Remote Team Onboarding 101

Tips and tricks for successfully onboarding a remote team

Key takeaways:

  • Onboarding a remote team effectively is essential for more productive outcomes. 
  • Remote team onboarding faces different challenges than in-office onboarding.
  • You can overcome remote onboarding challenges with these tips and BPO. 

It goes without saying that remote work is more popular today than ever because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s no wonder that Gartner predicts that 48% of employees will continue to work remotely (at least partially) after the pandemic subsides. 

Karin Kimbrough, LinkedIn’s Chief Economist, recently told BBC that job searches using the “remote” filter have increased by 60% since March 2020. In addition, a CNBC report reported that 36.2 million people will work remotely in 2025, an 87% increase from pre-pandemic levels. 

With all this remote work, comes remote onboarding. Onboarding a remote team without external help can be a challenge for many companies. Different time zones, language barriers, and cultural differences complicate matters. 

Hope is not lost for companies seeking to build robust remote teams, however. Not even close. We give seven tips for successful remote onboarding and talk about why collaborating with a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm can be your best bet for success.   

What is remote team onboarding?

Let’s define remote employee onboarding before delving into its challenges and solutions. Remote team onboarding is a set of activities allowing new team members to get to know their team and learn about its culture, methods, goals, tools used, mission, and attitudes. Therefore, employers should share all of these elements to help their new hires succeed. 

Remote onboarding can be informal or formal, depending on a company’s culture. Most companies mix the two approaches. Formal onboarding includes training sessions, video calls, exercises, and workshops.

Inversely, a firm may use informal onboarding in a more ad-hoc fashion. Such an organization might have a new hire shadow other people on the team, introduce new hires to various stakeholders, and let them understand its culture.

Challenges facing remote team onboarding

Although many companies are hiring remotely, necessitating remote onboarding, they still face several difficulties. One reason is that they are onboarding people from different backgrounds without speaking on the company’s culture, values, or expectations. 

This disjointed nature can create a sense of emotional disengagement and disconnection among teams, hampering proper cultural gelling. Consequently, a firm may suffer higher and costly staff turnover rates that leave it going through hiring cycles. 

According to BCG,  successful onboarding significantly influences employee experience. BCG also says that companies with effective onboarding processes enjoy 2.5 times more revenue growth and 1.9 times the profit margin than those without. Don’t forget that worker experience also influences retention levels.

Tips for successful remote team onboarding

So, how can companies boost their remote onboarding process and enjoy greater productivity and success? Here are seven actionable tips to supercharge your onboarding efforts. 

1. Set up relevant technology

The success of remote onboarding depends on properly functioning technology. Enterprises seeking to tap into remote talents should establish the necessary technology and support for their remote workers. For instance, businesses providing their remote employees with computers should also create relevant and systematic instructional setup videos.

2. Start with a small project

All of your new remote team members get on board to work. Thus, prepare small projects for them to handle during their initial 30-90 days. This way, you will be better placed to know how well they align with your expectations. You may also give them exercises during their initial weeks that need team collaboration to introduce them to teammates.

3. Make your remote team feel at home

Belonging to a great team motivates workers to succeed at their duties. Although they may not enjoy all the benefits of working in a physical office, they can gel with others if you onboard them correctly. You can help them achieve this goal by: 

  • Sending them an expertly-curated new team member welcome kit
  • Sending them a welcome video
  • Asking new team members to make introduction videos

4. Create meaningful engagements and connections

You can bolster your remote onboarding process by creating meaningful engagements and connections. The process should be interactive to engage all participants. However, don’t prolong the process. Instead, make several breaks to allow your new employees to digest the incoming information. Don’t hesitate to optimize some of Zoom’s features like chat engagements and poll new employees on some of your sessions.  

5. Inspire your new team to do its best

Effective leadership requires you to inspire your new team members to achieve their best. So, seek to understand what these new hires need from you to remain motivated for maximum productivity. You can achieve this goal by doing the following: 

  • Let your leaders and/or top performers share their stories and experiences via videos or blog posts.
  • Provide information about specific roles’ growth potential. 
  • Supply videos, web pages, or other documents detailing your firm’s mission, vision, and core values.

6. Conduct the process thoroughly

Always conduct the process thoroughly to make incoming employees understand everything they need to know. Since videos are critical to this process, create several that share everything with your new hires. It should never be a one-time event.

7. Help remote employees set up their workspaces

Lastly, help your new remote employees set up their workplaces because they’re onboarding to work. For example, inform them early before their onboarding if you need them to have their work tools and equipment. Otherwise, they could become frustrated and less productive. 

Let your remote team onboarding journey start with Doxa7

Remote employee onboarding is becoming a common practice as companies seek to optimize remote talent. However, it has unique challenges that employers need to address to benefit from hiring remote workers. That is why we shared actionable solutions to help small and medium-sized businesses overcome these challenges.

In addition to the solutions above, working with a BPO company like Doxa7 will help your remote onboarding process go a lot smoother. Doxa7 helps small and mid-sized firms recruit and onboard remote teams. We customize our solutions to suit your business’ unique needs. We also align our BPO solutions to deliver excellent results for local businesses to compete globally. Contact our team today for a free 20-minute consultation.

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