2020 Remote Employee Onboarding Checklist

February 16, 2024

In recent times, the global pandemic has caused many organizations to restructure and reevaluate operations moving forward. Has your company already been forced to work from home? Are you looking to hire a new developer, or another member of staff?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, be aware that onboarding a new member virtually is a whole new ball game when compared to onboarding physically. More so, it comes with various challenges.

In fact, replicating the traditional method of in-office onboarding might not work out, and this is the time to put your company's best foot forward by making your new hire feel welcome.

If you’re in search of some virtual onboarding ideas for your company, this article will help. We will walk you through some remote onboarding best practices for companies.

1. Send a Welcome Email

Our first virtual onboarding tip is one of the most straightforward, but most important steps to take when integrating your new hire in the workspace. Sending a welcome email makes a new member of staff feel more welcome and at ease.

In the welcome email, you can add a short message and include pertinent information such as links to upcoming webinars and the company’s handbook, or links for official video meetings. You can also include information about regular working hours as well as a link to the company's intranet—if you have one. And for a fun welcome treat, include vouchers and coupons for free coffee, doughnuts, or lunch to make them feel appreciated.

2. Introduce Them To The Team

Since the traditional method of physically introducing a new hire to the team may not work, you’ll have to go down the video introduction method. It’s a good idea if the team briefly introduce themselves and state one fun/interesting fact. You can also schedule more intimate video meetings with individuals the new hire will be working closely with. This will help them better understand how the working process would be like.

3. Supply The Needed Tools Of Communications

Our remote workspace checklist continues with communication tools. Communication tools are obviously the lifeblood of virtual companies, and each employee has to know the in’s and out’s of maneuvering them.

A new hire may not be familiar with some of the communication tools used by your company; so, ensure that they know what the company prefers to use. Also, supply them with all the necessary information on how to use each tool.

Additionally, communication not only involves the right tools but also responsive coworkers. Knowing who to talk to for a specific concern and how to clearly and directly interact remotely is essential in making the new hire more comfortable with the work.

Remember to also include the new hire in all the appropriate project management boards. Let’s say, for example, you’re hiring a Shopify Developer, you’ll not only have to include them on the programming platform they’ll be working on but also on project management platforms such as Trello.

In addition, you’ll have to add them to your email groups and send calendar invites so they don't miss out on any pertinent updates or messages. At the end of the day, this is important in streamlining projects and achieving organizational goals.

4. Take Them Through The Company Culture

Every company has its own culture and way of working. Many new employees are excited to learn and assimilate the company culture. Some have even admitted to quitting when they were not appropriately introduced to the culture, causing them to eventually leave.

To properly introduce your employee to your company culture, you can send them a digital employee handbook, share pictures and videos of company outings, and provide them with related resources. This step may take the longest time to get used to, but the result for both the hire and the company will be beneficial.

5. Introduce the Buddy System

The buddy system is a method whereby two people, also known as “buddies," operate together as a single unit to monitor and support each other. This virtual onboarding practice is an essential step in making sure new hires do not feel inundated with all the new things they have to learn. Here's what you can do:

Assign one employee (preferably someone who has been in the company for a few years) to the new hire. This experienced employee will show them the ropes, give guidance, answer questions, and help them interact better with the team. This is an easy way to make them feel more at ease in the company.

6. Emphasize the Goals, Objectives, Roles, and Responsibilities

New hires need to know the goals they'll be required to achieve in the company. Breaking down these goals into long term and short term can help make things simpler. When employees have clear guidelines on their responsibilities, they are more likely to gain confidence and take initiative. After introducing the team you can get their feet wet by giving them a task or project.

This will help them get familiar with the job role and working processes of the company. Remember to also include weekly or monthly assessment meetings to address their performance and any issues faced. Job training sessions can also be introduced to help the new hires better understand what other departments and teams do.

7. Frequently Check-In on Them and Collect Feedback

Our last tip on the remote workspace checklist is “checking in." Not checking up on a new hire is like throwing a child into a pool and turning your back on them, expecting them to miraculously learn how to swim. Even before you assign them their first task, you can assess their working style and understand what makes them most productive. Checking up on them also helps you gauge how well they have settled into their job roles and get some valuable feedback.

Feedback in the form of a survey, for example, can be sent to your new hires to learn more about how they felt about the company's virtual onboarding process. Doing this makes them feel heard and valued, leading to loyalty and more productivity in the long run.