting employees who work from home started early
Goal 1: Get people interested
Before the official start date, many employees may be busy wrapping up things at their old jobs and feeling emotionally drained. You don’t want to take up too much of their time because of this. Many ways to get your future teammates excited take little or no time, which is good. We wanted to list some things they could do in the first few days to get people excited and get their job off to a good start.
Goal 2 – Answer questions
People who just got a new job often have a lot of questions as they wait for their first day. Most of the time, they don’t know anyone at the company yet who they could talk to.
Goal 3: Give out important information
Information overload is real, but people who work from home often feel like they don’t know enough or aren’t connected. Giving them a lot of information will make them feel like their new job is safe and real.
Goal 4: Help people who work from home set up their offices.
If you tweak this process, you and your remote workers will both have a lot less trouble. The process of bringing on a remote worker should always be flexible and change as your company grows.
Phase 4: Welcome remote workers on the first day
Goal 1: Make new hires feel like they belong.
Employees are more likely to do well when they are part of a team. Employees who work from home won’t be able to feel the vibes of the team on-site, but you can still let them know they’re part of the group.
Goal 2: Give them motivation to do their best.
The best leaders know that there are many ways to be inspired. Understanding what your newly hired remote worker needs from you to keep them motivated will help you get the most out of their work and build engagement on your virtual team.
Goal 3: Get to know the new staff
Introductions and announcements could be the most important parts of the onboarding process when it comes to making remote employees happier. Employees who work from home don’t have as many chances to introduce themselves on the first day at work. You need to set up systems to make sure that they meet a lot of people.
Goal 4 – Discuss goals and deliverables
By the time you get to this step, you’ve probably already given your remote employees some tasks and goals. Now it’s time to talk about those things in more depth and give your employees a chance to ask questions.
Phase 5: Getting remote workers set up and trained in the first weeks
Goal 1: Help new employees get to know each other.
Having good relationships at work helps people stay at their jobs and be happy with them. Even though they work from home, remote workers still have to follow the rules.
Goal 2: Give them a lot of important work to do.
Don’t forget about and lose track of employees who work from home. Put them to work on as many projects as you can.
Phase 6: Building a team of remote employees on-going
Goal 1: Make building teams from far away a permanent part of your business.
Don’t stop giving your remote workers things to do after the initial rush of getting them started. To stay interested, these employees will need to keep in touch with the rest of the team through virtual means.
Goal 2: Find out how happy and satisfied employees who work from home are.
The end goal of all this onboarding is to have happy, engaged remote workers. Find ways to measure how well your onboarding program is working so you can either celebrate when you reach your end goal or make changes to get there.
Goal 3: Celebrate the end of the onboarding process
When onboarding is done, there are many reasons to celebrate. If you’ve reached all your goals, new employees who work from home will know a lot of people, understand many parts of your company, and have worked on a lot of important projects.