There is no doubt that the advancement of internet and technology has vastly changed the ways of the working world. One of these changes has been increase in the hiring of remote workers. Since these employees will be doing their work offsite, the of training of remote employees becomes particularly important. Below are a few strategies to help companies implement a successful plan for onboarding remote employees.
Bring New Employees to the Office
It is important to begin training by bringing the new employee physically into the office for at least one or two weeks.
Spending face to face time with the employee helps build trust for all parties involved. During this time managers and existing employees can begin to trust the new employee and the new employee can gain trust in the company. It also gives them a chance to experience the company culture immediately and learn how to incorporate themselves into that culture and the team.
During the office visit, introduce them and engage them with as many employees as possible, especially the employees they will be working directly with. Again this will build confidence between team members and jumpstart the working relationship that is more difficult to build with off site employees.
It is easy to forget that offsite employees can become disconnected and not feel like they are part of the team. An initial onsite visit will help reduce issues later on.
Communicate Early and Often
When it is time for the remote worker to leave the office, it is important to establish a communication schedule. Together set communication goals for the first three months. Something as simple as designated weekly phone calls for status updates can be extremely beneficial. This will depend on the employee and their position, determine what is reasonable and will be most beneficial for all parties involved.
Another reason to over emphasize communication is the lose of ability to read physical cues. Although this may not sound like a big concern, you can gain a lot of insight from the body language of working face to face with an employee. It is much harder to determine if the employee is confused, overwhelmed, or even content when you are not working on sight with an employee.
Continue steady communication even after the first three months. Do not loose site of the fact that that offsite employees do not have the ability to walk around the corner to ask another employee a question. Instead, the use of instant messaging and video conferencing are easy and efficient for companies to use daily as daily communication tools with off-site employees.
Continuously Evaluate the Strategy
As you establish an onboarding strategy for offsite employees, it is helpful to constantly reevaluate the training process. Ask yourself how the employee is performing? Compare them to both on-site and other off-site employees. Are they preforming as well as onsite employees? What communication strategies work well with my onsite employees? How can we adapt those strategies to help remote workers? Are the employees satisfied working off site?
Asking all of these questions will help you determiner which techniques work best to keep all employees happy.
Training off-site employees may be more difficult, it opens up the applicant pool for a larger variety of employees and can help your company hire more qualified candidates.
Don’t forget to Invest in Training all of your on-site employees is just as important!