Hiring a new person to join your remote team can be an exciting moment. Having a new person join your remote team can be a significant deal, and you want to ensure they can seamlessly integrate themselves into the rest of the team as soon as possible. In a physical setting, the first day at a new company would usually involve some nervousness, eager introductions, and becoming familiar with the new office surroundings.
When it comes to remote working, your new employee's office could double as their dining or living room. Instead of being surrounded by their new colleagues, they are alone in a room. While welcoming your new employee onto your team is far more manageable in an office setting, it is not impossible for remote employees. Technology has made it possible for team members to remain connected with each other from day one, no matter how far they may be geographical.
As an employer, you need to ensure your new remote worker is welcomed into the team. You need to consider the best possible ways to welcome a new team member when your company is distributed around the country or even the world. Seamlessly welcoming a new member of the team does have its benefits, so you need to ensure you have some of the most effective ways prepared for welcoming new employees.
According to this study, workers who have a negative onboarding experience are twice as likely to search for a new career opportunity in the future. On the other hand, Glassdoor managed to figure out that organizations with a positive onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82%, and their productivity is 70% better.
It seems that making sure your new remote employee feels welcomed isn’t something that businesses should ignore. Not only will it save the company from needing to re-hire for the same position a few months down the line, but it also leads to more fulfillment, loyalty, and motivation in employees.
For this article, we are going to go over some of the effective ways to welcome new remote work to your team.
Set up a remote onboarding process
To help your new remote worker feel valued and seen from the first day, you should have a plan for their virtual arrival and develop a process to help unite them within the organization and get them up to speed on their duties. A week or two before they start their first-day work with your Human Resources and the manager to prepare a thorough onboarding plan and review it with the rest of your team to assign training tasks.
Take the time to speak with team members on what is expected of them regarding the new remote work responsibilities and how their role could impact the new hire's overall performance.
Stir up some excitement
Take some time to clear your schedule for meetings on the date of your new remote worker's first day. As an employer, it is your priority to be welcoming to your new member of the team. If you have decided to hop onto a video call to launch your new remote worker's day off, come prepared with a spring in your step and a warm smile.
Once you have gone through the required steps of your first-day onboarding plan, have everyone on your team greet their new team member through a group welcome on your chat app, like Slack. Encourage your current team members to share in the excitement and offer some information about themselves to get some conversation started.
You could even start up some icebreaker activities that offer the new employee to get comfortable with the rest of the team. Icebreakers are excellent for getting past those awkward questions and permits everyone to have a fun time, all while learning something about the new employee. Games like “Would you rather” are especially effective with igniting team bonding amongst employees.
Company-wide video call
It’s one thing to have people welcome you through a chatting app or email. It’s a whole other experience when you can place a face on the names that have greeted you. Consider setting some time for your team to welcome the new hire through a video call. Set aside some time where you can have a company-wide video call where new remote workers can introduce themselves and be introduced to everyone else on the team.
Doing so allows your new remote worker to place a face and personality behind the names they will become acquainted with, which is critical as they start to work alongside the entire team.
If for any reason setting aside some time for a company-wide video call is too challenging or if your company is too sizable, schedule smaller team calls. That way, your new employee can be introduced to all of the relevant people they will be working with frequently as part of the job. Gestures like these can go a long way when it comes to making your new remote worker feel welcomed and a part of the company.
Invite them into social channels
Most remote teams are using software solutions like Slack to keep in touch with each other, and plenty of those teams have dedicated challenges for non-work-related topics. Invite any new remote worker onto these social channels immediately as it will help to seamlessly integrate into the company culture.
If whatever reason, you do not have social channels set up for your remote team, you should consider changing that real soon. Offering your employees the chance to talk about other things besides work will assist them with forming bonds despite their current remote environment.
The Buddy system
Studies have discovered that 87% of businesses that assign a buddy program during the welcoming process have an effective speeding method for new employee proficiency. A buddy system is easy to set up, and it won’t cost you a dime. You merely need to match up a seasoned remote employee with your new one and request the check-in regularly during the first few months to ensure they are acclimating to their new position and working remotely.
Buffer is an excellent example of a company that enjoys using a buddy system. They have around 100 remote employees working for them, so Buffer decided to introduce the buddy stem to welcome their new employees in two essential areas, culture and role.
The culture buddy system allows employees to guide a new worker on everything related to company culture and values. The role buddy is supposed to work closely with the new employee manager to draft the onboarding process and act as a mentor for role-specific questions.
New remote workers should be introduced to these buddies before their first day starts and guided through the onboarding process with frequent communication and check-ins. Because communication on remote teams is required to be more intentional and recurring than an office space, the check-in should be done regularly. At least somewhere every two weeks or so.
Send them a swag package.
If you have the option to do so, consider sending your new remote worker a swag packaged to their home before they begin their first day at work. The items you send them could include anything that makes them fit in and doesn’t require you to be overly expensive. Think about branded self-care items or items suited for home office life, such as slippers with the company logo and a note that says it is approved for office use.
You could also send them branded items for the children or family members of the employees since it could have the dual benefit of cheering up the entire household. Encourage physical activity with your swag packages by sending them branded fitness gear or water bottles that promote health and well-being.
Branded tech accessories such as power banks or portable chargers are always helpful to have around for doing work around the house. Sometimes your remote worker might decide to change the spot they are working in. Having one of these on hand could help them have an extra set for these situations.
Set up icebreaker games
Having remote collages can cause a work environment to become all business and no relaxation if you are not careful. Employees need to have some time to enjoy each other's company to work at their best. A great way to ensure your remote worker gets to know everyone is by having them do an icebreaker game with the rest of the team.
There are all sorts of icebreakers your employees can play, from simple guessing games to card games and so forth. The point is to ease your new employee into the company and have your team become at ease with the new remote worker. That should ensure everyone manages to properly bond and welcome the new employee into the company and team.
Welcoming new remote workers into your company does not need to be a complicated process. While you should take some time to plan it out, all you need to do is a few basic things that ensure they feel welcomed onto the team. Make sure to get everyone on the team involved in the process for a smoother transition greeting process. Just make sure to set everything up correctly, and you will have a new employee happy to be working with your team in no time.