The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant shifts in the everyday lives of people around the world. One of these shifts has been the way we report to work. The pandemic forced people to work from home through most of 2020 and a significant part of 2021. While the jury might still be out on whether remote working is for everyone, what is certain is that hybrid working – flexibility between onsite and remote working – is here to stay.
Global brands, such as Facebook and Linkedin, have dedicated top-level management for remote working. This growing trend among global brands underlines the importance of remote work and virtual employees. If you are a company that’s looking to stay competitive going forward, you need to pay attention to your work-from-home framework. One of the key steps in that direction is drafting a remote employee onboarding checklist. Why, you ask? Let’s take a look.
The Importance of Remote Employee Onboarding Checklist
Workplaces with a strong onboarding program can improve employee retention rates significantly. A lower attrition rate directly translates to cost savings for companies. Moreover, a great onboarding experience establishes trust with your new hires, which can be crucial in the case of remote workers.
Drafting a great onboarding experience is likely to be an iterative process. However, keeping a broad remote employee onboarding checklist helps. To help you get started, we have compiled a remote employee onboarding checklist, broken down according to target areas.
Remote Employee Onboarding Checklist: The Essentials
Prepare new virtual hires for their first day by getting the essentials out of the way. You can send these documents a week or two before they are set to join. These include:
- New Employee Paperwork. Send across essential paperwork such as health insurance documents and tax forms at least a week before they are set to join. Ask them to fill in the paperwork and send it back before their first day at work. If your virtual hire is in a different city, share the paperwork digitally. Use online signature tools, such as Docusign, for completing and tracking digital signatures.
- Account Setup. Give your new virtual hires access to the company portal, email, and any collaborative tools that you use, such as Slack.
- Welcome Packet and Hardware. Prepare a welcome packet for your new hires and send it across well before their first day. Your welcome packet should include:
- Employee Handbook: This should detail your company culture, your remote policies, and your vision and mission statements. You could have a printed handbook or a link to your online portal where employees can access the handbook. The latter gives you the option to create the handbook in an interactive video format and keep it up-to-date more easily.
- Hardware. Send their laptop, mouse, mousepad, and headsets well before their joining day. Include a basic troubleshooting guide with the hardware and a clear returns policy.
- Company Swag. Make your virtual hires feel a part of the team. Send them a branded mug, T-shirt, or any other merchandise that you might have. If you are on a really tight budget, fun stickers relevant to your industry can accomplish the same level of inclusivity for a lower price point.
Related Reading: 6 Remote Work Resources We Recommend
Remote Employee: The First Few Days
The first few days for fresh hires (remote or onsite) can be confusing and stressful. Make the initial joining period as comfortable and engaging as possible. Here are a few ideas you might want to include in your remote employee :
- Virtual Office Tour. Create short videos and upload them on your company portal. They could include behind-the-scenes footage and a personalized message from the CEO.
- Ice-Breakers. Remote working can be very isolating. Make your virtual employees feel a part of your team by scheduling ice-breaking activities. You don’t necessarily have to limit these to the initial joining period. These could be a regular part of HR initiatives. For example, simulate water cooler conversations with apps such as Donut. Schedule Zoom calls with breakout rooms to let employees build one-on-one rapport.
- Peer-to-Peer Learning, Task List, and Orientation. Brief your remote employees about the general functioning of your organization. Tell them about the different departments, the escalation matrix, and different points of contact within the company. It helps to assign a dedicated person to each remote employee for the first month or so to foster trust with your remote workers. In addition, tell them about employee benefits, your company’s leave policy, and general guidelines for remote working.
Related Reading: How to Integrate Video Into Your Onboarding Process
To give your remote employees a more complete "virtual office" experience, consider engaging a professional video host that offers branded galleries. For example, Viostream allows you to customize players with your company colors and even create entire pages to present your videos that you can design to reflect the image of your company website. Start your free trial and test drive Viostream's full suite of branding features free for 14 days.
Next Steps After Remote Employee Onboarding Checklist: Setting Up Goals and Expectations
Clearly defined goals can be super helpful for a smooth transition. They are even more important in the case of remote employees, especially if they are working in different time zones. Managers should set up small goals and define measurable KPIs for tracking performance. For example, in the case of a virtual marketing hire, engagement on your social media channels can be a relevant and measurable KPI. It also helps to have a clearly defined appraisal policy at hand that you can share with new hires.
Related Reading: A Guide to Employee Onboarding
How Can Viostream Help
Videos can be an essential part of your onboarding experiences. With Viostream, you can build branded video portals with controlled access for a great onboarding experience. You can even quickly set up microsites with the help of pre-built templates for virtual office tours, interactive employee handbooks, and more. Viostream also gives you access to detailed engagement metrics. You can use these to track your onboarding experience and make changes as you go along.
Start your free trial and experience the ease of a dedicated video platform for your onboarding process.