Remote on-boarding guide

Posted 7/1/2021 by Simon Burton

Remote on-boarding

We thought it’d help our clients to gather some best practice on remote on-boarding.

Induction gives your new employee an objective view of your company, organisational culture, and work ethic, which will allow the employee to better integrate into the workplace – which can be difficult as a remote worker.

An employee’s first impressions of an organisation have a significant impact on their integration within the team and their level of job satisfaction. On-boarding is an opportunity for a business to welcome their new recruit, help them settle in and ensure they have the knowledge and support they need to perform their role.

Currently the ultimate challenge, and most basic, of working and on-boarding remotely is the lack of face-to-face interaction with the team members. The atmosphere within an office environment can teach the new hire valuable lessons especially when it comes to company culture and making connections with their colleagues.

Communication challenges can stifle the pace of the on-boarding process which is why it is imperative to know what works well, and what doesn’t.


Challenges specific to your company

You should try to figure out what are the common challenges employees face while joining your business. You will not have to look far for the answers. Your existing employees can give you that.

Conduct surveys As a part of developing a new employee orientation process, you can survey your existing employees, both remote and onsite. This lets you know which challenges are specific to remote as well as the general pain points the new employees face while integrating into your company flow and culture.

Identify weak points Based on the opinion of your existing employees, identify at least four to five significant concerns. Understand the issues that at the root of these concerns and work to fix those issues long term. This is how organizations get stronger and better.

Bridge the gap Think about how your new employee on-boarding program could mitigate the issues observed through the survey. Address the issues by setting up systems and processes to overcome them, incorporate these into your on-boarding process.


Pre On-boarding

Have the right tech in place Send new hires IT hardware and manuals. Order computers and other hardware remote workers need well ahead of their start date. Confirm they have received all necessary equipment for their work and ask your IT department to assist them with setup, if necessary.

Prepare a Welcome Package Be creative here. Send them a gift or branded goods, a welcome card that is personally signed by the team or something that will give them that WOW factor and be excited to join your company. You should also create an introduction document or ʻbibleʼ for their role. This should include a list of handy tools that your company uses, where they should be downloading apps and any logins/passwords they may need ready for their first day.

Let them know the best form of contact for the rest of the team and any current regular meetings you have in place. Set out and send them a schedule for their first day so they know what to expect. This is also a great time to include all legal and formal documents (tax, payroll etc). Consider using an e-signature tool, like HelloSign or DocuSign, so that employees can add their signatures digitally and share contracts with you in a secure environment.


Here are some things to think about including in their first day:

  • Go through a list of tasks that help them learn about the role, their direct team and itʼs goals
  • Create accounts in all your company productivity, security, HR and communication tools
  • Align their LinkedIn profiles/social media (if relevant) and add them to your website – make them feel welcome!
  • You can even get them to write a short bio about themselves to send to the team so everyone can get to know them on a personal level.
  • Set-up 1:1 video calls with direct managers and important partners/colleagues to get to know who they will be working with.
  • Share a list of articles from your company knowledge base.
  • Sit down and agree their goals for the first 30, 60 and 90 days. Doing this together allows them to ask any questions and creates accountability.


Introduce your new team member to the rest of the team.

  • This should be done on their first day and is key to making them feel welcome. Maybe think about setting up a buddying or mentor system where they have one person to lean on during their first few weeks of working for your company.
  • Keep them feeling connected by introducing social events for the team online – this could be a beer over Skype or tea and biscuit breaks on Zoom. Take what fits best with your team and think about how you can get this online
  • Itʼs also a great idea to ask your team to all individually reach out to a new hire after their first week. This can simply be to introduce themselves and give the new hire a background on what they do in their role and how they can potentially help them.


Create Training Goals

It can be overwhelming starting a new job and trying to take in all the information thrown at you.

 Keep this in mind with your new starter and set smaller milestones for them to reach to make sure you’re happy with their progress and they feel less overwhelmed.

The initial targets and goals for the first 30 days should be agreed as soon as possible, but make sure to check in on how they’re finding the tasks regularly and whether you need to re-think some of them.

Create regular check-ins

It is your responsibility to be continuously proactive in creating regular check-ins and ongoing training for your new starter, especially for the first 6 months of their employment. During check-ins try to be mindful to discuss personal and professional goals, appreciate and recognise any new ideas they may have and give suggestions or encourage those for further learning.

Important Note: The new employee should be comfortable to express their personality and demonstrate how they like to work. Don’t try to force your way of working because it’s been fine so far, be open to change!

  • Explore a variety of ways to keep in touch with your team until you can establish what works best.
  • There are an abundance of video calling platforms, conference call apps and instant messaging options you can use.
  • Speak with the team and your new starter to gain feedback on how they feel it works best.


Welcome Feedback

You should also welcome all feedback, not just on the entire on-boarding process, but also how productive and efficient the business is as a whole. It is important to check-in with your new starter, not just on how they’re finding the workload/tasks at hand, but also to make sure they have the opportunity to voice their opinion.

  • Also, make sure important appointments such as employee reviews are booked in advance so it’s not out of sight out of mind.
  • Staying on top of these activities will improve employee performance and engagement, especially as the mid and final probation reviews are the most essential!

Stay connected – Socially

With remote working, it’s no secret that it can get lonely and not all new starters can find it easy to open up to a team of faces on a screen. It is just as important to get all of the legal and fine details right as it is to keep your team socially engaged and active.

  • Make it your priority to keep them updated on ideas to maintain fitness and being active at home and any online groups they can join for exercise or mental well-being. Schedule regular social events online.
  • Also do not forget to include remote workers in ALL company social events - online or in-person. Give new starters examples of how you’ve previously celebrated company success or what you do for Christmas parties! Let them know they will be appreciated doing what they do.


The Four E’s

To ensure you’re creating the best cultural fit for your new employee you can always follow the four Eʼs and make sure they are all covered at some point during their onboarding journey.

Engage Don’t let it get to the point where the new employee feels left out. Likewise, the entire team should be regularly checked on, asked for feedback and be included on relevant business decisions.

Educate This is a huge part of the on-boarding process and must be done correctly. Ask each new hire how they work best and adjust to each individual. Maybe include the rest of the team to educate on areas of their expertise.

Encourage Make sure a new hire is encouraged to take part in team activities and make a conscious effort to get to know them personally. Ask specific questions to get feedback on their role or specific tasks to get them into the habit of doing this regularly.

Empower recognise and reward the small wins. Any progress is still progress and it’s important to celebrate and compliment new starters.


Overall, the main thing to get the on-boarding process right is to make them feel welcome, encourage open conversations and feedback and to evaluate your on-boarding process after every hire – there is always room for improvement! For more information you can contact us on

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