3 Steps to Successfully Onboard a Remote Team Member

Working remotely is here to stay even after the pandemic. In fact, a survey commissioned by Intermedia reveals that 57% of small business owners will give their employees the option of working from home even after COVID-19, and in a report by Owl Labs that was released even before the pandemic, 79% of the participants claimed that working remotely increased their productivity and focus. With this rise in remote work, it is crucial for companies to understand how to conduct most of their operations remotely, one of such processes being the onboarding of new workers. We have described below the three main steps to take to ensure the remote onboarding experience is a success for both the company and new employee.

1. Give and Finalize The Offer

When you have found the right candidate to fulfill a position, the next step is to extend a formal offer letter. A formal offer letter provides clarity on the role description, and it should be written in a friendly but professional tone that will attract the candidate to accept the job. Information to be included in an offer letter are the benefits, work hours, start date of the job, duties assigned to the position, the name of the supervisor, payment structure, etc. But also remember what an offer letter should not contain. In an article by Business News Daily, Jon Hill, chairman and CEO of The Energists, states that the offer letter should be free of “any promises…that aren’t set in stone”. As he explains, “if the (prospective) employee accepts the job under false pretenses, they have legal grounds to seek what they were promised or else look for employment elsewhere."

In the era of remote work, electronic offer letters signed with e-signatures are the preferred option. An Electronic signature has been defined as “a symbol, or other data in digital format, that attaches to an electronic document and is adopted by the “signer” or recipient of the signature request.”

The advantages of electronic contracts with e-signatures are: they eliminate the cost and effort that comes with paper offer letters; they may be more accurate than the paper contract; they help make for a more automated and faster onboarding process, and they can be easily signed from any location/device. 

2. Prepare and Sign The Contract Electronically. 

An electronic contract can be created through the use of word processing software, e-mail, and contract management software, and it can be singed through a program such as docusign. It is essential that your e-contract contains the following: the offer, which should be presented clearly, rights and obligations attached to the position, payment terms, period of employment, and confidentiality agreement, etc. Additionally, when sending the e-contract, it can be encrypted to prevent unauthorized view of it. 

3. Introducing The New Employee to The Company 

The third activity is to educate your new worker on the company and ensure that he or she feels comfortable in their new work. A good understanding of the company’s culture and structure, as well as a sense of belonging from the beginning has positive impacts on the employee’s working habits. Micro.com explains the informal and formal ways this step can be handled. The formal method involves utilizing “workshops, training sessions, video calls and exercises” to get the employee acquainted with the company. Meanwhile, the less formal approach is to achieve the worker’s “understanding [of] the company’s conventions and approach to problem-solving through observation and impromptu coaching.” More specifically, actions that can be taken under this step include introducing the new worker to other members of the team, communication channels used by the company, as well as the resources and individuals that they can refer to in order to give feedback and ask questions. Moreover, this is a good time to communicate to the employee company expectations and goals as well as hear their expectations about working in the company.

We realize that this can be a lot of information to take in, and with onboarding being an important factor behind a worker’s long-term performance, the stakes are high. So, we’ve linked our HR checklist for remote onboarding. This is an easy to follow step by step guide through the entire procedure, so that remote onboarding won’t be so daunting anymore. 

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