As more companies shift to remote or hybrid work, they must adjust how they hire and train employees. When new hires can’t lean over and ask someone in the office a quick question, they may feel like they’re floundering before they’ve even finished their first week of work.
You can do your part to set your remote workers up for success and help them learn the ropes. Here are five ways you can help your remote workforce feel like they’re knocking the ball out of the park from their first day.
1. Send Required Tech Early
While a few hiccups are expected as employees familiarize themselves with new software and hardware, give them a head start by sending all required tech early. More importantly, double-check that you send the right tech.
For instance, industrial engineers working remotely may need a durable LTE router from an industrial LTE solution provider, like Cradlepoint. Industrial hardware can withstand the extreme temperatures and rugged conditions industrial engineers face when they visit production sites and manufacturing plants.
Along with the required tech, send instructions and helpful tips on using the equipment. It’s also a good idea to let new remote workers know whom to contact if they have questions or run into tech trouble.
2. Host a Welcome Lunch
Lunch is a great opportunity for your remote workers to get to know you and each other. Have lunch delivered to your remote team (paid for by the company, of course) and set up a time to have everyone meet, greet, and eat.
You can ask fun icebreaker questions to give everyone a chance to share their interests, hobbies, passions, and work history. This way, your team won’t feel pressured to keep the conversation going, and everyone makes good use of their time together.
3. Go Virtual With Onboarding Materials
If you’ve never hired remote workers, you may not have onboarding materials suited for virtual learning and access. Materials to convert for digital viewing include employee contracts, training manuals, employee handbooks, and policy and procedure documents. Alternatively, you can give remote team members access to an online employee portal.
For those who are visual or audio learners, create learning modules and training videos to help them engage with and better understand the material. Let remote workers complete their training and track their progress independently. This saves time for your managers and helps them see where employees may need more guidance or training to become successful in their roles.
4. Create a Buddy System
Everyone needs a best friend at work, that one person they look forward to working with and who can help them learn the ropes at a new company. Pair new remote team members with experienced employees who can teach them about workflow, company culture, where they fit in the company, and key personnel.
Establishing a buddy system and scheduling regular check-ins can boost employee retention and satisfaction. It’s vital for remote workers to feel connected, to help them overcome the feeling of isolation common to remote work.
5. Establish a Strong Feedback Culture
Pinpoint remote workers’ needs and learn how they feel about their work environment by establishing a feedback culture. Because every employee is different, no matter if they work remotely or in the office, they have different needs. Also, those needs may change from week to week. Stay in lockstep with your employees with feedback loops.
Ways to collect feedback while onboarding remote workers include one-on-one meetings, surveys, and using performance- and goal-tracking software. To put new hires’ minds at ease, explain how feedback works in your company and what it means, so they don’t think they’re dropping the ball when, in actuality, they’re performing as expected.
While onboarding remote workers present unique hurdles, companies can do their part to support their workforce in or out of the office. Shared meals, feedback culture, and buddy systems help new remote workers feel empowered and welcome.
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