Onboarding new employees when you can’t meet with them face-to-face is something that many people understandably find challenging.
If you’re used to training your new teammates in a certain way, moving your whole process online can seem disorganized and overwhelming.
But with a little planning and the right tools, you can deliver clear and effective training to your new employees from Anywhere.
Create a remote work policy
For some people joining your team, this may be the first time they’ve worked outside of a traditional office. For others, they might have previous experience of remote work. Either way, your new employees are likely to have common questions that need to be addressed.
So what should you include in your policy? For starters, you need to define exactly what ‘remote work’ means to you. Every company has different definitions of this, so even if your new employees have worked outside of an office environment before, their experiences may not match up with how your company operates.
To some companies, remote work will mean a home office with set workspace requirements. To others, it means working Anywhere, with employees free to choose whether they want to work from home, in public places like coffee shops, or in a co-working space.
Outline precisely how remote work functions in your organization. Include details of things like equipment or workspace requirements, security guidelines, and expectations of employee conduct.
Getting these details out of the way in your remote work policy will mean that anyone joining your team is able to start out with all of their basic questions answered, giving them a solid foundation for the rest of their training.
Use video calls and screen sharing for tech setup
Part of the onboarding process for any organization is likely to include some form of tech setup. Whether it’s a fully remote desktop, or individual pieces of software to sign up to and install, you are likely to have to guide employees through at least some of the process.
When someone new joins your office, you might have someone from your team sit down with them and talk them through how to use various applications and software. But it’s not always easy to take in the more complex details while you’re leaning over someone’s shoulder to see their computer screen and trying to scribble down your notes at the same time.
With remote employees, you can avoid this issue and give clear explanations and guidance by usingvideo collaboration software. This allows people to conduct video calls and to share their screen at the click of a button, so they can talk you through what they’re doing in real-time.
You can provide demonstrations by sharing your screen, or you could have the person you’re onboarding share their screen so you can guide them through everything that needs to be done. This way, everyone can see the screen clearly and you can talk through the steps that need to be taken with clear visual aids.
Try a Learning Management System for training materials
After having their basic questions answered and ensuring all of their tech is in order, the next thing your new teammates will be wondering is how to get started.
In person, you might give a presentation to your new employees, or sit down with them and explain how to perform certain tasks. When you’re working Anywhere, a great alternative is to use aLearning Management System (LMS).
An LMS allows you toshare your training materials with anyone who joins your team. You can create introductory courses or individual lessons to help new employees learn everything they need to know online.
Share internal or external videos, website links, slide decks, or text documents to provide everything from a broad company overview, to detailed step-by-step guides on how to use new tools and carry out day-to-day tasks. You could even use an LMS to create quizzes and help your new teammates to test their knowledge.
Presenting your training materials in this way means new employees can take in everything they need to know at their own pace, and can revisit anything they didn’t fully catch the first time round.
Unlike in face-to-face training where people can often feel overwhelmed by information and might forget some of the finer details, an LMS gives people the opportunity to retain information more effectively.
Rate and review features provide new recruits with a place to recall their takeaways on the courses and lessons you create, and to read other people’s comments. It also means you can take a look at what they’ve learned from the materials you’ve uploaded, giving you the chance to monitor the effectiveness of your training.
Use chat tools for team introductions and background information
Now that your new employees know where to find all the relevant training materials, it’s time to fully introduce them into your team.
Over-communication is always important in distributed teams, as it’s one of the key ways to ensure you create asociable atmosphere when working Anywhere. But this is especially true of new hires, as it’s easy to feel a little lost and worry that you’re bothering people with questions when you’re first starting out.
Making use of chat tools is an easy way to onboard new employees and help them to feel like they’re part of the team.
When someone new starts in your office, someone will usually take them on a tour of the building and introduce them to everyone along the way. In a distributed team, you could simply give new starts a list of contact details for everyone in your organization, but this hardly recreates the experience of meeting people face-to-face.
Instead, use your chat tool to introduce new teammates to key contacts through video calls. Facilitating these initial meetings should help to create an environment where new employees feel comfortable reaching out to the other people in your company, just as they would if they were settling in at the office.
The search capabilities of many chat tools are also useful to new employees. The ease of searching through past messages means that someone who has just joined your organization can look through the message history of any chat streams they are added to – meaning no more blank email inboxes and having to consult lots of different people in an attempt to catch up.
As a form ofteam collaboration software, chat tools are a great way to instill your company culture in new members of your team. With instant messaging, group chat streams, video calls, and status updates, it’s an opportunity to create a virtual office space with a culture of positive and transparent communication.
Create a remote work policy to answer new employees’ basic questions
Use video calls and screen sharing to guide employees through their tech setup
Use a Learning Management System to host training materials
Make use of chat tools to encourage over-communication and create a sense of team culture