How To Remotely Onboard A New Employee

Publié le 12 June 2020 Par

It may seem difficult to believe, but there are a number of companies and businesses that are currently hiring new employees. As businesses and the job market continue to react to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people are still looking for work that will utilize their skills and abilities. With millions of people now working from home in Canada and around the world, aspects of the traditional office workspace need to be adapted to remote work. Onboarding and training is an important — and expensive — part of the recruitment process. It costs an average of $3000 to train new employees, so HR managers need to make the process as efficient as possible to respect both company resources and the time of a new employee. Here are the effective steps that HR managers can when wondering how to remotely onboard a new employee:

  • Come prepared
  • Give them the right resources
  • Encourage questions 
  • Check-in without micromanaging
  • Make them feel part of the team

Come Prepared

Onboarding and training takes time, and not preparing well enough will only make it take even longer. Think of it like being a teacher at a school, you need to show up with a lesson plan everyday. Take the time to prepare all the documents and info that a new employee will need in order to get started, and map out how you want the first few days ago. Give them specific goals that will help them mark their progress, but leave a little wiggle room for adaptation to best suit their learning needs.

Prepared examples and guides will help to remotely onboard a new employee, allowing them to learn and practice on their own. Send this info to them ahead of time if possible. If the new employee has time to review everything before, they can already prepare questions and identify any areas that might seem confusing. Doing the onboarding process remotely will naturally require a bit of adjustment, but preparing beforehand will actually save time and help things go smoothly.

Give Them the Right Resources

When beginning to remotely onboard a new employee, it is important to give them all the resources they need to succeed from the very start. A bit more preparation is necessary when working to remotely onboard a new employee because of the increased technical requirements. Working from home is a new situation for many of us, so always be sure to leave time to adjust to any technical issues.

Making sure that a new hire has the right resources also includes access to helpful members of the work team. Afterall, people are the most important resources at a business. Collaborate with the IT department to ensure that a new employee has the right equipment and the correct software that they will be using to perform their duties. Any troubleshooting that can be done beforehand will save more time during the training and onboarding period. Job shadowing has proven to be an effective way to help new employees perform at their best at a quicker rate, and can even help lead to promotions and career advancement. If there is another employee who will be performing a similar job role, make sure to connect them so that the new worker can reach out to someone with first-hand experience.

Encourage Questions

Some people are naturally more introverted than others, and it is simply their natural personality. Being in a new situation and meeting new people can create feelings of anxiety and shyness. This is why HR managers have to encourage questions and engage in a dialogue when working to remotely onboard a new employee. Employees need to feel that they can ask questions at any time, as this is the only way to learn. The more questions they ask, the quicker they will be able to adapt to their new role.

HR managers should make it a point to ask new employees if they have any concerns, or need further clarification. This onboarding period should be like a two-way street, with manager and employee freely talking about all the facets of the work tasks and projects. It is also not a bad idea to directly ask a remote employee if there is anything they don’t quite understand or need further explanation. It is much easier to help them learn during the onboarding process than to wait until they have been doing their job for days or weeks.

Check-In (But Don’t Micromanage)

A new employee should always be supported and guided, but it’s important to draw the line at micromanagement. Micromanaging employees is never a good idea, especially when they are just starting out. When surveyed about this issue, 71% of employees state that micromanagement has negatively impacted their job performance, it should not be something that interferes with their training and onboarding.

Given the physical distance that occurs remotely onboarding a new employee, it is natural that a supervisor would want to constantly know how the new hire is doing. However, it’s important to give them the space they need to learn and adapt to a new work culture on their own. Constantly hovering and controlling their every move for the first couple weeks is not a good use of either of your time, even if your goal is to help.

Make Them Feel Like Part of the Team

The best type of workplace is one where people respect and support each other, are always ready to collaborate and are eager to work together in order to reach common goals. A strong workplace community is key to a successful business, and this does not change when people are working from home. Making sure a new team member feels like they belong will build trust among the colleagues and benefit everyone.

When working to remotely onboard a new employee, team bonding is a bit more complicated than heading to the bar across the street after work — but not that much more. Virtual hangouts and Zoom calls have quickly become the new normal for work teams. These can still be an effective way to keep up with our colleagues and maintain relationships, as long as we aren’t going overboard with Zoom Fatigue. Take steps to avoid overwhelming a new employee, so don’t introduce them to the entire company on one massive video call. Instead, create smaller groups of the people a new employee will be working with on a regular basis, allowing them to get to know a few people at a time. 

Onboarding a new employee as efficiently and effectively as possible has always been important, and this has not changed with many people working from home. A smooth onboarding and training process is beneficial for everyone, and HR managers and trainers need to put serious thought and effort into it. When it’s time to remotely onboard a new employee, many of the same principles still apply as long as everyone makes an effort to be patient and understanding of these unique circumstances. With the right preparation, it is possible to have an effective onboarding process, even when it is done remotely.