Insight

Quick guide: remote on-boarding

By David Lawrence |

How can HR teams and line managers introduce new colleagues smoothly into teams, when working remotely is now firmly ingrained?

Technology has paved the way for digital workplaces, and companies have quickly embraced the cost savings and other benefits of encouraging staff to work from home. This process was hugely accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This throws up an interesting recruitment challenge, as a higher percentage of new employees will spend far less time benefiting from head office or field induction days.

Tools for remote on-boarding

To support a dispersed, digital workforce, you must already have software for communication and collaboration. Your organisation needs to evaluate its potential to drill down on the initial needs and questions new staff have.

Can you support e-learning, to get them up to speed on any training priorities, and have you got easily searchable and well-curated background documents stored online?

Engaging new talent

Don’t assume that all your permanent or temporary remote workers are tech-savvy though, and can quickly assimilate your on-boarding information and operational systems.

It’s important to invest time in making sure new recruits can find their way around your intranet software confidently. Online one-to-one sessions to show them how to use your tech tools should be reinforced with a clear ‘invitation’ to revisit any areas of confusion in the coming weeks.

Cultural assimilation

Working from home or mobile remote working can be isolating at the best of times. It’s vital to give new recruits time and support to understand your company vision and culture, and the role they play.

This should include opportunities to get to know colleagues online to replicate the organic development of team dynamics that occurs in physical workplaces.

Underpin motivation

On-boarding procedures for new remote staff should take the form of a checklist of learning goals, with clear progress measures.

Working their way down a list of priorities - and knowledge checks - helps to motivate new recruits to become fully aware of what they need to know to be productive and efficient.

To make this a warmer and more emotionally intelligent on-boarding process, a single point of contact should be assigned. Someone who checks in with them regularly and who monitors their engagement level and potential gaps, sticking points or areas of hesitation. Addressing these in a ‘no shame, no blame’ manner can quickly smooth out any initial issues.


David Lawrence

Written by David Lawrence

David is the founder of Vine Resources.