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Tips for Successful Remote Worker Onboarding

While the need to work remotely is lifting, many organizations have seen the benefits of being able to recruit employees from further afield. Here are some quick tips to onboard employees remotely.

COVID-19 has changed the future of work and there will likely be a shift towards remote-only or hybrid models vs. business as usual. It is clear that 2021 and 2022 will present new challenges for leaders.

According to TINYpulse, two critical solutions can help remote workers and this is an excerpt from David Niu’ blog:

Emphasize organizational values

Many organizations highlight their unique values on their websites and throughout the interview process. Most also share their company values during onboarding. But few continue to reinforce their values after that.

Our research reveals that employees’ identification with organizational values is associated with increased frequency of recognition given to their peers. Emphasizing organizational values can positively impact the company’s reputation and increase employee loyalty.

Simple methods to reinforce company values include:

  • Reiterating values during all-hands meetings and emphasizing the real-life experiences of people who have demonstrated those values

  • Citing examples of values in action in company communications (e.g., newsletters)

  • Including values as tags that can be added to recognition

  • Providing rewards to individuals who live out company values externally to customers and internally to colleagues

Create a mentoring program

Mentoring has positive effects for performance, interpersonal relations, career success and many other work-relevant outcomes.

Relatedly, employees who feel mentored and coached in their organization send more recognition to their colleagues. This is even more important for new hires who are onboarded remotely.

“A major aspect of onboarding new hires is integrating them into the organization’s culture, and building a strong foundation for a long-term relationship with the employee.” says Joseph Puglise, Senior Director of Executive Search & Recruiting at JMJ Phillip. He goes on to say that, “this isn’t impossible in a remote work setting, but it requires concerted effort on behalf of team members and leadership to reach out and connect.”

One structured way to reach and connect is via a mentoring program.

Investing in a formal or informal mentoring program helps new hires ramp up to speed not only on the productivity front but also on the interpersonal teammate front. This can even start casually with buddy programs and evolve to more formal inter-department networking to build more bridges for new hires.

Dr. Elora Voyles adds, “An e-mentor can provide support and a personal connection for new hires in the organization. E-mentoring is cost-effective, but it will require some investment to find and match willing mentors to mentees. Mentoring relationships will need continued support and check-ins to ensure that the mentoring program is a positive and worthwhile experience for everyone involved.”

Anyway you look at it, 2020 was a trying year — especially for HR leaders who had to navigate COVID-19, employee wellness concerns, rapidly adjusting to working from home, hiring talent remotely, and onboarding them remotely. Despite their best efforts, 2020 new hires are not engaging with their colleagues and values the same way as just one year prior due to working from home for most.

Fortunately, this tide can be turned by reinforcing company values and investing in mentoring programs.


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