Remote Employee

How to Onboard Remote Employees

4 min read
Mo Moments

We’re living in a nearly post-pandemic world, but remote and hybrid work is still popular for workers and many companies. 

Although government guidance to work from home when possible was lifted earlier this year, the proportion of hybrid workers has risen from 13% in early February to 24% in May 2022

And that number is likely to increase as more companies are beginning to offer (or improve) their different types of remote work (work from home, work from anywhere) policies.

So let’s face it, many companies (like Mo) might start to, or have already begun, hiring remote employees. That means team leaders and HR departments need to adjust or develop onboarding processes tailored to remote employees. 

Why is onboarding remote employees different?

Onboarding is one of the most influential factors when it comes to employee experience. But creating that experience for remote employees isn’t easy. Without that physical work environment, something that is critical in the traditional hiring process, fully remote companies rely on video chat and fun team socials to get the new team member to feel welcome. 

Building an emotional connection with a new team can be difficult when you aren’t in the same space, meaning it’s very easy for newcomers to feel isolated. It’s important to create a structure that encourages informal moments because, ultimately, these are what contribute to a strong remote culture.

It’s also essential to list the steps involved so the new start doesn’t get lost or overwhelmed with the avalanche of new information during their first few days in the company. 

Trust has to exist from day one, and you need to get creative about ways to nurture relationships! 

Mo’s best practices for onboarding remote employees

At Mo, we believe the best onboarding process focuses on people, not just paperwork or logistics. We also know the impact a poor onboarding experience can have on employees. So for us, the most critical parts of onboarding remote employees include: 

  • Making employees feel welcome and comfortable 
  • Building connections
  • Building expectations and an understanding of the role and company mission 
  • Using our platform to welcome new employees

So how do we put these into practice?

Making employees feel welcome and comfortable

Starting a new job can be daunting, especially when joining remotely. To ensure new employees feel welcome and comfortable, Mo’s onboarding process is designed to ensure new employees know what to expect over their first few days at Mo. It also ensures they have one single point of contact for any questions they may have. 

At Mo, the onboarding process is owned by our People and Operations Manager, who schedules and prepares the new employee’s onboarding plan. They share the first-day schedule ahead of time and run meetings, including laptop setup, an introduction to Mo’s culture and informal catch-ups where new starts can raise any questions or concerns.

Although this may seem simple, it effectively ensures the new employee feels comfortable during their first few days at Mo. 

Building connections

Meeting the team and befriending colleagues outside of routine meetings can be tricky when new employees start remotely. This can make starting a new role particularly difficult and potentially increase loneliness and a lack of connection. To counter that, Mo’s onboarding process also focuses on building relationships and includes team and colleague introductions. 

Our onboarding process includes scheduling formal and informal one-to-one meetings with different stakeholders across the company, from team members to senior management and members of other teams and departments. These meetings help employees understand how other individuals work across the company, build connections, and create networks outside their immediate team. 

On every remote employee’s first day, we also like to hold a remote team lunch. Using our rewards platform to provide a Deliveroo and Uber Eats voucher, the new start can order a takeaway of their choice. The idea is that we are ensuring a team lunch typically experienced by those who attended the office. 

Building expectations and an understanding of the role and company mission

Every employee should have a clear set of responsibilities and goals, and providing these to new starters during their first week is part of Mo’s onboarding process. When remote employees join, they have a one-on-one meeting with their manager where they can clarify expectations and go through prioritisation and momentum with the new employee. The manager will also go through the team’s goals and missions, which will help the employee understand how their responsibilities fit into the team’s success.

Where possible, we also like to schedule remote employees’ first days to coincide with a company Highlights meeting. Our company mission, goals and targets are shared in these meetings, and progress is discussed. Not only does this allow the employee to get an introduction to the company, but it also allows them to put their work into context. 

Using Mo to help onboard employees

At Mo, we use our platform to give new starts an idea of what it’s like to work here. 

We like to set up a Boost that automatically prompts Mo employees to share a moment with new employees on their first day. These Boosts ask employees to share a welcome message, their favourite thing, or their top tip for working at Mo. 

We’ve found that sharing moments can foster a sense of belonging and recognition, which is incredibly important for new remote employees. 

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Mo is an employee recognition and engagement platform that can help leaders improve collaboration and morale, reduce employee churn and drive change. 

Our platform creates a vibrant culture by developing team habits, encouraging people to celebrate success, recognise results and appreciate colleagues.

Your complete toolkit for connecting and motivating teams in the new world of work. Book a demo with our team today!

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