Your Complete Guide to Onboarding Remote Employees

Katie Harrower |

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Your onboarding process may need to be revisited in light of new working-from-home policies and increased access to flexible working.

A year and a half ago, remote onboarding was likely unheard of in your company, or offered on a one-time, exceptional-circumstance basis. But since offices were encouraged to go fully remote and we all stayed out-of-office for months (or, for some, even years), remote working policies are looking more and more attractive to businesses and employees.

It is therefore very likely that your business will face the challenge of onboarding employees remotely, if you haven’t already done so. And with that comes a number of further challenges - you may need to review your current onboarding process in its entirety, realising that your old one is no longer fit for purpose in a digital, remote-work universe. Here are some useful steps to get you started when onboarding an employee remotely.

1. Prepare them pre-onboarding.

The onboarding process should begin the moment an offer is made by the employer to the employee. The time from then until their first day is the perfect opportunity for you and your team to prepare for their arrival, and to make sure they have everything they need in order to start smoothly and efficiently. Some things to consider:

  • What equipment will they need to successfully start as a remote employee? Whether it be computers, monitors or telephone equipment, this is the first step in establishing the pre-onboarding requirements of your new remote employee. Create a remote inventory checklist so better document each individual step taken, and track when equipment has been sent and received.
  • What software will they need to have installed? Make a short list of the required programs to be downloaded onto their work computer, outlining how to access each one with login instructions. It’s also a good idea to create a schedule for their first week so they know which meetings to attend.
  • How will they sign their offer letter? Use an electronic signature software to ensure they can return their signed documentation in good time before their first day. As well as this, their payroll and and direct deposit should be set up ready to go.
  • Where will their personal information be stored? Invest in an HR software solution like Youmanage to securely store and protect their sensitive data like personal information, bank details, and development plans. With our Self-Service capability they can virtually log-in and update the information themselves.

2. Follow the induction process.

  • Help them to better understand your company culture. Provide your new employee with a digital copy of the employee handbook, and access to any digital tools you use internally for company news and updates.
  • Define short- and long- term goals. It’s important that your new remote employee understands what is expected of them on a short-term and long-term basis. A task calendar should be created as well as weekly one-to-one meetings so as to leave them feeling reassured rather than lost and confused.
  • Arrange meetings with other members of the team. Allow them to get to know their colleagues while at the same time making important connections for the business, which will likely bring about opportunities for them to be proactive and prove their ability to self-manage.

3. Continue ongoing support.

  • Arrange regular one-to-ones and check-ins. Don’t leave your new employee completely on their own, and instead put time in the diary for weekly check-ins and monthly one-to-ones to see how they’re getting on with everything and ensure they are enjoying the job. This will benefit you both on a long term basis, providing opportunities for feedback on both sides.
  • Find a way to track goals and deliverables. Whether it be through HR software or another external goal tracker, there are plenty of digital ways to track how your new remote employee is getting on with their dedicated workload.
  • Ask for feedback on the remote onboarding process. The key to any successful remote onboarding process is constant feedback allowing you and your colleagues to improve on the information and training provided. Make sure they are given the opportunity to provide feedback to allow your process to grow and develop. The surveys feature within Youmanage is a great way to access feedback from employees, even anonymously, allowing for further honesty and ability to give constructive criticism.

Did you find this article useful? Youmanage is a HR software platform providing embedded guidance and support at every step of your day-to-day HR and business activities. Take out a free 30-day trial, or book a free demo with our Support Team for more information.

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Katie is the Marketing Executive here at Youmanage. Within the wider team, she is responsible for managing all aspects of marketing communications, including content and digital strategy, social media, website traffic, prospective client experience and the overall satisfaction of existing Youmanage users.