We’re already past the middle of 2022, and there are two things to be happy about. One, the pandemic seems to be dying down. Two, the enthusiasm for remote work is not.
While many things changed in the past couple of years, one impacted the workplace more than anything else – the rise of remote work. Even though it has a host of benefits, it has some downsides too, especially for new employees.
Even if onboarding remote employees can be a challenge, that does not mean it’s impossible. So we prepared a list of some of the most common remote onboarding mistakes you must avoid in 2022 and beyond.
4 Remote Onboarding Mistakes to Avoid
Skipping the preboarding process
Think of preboarding as the courting stage in a relationship. You wouldn’t want to go for the first kiss without getting to know someone.
Preboarding is everything that happens between the moment someone agrees to work for you and the moment they start in your company. This may seem insignificant, especially with a pile of more urgent tasks, but it is crucial for your new remote hire’s early success.
Preboarding includes all the processes necessary before the first work day of your new hire. With remote employees, that means sending them the necessary hardware (if there is such an option), giving them access to their email and other necessary tools, introducing them to their manager, announcing their arrival to the team, and more.
If you skip preboarding, the new hire will have a harder time adjusting to the company from day one. Not only will they waste valuable time on something they could have done earlier, but they’ll also need a lot more hand-holding.
Doing preboarding ahead of time saves time for everyone involved and ensures that your new hire is productive from day one.
They are not investing in technology.
Remote work is all about getting things done in the cloud. We’ve come a long way from using Microsoft Word to edit documents and Internet Explorer to browse online pages. Nowadays, there are a host of tools that you can use to make your remote hires’ lives easier.
First, invest in a good employee onboarding portal for remote employees. It will allow them to upload their documents, have a structured onboarding process, and communicate with the HR team and their manager.
Second, ensure that your new hire has access to different methods of communication. We use a combination of Slack and Zoom to get our work done, but you can choose anything that lets you do asynchronous communication easily.
A project management tool is a must but choosing one can be a chore. Between tools such as Asana, Jira, ClickUp, and others, it can be challenging to find “the one,” but invest in something that’s remote-friendly and packed with integrations.
Another important thing to remember is that you can help your new hires with their hardware. Many successful remote companies send their employees devices that they can work from and give them allowances for setting up a home office. If you can afford it, support your remote hires this way.
Leaving it all to HR
Human resources are in charge of hiring – that’s a fact. However, problems arise when people across the company start thinking that HR is the only department in the onboarding process. In traditional office settings, maybe you could get away with this, but when working remotely, not so much.
As there is no physical connection with the workplace, it is up to everyone in the company to make new employees feel welcome during their onboarding process. HR merely facilitates the beginning of the onboarding, and the rest is up to the manager and peers.
For example, the manager gets to introduce the new hire to the rest of the team and check in with them daily to ensure they’re getting on well with their work. In addition, the teammates should introduce the new hire to workflows and processes and the overall culture.
Essentially, it should be a team effort rather than a one-time project led by HR. While HR is there to start the journey, they are not the ones to spend every day working closely with the new hire. You can also assign a “buddy”: someone from your team to help the new employee get up to speed in the first weeks and months.
I am not setting clear expectations from the start.
When you work in a remote setting, getting the feeling of purpose as quickly as possible is crucial. You need to give your employees specific goals to work towards and either measure the outcomes (recommended) or check in on them as they work (not recommended).
In the end, it boils down to expectations. For each new hire, you should have a set of expectations for the role. What does success mean for this position? What are the main KPIs to hit weekly, monthly, and quarterly?
Besides setting expectations in terms of performance, it’s also important to think of other aspects of work, such as collaboration and communication with the rest of the team. If you have a company handbook, giving it to new hires before they join a great way to familiarize them with the company culture and expectations.
This helps the new hire feel better about their ongoing performance and gives them a feeling of accomplishment as time goes by.
If you’ve just signed some new remote hires, strap in because remote work is not going away anytime soon.
While there are many aspects of remote work that we still need to do right, we know that onboarding is crucial to helping your new hires succeed in their roles and establish themselves as great employers.
Make sure to avoid these mistakes to set your new hires up for success from day one!