7 steps for successfully onboarding remote workers (simple checklist)

Onboarding new employees can be a tricky process under normal circumstances. So we can only imagine the stress of companies taking on remote onboarding since the UK went into lockdown.

And it looks as though virtual onboarding is here to stay for the foreseeable! So instead of winging it, save yourself a lot of headache by taking the time to refine your process.

Being the onboarding enthusiasts that we are, the team here at The People Pod have gathered the best practices for remote onboarding. And we’ve created a checklist for you to follow. Aren’t we kind?

Remote onboarding checklist

1. Equip your staff

Naturally, your new hires are going to need a bit of kit. Make a list of all the hardware and software that needs installing, and deliver this ahead of the employee’s start date.

If you have an IT team, make sure someone’s on call to support with setting up any new laptops or computers.

2. Send a welcome pack

One of the biggest challenges of remote onboarding is making new hires feel welcome. It’s not like you can bump into them in the kitchen and have a quick chat while the kettle boils.

It’s a nice touch to send new hires some branded merch. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Even just a branded pen and pad with a welcome note from the Manager is a nice gesture.

3. Go digital with your documents

If you’re still dealing with hard copies of your HR and onboarding documents, we suggest stepping into the 21st century and going digital.

Trust us, this is going to make life so much easier for you and the new employee. No faffing about with printers, ink cartridges or scanners.

What paperwork is needed for onboarding?

  1. Employee handbook
  2. Contract of employment
  3. Job description
  4. Manuals
  5. Training documents

Even if you need a signature, you can use software such as DocuSign and EchoSign. The sooner you make this switch, the better. And we’d bet serious money that you’ll keep the digital process even when you’re back to onboarding in-person. Why wouldn’t you?!

4. Lay out the structure

Make sure you brief your new hires on how the week’s laid out and how the team functions. Here are a few things to think about:

  • Daily / weekly / monthly meetings
  • 1:1s
  • Team meetings
  • Are there certain times of the day dedicated to certain tasks
  • What they need to prepare for meetings
  • How to communicate e.g. via chat, phone call, video call

5. Meet the team

This is a really key part of integrating your remote worker. Make a point of introducing the new hire to the rest of the team on day one. Don’t leave it until the end of the week when they’ve completed their onboarding. Working from home is isolating enough as it is - make the introduction on day one!

6. Set the expectations

One of the best ways to set your new employees up for success is by setting crystal clear expectations.

Talk them through their training and benchmarks. Set goals with them so they know what they’re aiming towards. If they need to hit certain goals to pass their probation, make sure they’re aware of that.

You don’t have to look too far into the future with this. It’s just important they understand what the next month will look like as they settle in.

7. Ongoing support

Most importantly, your new remote worker needs to feel the love (in a HR-compliant way of course). You want them to feel totally supported. Arguably, this is more important in virtual onboarding than in-person because you’ve got a serious communication barrier to overcome.

There’ll be times when your new hire feels unsure or has questions. But instead of sitting at home feeling stuck, you want to reassure them they can pick up the phone or message you any time.

Equally, make sure you schedule in some regular touchpoints. It could be a daily 1:1 meeting, or maybe even twice a day. Whatever it takes to support your new hire in their early days.

We hope by now you feel ready to blitz your remote onboarding. It can be a daunting task, but it’s worth taking the time to re-think your process. What are the consequences of neglecting it? In the long-run, a great process is going to save you a lot of time, stress and inconvenience!

Still looking for that next great hire? We can help with that - give us a call on 01204 589 555 to register your vacancy.

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