The era of the remote workplace is well underway. Yet for many organizations, the challenges that come with it remain a constant concern.
Many organizations find it more of a challenge to manage remote employees and maintain a strong team atmosphere. This can have an impact in many areas of day-to-day operations, but maybe nowhere more than in the onboarding process for a new employee.
A new remote employee needs to be set up for success from day one. But what does that involve? How can you effectively adapt the employee onboarding and training process to a remote format? Better yet, how can you enhance it? We’ll cover all of that and more in this blog post.
#1 Set Everything Up for a Successful First Day
To guide your new employee along their path, it’s essential to have everything in place from day one.
What’s less obvious is what that looks like in practice. Next, we’ll take a look at the preparatory steps for successful remote onboarding. Related: The Ultimate Guide to Onboarding Remote Employees.
Preparing Your People
Possibly the most important part of virtual onboarding and training your new remote employee is making them feel as comfortable asking questions as possible. However, posing inquiries can be especially challenging in a remote context. To that end, create an opportunity for your new hire to get to know their remote team (preferably via video).
Then, make sure the right people are in place to field questions as they arise.
Who needs to be prepped and ready to answer anything on your new team member’s mind? Make sure the following people are all set to help your new employee find their footing and get comfortable at your company:
- The new hire’s team leader
- IT team members
- A dedicated onboarding specialist
Equipping Your New Hire
Having the right people in place also makes it easier to get your new team member set up with the equipment they need to get off to a productive start.
- Make a point of acquainting your new hire with your main remote communication channel early on. This way, they can more easily get to know your team, meaningfully participate in meetings, collaborate more effectively, and more.
- Provide access to their company email, databases, and other important resources as soon as possible. Having all of this in place from day one gifts you with a confident, productive team member much more quickly.
#2 Develop a Team Atmosphere
Remote work isn’t without its potential downsides. It can be isolating.
That’s why it’s important to devote energy and resources toward building team morale remotely and a format of open communication for your remote workforce. It’s even more important to establish this for a new employee from the beginning. Giving the new hire an onboarding buddy is a great option to help them feel comfortable and feel like they are supported.
How do you do that effectively in a remote setting, where spontaneous, organic employee interactions are typically all but lost? The standard formats for communication between team members come with a lot of built-in barriers—for example,invitation-only video calls and group chats are less than inclusive. Under these circumstances, there typically isn’t much opportunity for a new hire to build relationships and get to know your company culture.
To address this problem, create something that’s often lost in the shift to a remote format: a virtual office setting encouraging availability and approachability for the new team member.
When a new hire can talk to other team members as easily as if they were in the same room, there’s much more opportunity to learn from experienced employees and establish a remote work culture.
#3 Take a Remote-First Approach to Training
The remote era of work comes with both potential opportunities and hazardous pitfalls. Thriving in this setting requires a different set of skills than in the physical office.
A new employee’s success depends on how you set up the training process. Your remote-first approach to new employee training should include:
- Learning options – Options for self-directed learning combined with a collaborative, team-oriented environment allow a new hire to learn in the way that suits them best.
- Remote work guidelines – A new employee should immediately know what’s expected of them in terms of remote team communication and workflow. This might involve etiquette guidelines like an on-camera dress code, rules for using certain software applications while remote working, or other expectations.
- Trackable metrics – Setting clear goals for a new hire makes it easier to track how effectively your training and onboarding program is preparing them for their role with your organization.
- Regular check-ins – As we’ve noted, the remote workplace can make it more intimidating to ask questions. Make sure your onboarding process involves beginning-of-day and end-of-day check-ins so that your new hire has a dedicated time and place to raise any issues and update you on their progress.
Revolutionize Your Onboarding Process with Teamflow
There’s no better way to work remotely than through Teamflow. Combining the benefits of both remote and physical workspaces, it’s a flexible solution suited for employee training, meeting management, or any of your other collaborative needs.
A stronger, more productive team depends on deeper relationships and broader channels of communication. Build them through our customizable virtual office setting.
Ready to introduce your new hire to their virtual workplace? Reach out to us now!
Reviewed by Florent Crivillo, CEO and Founder at TeamFlow
Florent Crivello is the Founder and CEO of Teamflow, a virtual office that helps remote and hybrid teams do their best work in the best way. In a former life, Flo was the Head of Product for Uber Works, where he experienced firsthand the difficulties of managing a distributed and remote workforce. Following that experience, Flo conceived, coded, and launched the first version of Teamflow in early 2020. Since then, he's raised $50m in funding from top-flight venture capitalists including MenloVentures, Battery, and Coatue to revolutionize the way we work. In his spare time, Flo is a contributing writer to Forbes magazine.
Harvard Business Review. How to Set Up a Remote Employee for Success on Day One. https://hbr.org/2021/05/how-to-set-up-a-remote-employee-for-success-on-day-one
HR Morning. How to train remote employees to work more effectively. https://www.hrmorning.com/articles/train-remote-employees/