The Covid-19 outbreak “forced” many companies to allow their employees to work remotely or through hybrid work models. However, not all employers were prepared to transfer their entire workflow to a virtual setting. As a result, some organizations struggled with disengaged employees and reduced productivity.
Onboarding remote employees in a virtual setting can be much more challenging than your regular on-site onboarding. However, this training and support are crucial for new employees in a hybrid work model to get on board and start feeling like they belong.To help you, we’ve put together a comprehensive 7-step onboarding checklist that works for both completely remote and hybrid working teams.
1. Early Engagement
Making your employees feel included early on (before the actual onboarding even starts) is one of the best employee engagement strategies for workers who spend at least part of their time remote.
There are several things you can do to build engagement early on. For instance:
- Send them a welcome package
- Invite them to relevant group chats or communication channels
- Organize an informal virtual get together
- Explain the career path progress and reward system for top performance
- Communicate and stay connected regularly during early onboarding
These are just a couple of things that can help you engage your hybrid workers early in the onboarding process.
2. Secure a Desk Setup in Advance
First and foremost, your employee needs the right equipment to start working. Think of what tools your new, hybrid working employee needs to perform well in their job role when they work from home or remote. These would be things like a PC or a laptop, a high-quality headset, webcam, phone, printer, desk supplies, keyboard, mouse, and similar.
Partially remote employees should enjoy the same work conditions as your in-office staff. Depending on the job role, there are different essentials they might need. For instance, if you’ve hired a designer on a hybrid schedule, should you provide a drawing pad (tablet)?
Overall, your flexible schedule employees should be audited and judged based on their performance. To do that fairly, you need to provide them with the same working conditions as your on-site employees.
3. Tools & Learning Materials
Once you’ve provided the necessary devices, arrange a virtual meeting between your new employee and your IT department or other onboarding person/group. At this point, you must provide your new hire with the following:
- Login details for their new company email account
- Credentials for any remote tools or software they will use
- Company-wide communication channels and tools
- Calendar access for client appointments or meetings
- Proper training on cybersecurity
- Digital employee handbooks and learning materials
- Access to cloud storage and documentation
While assimilating to your company culture and figuring out how things work is more straightforward for regular, on-site employees, workers in a hybrid model might struggle to fit into their job roles. It’s your job to make their onboarding easier.
Your guide to bringing teams together:
Learn how you can harness the power of RingCentral
and grow your business!
4. Assign a Buddy for Mentorship
Another excellent onboarding strategy for employees on a remote or hybrid model is pairing them up with a mentor or buddy who will be their primary contact person. New employees will often have many questions but can be too embarrassed or afraid to ask.
To make them feel more comfortable, provide one-on-one mentorship with an existing employee who’s willing to show them all the ins and outs of the company.
Provide an incentive for the mentor to push them to do their best when assimilating the new hire to the company culture. You’ll create a sense of unity and common goals by tying the mentor’s success to the new hire’s performance.
5. Be Transparent
Be transparent throughout the entire onboarding process in every aspect of your operations.
Your new hire needs to be entirely in the clear when it comes to their earnings. Financial transparency can start as early as during recruiting by listing the salary range in your job ad.
Another great way to promote financial transparency is by providing a pay stub with each salary. A pay stub clearly breaks apart the employee’s wages, deductions, hours worked, and similar. For this purpose, you can use a reliable paystub generator that will accurately list and calculate your income.
Transparent Goals and Performance Pointers
A significant part of a successful onboarding process is providing your new hire with the KPIs you plan to measure and a list of short and long-term goals of their job role. They need to know what to expect and how you will measure their success, especially if they work on-site only a few days a week or less.
After going through virtual training, give your new employee straightforward tasks to start with. Always set clear expectations and give reasonable deadlines. At the end of each successful project, schedule some time for re-evaluation and feedback with your new hires.
6. Don’t Stop Communicating
Perhaps the greatest challenge in onboarding remote or hybrid workers is the lack of physical proximity. Making a first impression and establishing personal connections with teammates so that an employee feels included is more challenging to achieve virtually.
Since employees aren’t always there to read your facial cues, you need to open a constant communication line. In remote settings, overcommunicating is better than under-communicating.
As stated by Gallup, onboarding shouldn’t be a one-way communication but a process where you socialize and engage the new hire. This is especially vital for workers with a hybrid schedule.
7. Train Managers to Lead Hybrid Teams
According to a PWC remote work survey, training managers to lead teams in a remote environment is the second-largest gap or inefficiency, just behind childcare benefits.
Learning how to build schedules with flexibility in mind is the first step to successful hybrid work. Since there is no one-fits-all solution when it comes to flexible schedules, managers and leaders need to learn what type of hybrid schedules work best for their business needs and different job roles within an organization.
A great manager needs to differentiate between essential staff that must be on-site or on a minimally hybrid schedule, and those that can work fully remote. From that point on, the manager needs to be able to rotate and schedule staff shifts accordingly, with employees’ wellbeing always in mind.
To wrap it all up, we have another best practice you can use to give your hybrid onboarding process a boost - personalization. Not every employee is the same. They all have their own ways to process and learn new information at a different speed.
Tailoring your onboarding process to each job role and allowing your new hires their own pace of progress can improve the employee’s integration and assimilation to the company culture, regardless of how many days they work on-site.
We hope you found this onboarding checklist helpful for making hybrid work easier for all your new hires. Although the onboarding process for distinct roles might require slightly altering these steps, the basic principles remain the same and are applicable across the board.
Source: by Samantha Clark for Mitel