50% of the workforce is set to be working remotely by the end of 2020.
Unfortunately, many companies still don’t know how to make the most out of their remote team members.
When fully empowered, your remote staff members can be more productive, focused, and less stressed than their counterparts.
Without the right support, you may find that the people who telecommute or work at a distance from your office are less satisfied than their in-office counterparts.
Knowing how to properly onboard new talent is one of the biggest issues that companies face when scaling their remote teams.
When employees go through the onboarding process in person, it’s much easier to gauge their reactions and help them immerse themselves in the company culture.
Employees that “dial in” to the office are automatically more isolated.
The good news?
If you realize the three reasons why your onboarding strategy is failing, you can also take steps to improve the results.
Reason 1: You’re Failing to Instil Culture
Technology allows today’s employees to work from anywhere, at any time. Because of this, we’re seeing a huge increase in the number of employees that are working on a remote basis.
As companies continue to expand their office space outside of brick and mortar locations, culture often begins to suffer.
After all, it’s hard to ensure that everyone’s working collaboratively together when you have teams spread across the world.
However, culture is what helps your employees to feel committed and dedicated to your workforce.
Around half of all hourly workers leave new jobs within the first 18 months, simply because they don’t feel engaged by the organization or don’t know which values are important. The same issue is common with remote workers.
Therefore, you must take the necessary steps to immerse your new hires in your business culture from day one of your onboarding process. When someone new joins your team, consider setting up a remote mentorship program manned by a seasoned veteran from your office.
Pairing your new hires with other senior team members will help them to feel more connected to the office and ensure that your employees have somewhere to turn when they need help.
In-office mentorship will also make it easier for new employees to understand the expectations that you have of your employees, whether they’re remote or otherwise.
When your employees understand and feel connected to your business culture, they’ll be more likely to stick around.
Reason 2: You’re Not Being Consistent
You’d be surprised how often companies assume that remote workers will simply “figure things out” for themselves instead of having a comprehensive onboarding process.
If you go through a complex onboarding process with your in-office employees, introducing them to things like cultural intelligence, crucial business tools, and expectations, the same strategy should apply when onboarding your remote workers too.
Plan an onboarding process that can work for both your external and internal team members, so you can provide the same consistent experience for everyone who joins your team.
Remember, organizations lose money and time every year through the poor onboarding of hires. In the UK and US, employees cost businesses around $37 billion every year because they don’t fully understand their jobs or how to perform in their new role.
Ensure that your team members are empowered by giving them an explanation of their company policies, business processes, and job function.
At the same time, make sure that your employees know how to use the tools and technology that they’ll be reliant on every day.
This doesn’t just mean handing over digital accounts and giving your team members a number for the IT team either.
Teach your employees how to solve some of their own common tech problems on their own and give them the knowledge they need to remain independent.
Reason 3: You Forget to Focus on Communication
Finally, it can be difficult to build a rapport with your remote employees when you only have an interaction with them through a few initial emails and phone conversations.
Business leaders need to think about how they can expand the onboarding process to include as many team-building communication experiences as possible.
Having regular meetings with the entire team where you bring people together through a video conferencing application is an excellent way to get started.
Video conferencing allows you to mimic the nuances of face-to-face conversations, showing things like body language and facial expressions.
You can set up a meeting where you have time not just to talk about work, but also for everyone to share their experiences of the month too.
At the same time, encourage regular chatting outside of your meeting.
Many team collaboration applications like Slack and Microsoft Teams are becoming increasingly popular way for employees to stay connected at all times.
With a team application, you can create a “water cooler” channel where your remote team members and in-office employees can communicate with each other about nonessential stuff and things outside of work, like the newest sports events or TV shows, or whatever else they like.
Remember, human beings need connections, not just to coworkers, but to your organization too.
It’s easy for remote team members to feel isolated from the rest of the office when they don’t get the opportunity to connect.
Find unique ways for your team members to communicate freely with each other from the start of the onboarding process, all the way through your employee’s time with you.
Improve the Onboarding Experience
Onboarding is a crucial process in any business environment, but it becomes particularly important when you’re dealing with remote workers.
If you want to make the most out of your remote workforce, then you need to have a strategy that will help those distant employees to feel connected and immersed in your team.
If you don’t have this plan, then you could end up losing your crucial remote talent.
The tips given above will help you to build the kind of company culture that spreads outside of your office walls and keeps every remote team member connected to your office. And by the way, when you hire through DistantJob, we give you our own support every month, to make sure your new hires feel integrated and productive. So get in touch and hire the best with us!