Closing the Void: Onboarding Tips for Remote Employees
Wednesday, May 10, 2017 4:45:01 PM

Does your organization provide any proper onboarding program for a remote employee? How does your organization take care of the training need of a remote employee? Don’t be surprised if you encounter such questions from your prospective employees, as remote workforce has already emerged as the ‘new normal’ for organizations. Recently, a survey of business leaders participated in the Global Leadership Summit in London revealed that the full-time employees of over half of participants’ organizations would be working remotely that, too, by 2020.   

According to multiple studies, home-based or remote employee are more productive and tend to stay at their companies longer. After all, the perks they are enjoying—flexible working hours, perfect work-life balance, and unlimited workspace options—are lucrative. Aren’t they?

However, the remote working option has some dangerous undercurrents, too. Unplanned brainstorming, team building and building personal rapport with coworkers—some of the key factors for employee engagement—are ‘unnaturally’ missing from the remote- office environment.

Time has come for leadership and human resources teams to give a careful consideration to all these issues. Otherwise, bringing a newly hired remote employees up to speed would pose a serious challenge.

Our team has come up with three ‘great’ onboarding strategies that bridge the void between an organization and its remote workers, thereby making them perform at their best.

 

  • Pay heed to regular check-ins: Job training is probably the very first step of the onboarding process. The market is flooded with various digital tools used for onboarding remote employees. However, it does not undermine the importance of open as well as frequent communications. So, make sure that you arrange check-in meetings on a regular basis. Having a dedicated onboarding specialist plays a key role in welcoming new employees. Likewise, a buddy system can assist new hires in gaining some additional guidance and institutional knowledge.

 

  • Focus on creating team-building opportunities: Create an inclusive environment right from the first day by planning weekly or monthly meetings so that both your remote and in-house employees get to know each other. Always ensure that all remote employees are kept in the loop about your organization’s latest activities. Coming up with opportunities for togetherness also goes a long way in bridging the long-distance relationship gap between in-office and remote employees.

 

  • Make investments in training and development: Continuing training and development programs is all about making investments in all your employees’ future. However, these programs should cover remote employees as well. This way, you ultimately show them that your organization gives an equal value to their success in the company. Providing opportunities to attend seminars, conferences, or complete professional development courses or certifications is always a good proposition. No matter whether you take a small-level option like webinars or a bigger leap, for example, reimbursing your remote employees’ tuition fees for professional development courses, incorporating development opportunities into the onboarding process for your remote workers will definitely reap huge benefits.

 

Remote employees will constitute a lion’s share of tomorrow’s workforce. The difference between the leaders and the laggards will hinge on how well an organization accommodates its remote employees. Be a leader, not a laggard! Give your onboarding the much-needed makeover to make your remote workforce feel an active part of your organization.