Remote onboarding

How To Remotely Onboard

As we all deal with this unprecedented global pandemic, people will be working from home now, more than ever.  However, this does not mean the world has stopped and neither should your hiring process. Fortuitously, businesses across the world have been remotely on-boarding for years. Whether it’s a chat app or great HR and training software, we have included some useful links for you to facilitate a successful on-boarding process.

During the first few days, the process can be frustrating and confusing – for both employers and new employees. But the great news is that there are many resources that will help new employees learn and grow accustomed to their new role quickly.

As we enter unchartered territory, we want to help you as much as we can. Therefore, we have created a step-by-step process to help you remotely on-board new employees successfully.

Paperwork

Once you have managed to successfully find someone through video-interview, you will need to ensure that contacts are signed so they are ready to start.  Online platforms that can support you with this process are:

Signable – allows you to create legally binding documents to send to your employee’s new work inbox so that they can be signed easily and electronically via their PC. 

It is important to ensure that any of your regular materials are adapted into a digital format so the new starter can easily access it. Obie.ai is a great learning software that can be integrated with popular business applications such as Google Docs, Dropbox and Slack. Your new employees can access the responsive chatbot (Obie) to help answer any or all their questions. Obie can highlight specific steps and pages in process documents and it can even help them identify and access company assets i.e. your logo font.

Kin HR is a human resource app that has an on-boarding feature built in that creates a personalized process for each new employee. It is great for weekly check-ins, which is key when your part of a distributed team. Similarly, Gusto is another great app that helps you manage time off, payroll and even lets you initiate employee surveys and track key engagement metrics directly through the app. It also helps to navigate new employees through the process of direct deposit forms and tax documents.

Equipment

One of the greatest things about the internet is that you can practically order anything, including new equipment, online. The equipment that you would normally get if you were in an office can be delivered direct to sites or homes.

Introductions and Meeting the Team

The hardest part of remote on-boarding is meeting the team – although this too can be done through ‘virtual’ team meetings.  In the first week, make sure you book some time into the diary for a video conference call so your new starter can meet other vital members of the team.  The structure of the meeting can be tailored to your business but we would suggest you start by asking each member to introduce themselves and then briefly explain what they do and how they might be working with them. Having digital face-to-face time with each other ensures that your new started feels connected, engaged and part of the team!

Video conference done, you need to factor in how you aim to manage your virtual employees. A good remote team management software is Scoro – this allows you to manage a remote team from just about anywhere! It provides instant overviews of teams and allows you to keep track of progress on projects (by using a real-time tracking report) and flexibility to manage an unlimited number of projects.

Initial Training

You think this is where it gets tricky? This may seem like one of the biggest tasks but training can transfer easily to the digital world.  It is also an opportunity for the employee to work through on-line training more autonomously! Highfield PS use platforms such as Zoom or Google Hangouts which are great for video team meetings. Slack is good for quick, easy and direct communication with your employees. It enables you to text your co-workers as well as launching informal video conferences so you can get those much-needed visual cues. Remote working has never felt so personal!

In terms of teaching Lessonly provides resources for you to be able to transform important work knowledge into lessons that teach new employees everything they need to know. It’s designed so that new staff can get up to speed quicker and any updates to lessons can be done within minutes.

Assigning them internal ‘mentors’ is a great way to support your new starters. Especially within the first weeks when they will have more questions and you may not always be available to answer them.  It’s a good idea to nominate someone from their team to be ‘on-call’ for any questions in the first instance.

First 1-3 months

There are three easy steps you should use:

  1. Communication – frequent contact is vital during the initial stages! As the weeks go on you can decrease the 1-1’s from daily to weekly, as staff settle in.
  2. Day Planning – this is not only great for organising someone’s time and productivity but helps the new starter have a clear written structure of what is being asked of them.
  3. Team meetings – make sure you are getting them involved in video calls so they can get used to participating and becoming a valuable member of the team.

Benefits of Remote On-Boarding

Employees

  • Enables employees to monitor project milestones, manage bid tendering and collaborate with subcontractors, colleagues and management wherever they are.
  • 70% of managers’ report that remote working results in increased productivity.
  • Work flexibility – reducing sick days and increasing staff retention.
  • Increase in efficiency – for example employees can spend their time working on projects and completing data entry immediately, rather than having to return to the office at the end of the day.

Employers

  • Employees will feel more satisfied in their role and more willing to engage with your processes.
  • Nine out of ten companies say that offering flexible working arrangements is an effective way of improving employee morale.
  • Remote working can be used as a recruitment tool to bring your construction company together.
  • Offering flexible technology attracts Generation Z to your business.
  • With staff retention becoming an increasing problem in the industry, it’s important to keep your employees happy.

Remote on-boarding can ‘appear’ difficult, but with the technology we have today it is much easier than you think. There is no doubt that if you follow our simple steps and implement some of these excellent tools, teams can successfully on-board a new starter without meeting them face-to-face!

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