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The Leader’s Guide to Onboarding Remote Workers

5 months ago by Andrea Amato

​Laying out the best practices for integrating your remote employees with your company culture.

The onboarding process can be complex, even in organisations bountiful with resources. It is an especially important process when introducing remote team members to your company, as this includes its own onboarding implications.

With this in mind, having a structured approach to onboarding can assist your organisation in better recruiting a remote team. The following guide will walk you through one example of the onboarding process that considers the requirements of a remote workforce.

1. Outline your company goals and culture

When onboarding new employees, one of the first goals of employers is to spread the company vision and culture. In explaining your company’s core values, employees can integrate these goals immediately and translate these through their work assignments.

Be sure to discuss these goals in a clear manner, without any room for ambiguity. This means the company website, job description, and interview process leave employees with a good sense of what their role entails.

2. Organise your paperwork digitally

Typically, in office environments employees print, sign, and deliver documents to their respective departments. With a remote workforce, it is worth taking the time to understand and invest in document-signing software. Software such as DocuSign allows for electronic documents to be signed and sent securely within a quick timeframe.

3. Share your brand’s materials and resources

Before your remote employees begin their first project, it is worth sharing with them all relevant resources pertaining to the voice of your organisation. These include any brand and content style guides, and other documents that present your company values.

Ensure these documents are up to date and include fine details, from establishing the tone of the company to grammatical considerations. This will help answer creative questions your employees have and bring the community feel home.

4. Prioritise communication

Where the onboarding process is similar for in-office and remote jobs, one of the largest differences lies in communication. Ensuring clear and effective communication to your remote team is important to overcome challenges related to distance and miscommunication.

Before onboarding new members, set a communication standard that is flexible for employers and employees. This will help demonstrate the expectations from both parties throughout. Allow time for questions and feedback, so that these can positively direct your standard for the future.

5. Establish points of contact

For any new employee, it is important to know who to reach when encountering any difficulties. It is also helpful to understand who forms part of your team and their respective roles. This is especially true for remote workers, who do not face their team members as you would in the office. A list of relevant contacts in one document is helpful to offer guidance to remote employees for their jobs in Malta and beyond.

6. Introduce your team

As part of the onboarding process, introducing newcomers to teams across the organisation is a great way to make them feel part of it. For remote employees, this is especially important as they may never get to meet certain colleagues in person.

Peer-to-peer interaction is a strong social value for many individuals, so this should be given priority from the beginning. In introducing team members, employees will understand who’s who in the company and certain team dynamics.

7. Check-in with your employees

Organising regular one-to-one meetings with your employees is a standard practice to keep up with their workload, but they also work to understand how employees are doing. For a remote workforce, this is also needed to fulfil communication opportunities whereby employees feel they can approach their leaders.

Set up consistent meetings with a mixture of team interactions and one-on-one engagements. Allow room for questions and feedback in order to build an understanding working relationship. Regular check-ins remain an important means to support a sense of belongingness with employees, and this support should be a core organisational value.

8. Set adaptable and clear expectations

The working society has only recently moved in favour of a largely remote workforce, mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With these changes, managers and employers should communicate clear workplace expectations that are manageable given the circumstances. Generally speaking, ensure that your new employees understand what is expected from them. Workplace goals and tasks can be recorded in a shared document so that these can be referred to where needed.

Complete the onboarding process

A clear and consistent structure to follow effective onboarding will make the process simpler for new employees and employers. In meeting your goals, your employees will understand the company culture and their role, making their job a smooth and enjoyable journey.

Consider what marks the end of the onboarding process and determine when an employee has fully onboarded. Is it after a specific time period, or after a project has been completed? Whatever it is, a strong onboarding process will leave a positive impression on the organisation and your new remote employees.

This article is from the Castille Quarterly Newsletter | July 2021