How does HR onboarding work when your new hire isn’t in the same building?
Remote and hybrid working is a reality for many organisations these days, due both to COVID-19 and to growing employee demand. In fact, Buffer’s 2021 State of Remote Work report indicates that 97.6% of employees want to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their career. As such, having solid remote strategies in place will make all the difference for most organisations.
These seven key strategies can truly make or break your remote employee onboarding process.
- Aim for effortless communication
Communication is perhaps the single most important factor for successful remote work, and as such your modes for sharing work and resources with new hires needs to be robust. This means having an intranet or network that makes it easy to find, speak with and collaborate with other staff members, and a workplace culture where it’s normal and encouraged to do so.
- Equip your remote workers
Remote new hires will need the right tools for the job. If you need to send out phones, laptops and handbooks, or to configure employee accounts in certain programs, plan to complete this step early in the process so remote workers will have access on the day they begin.
- Consider creating cohorts
This may not always be possible, but hiring in batches can make for comfortable new hires as well as a potentially easier onboarding process for the organisation. New remote workers feel supported knowing they’re not the only ones starting that week or month, and can help each other out as they familiarise themselves with processes and policies. Meanwhile, you can concentrate your onboarding efforts and training to get everyone up to speed and thriving in their roles.
- Allocate plenty of time for training
While we’re on the subject of training, allocating enough time for it is a simple yet essential step for remote workers. They won’t have the luxury of having someone by their side to show them the ropes, so consider a learning management system or webinars to guide them through any necessary training. It could be worth surveying existing employees about their onboarding experiences, to gauge how long it will be before new hires can be expected to work at full capacity.
- Provide both private and shared points of contact
Remote workers may be less likely to speak out if there’s something they don’t understand, so it’s absolutely critical that they have the resources to ask. Aim to provide a personal point of contact they can reach out to quietly, as well as a shared forum for people who share similar roles.
- Personalise the onboarding process
It’s important to provide an individualised onboarding experience to keep remote workers engaged and feeling supported. This can include everything from personalised progress mapping in your online system, to checking in with new hires two or three times a week to see how they’re tracking.
- Encourage socialisation
Remote work minimises the opportunity for spontaneous employee interaction in the office, so it’s worth enabling this in other ways. This might include virtual happy hours or game nights, Zoom icebreakers, group fundraising efforts for a local charity or sending out branded merch such as pencil cups or mugs for their work environment. It’s not about enforcing fun, but rather providing light-hearted opportunities to connect that are separate to the pressures of work.
An HR strategy session is often the best first step to truly optimising your hiring and human resource practices. Contact PerformHR today for help with HR onboarding, strategy support, employee relations, managed HR support and more.