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How to onboard employees remotely

The first day for a remote employee can feel lonely and anticlimactic. Make sure it's not for your next new hire.

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There's no "first days excitement" in remote teams

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Create a guided experience

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Prepare your next onboarding
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There's no "first days excitement" in remote teams

We're talking welcome packs on the desk, real smiles, coffees, first lunches. A remote employee's first day looks entirely different, so how do you make it a good one?

Stay in touch from the moment they're hired to when they start

Without an office, you can't invite them for coffee or lunch before their first day. You have to keep in touch in other ways to make them feel part of the team and eagerly expected.

  • Regularly email them about what's going on: any cool product updates to share? fun Slack conversations to screenshot and share?
  • Set up informal chats with their teammates before they start

Send work material, books, welcome pack before

Nothing worst than arriving to an office with no desk set up for you right? Same story in remote. 

  • Send laptop, mouse, screen, keyboard...anything required for their proper set up, ahead of the first day
  • If they're joining a coworking, make sure they're all set up by their first day

Setting up remotely can feel isolating. Provide guidelines and share how other people are working in the company so they can start setting up.

Create a guided experience

You need to be more organized and intentional about new hires getting enough exposure to the company and the people.

Make managers responsible for preparing the onboarding

You really want to avoid them staring at their screen blindly and wonder "what now?". Get those first days and weeks planned out.

  • Create a checklist to guide the new hire to the right information
  • Reference relevant documents so they know where to start looking first
  • Give them access all the tools they'll need

Prioritize socializing

Encourage people to schedule time to meet their teammates over informal video calls. If it's explicitly part of their planning, people feel more at ease to do it.

The first month is for discovery and goal-setting

  • Give new hires time to land and get accustomed to how things work. 
  • During the first month, work on creating achievable goals with the person.

Get feedback and improve

After their first month, ask them to write up a first month review to share with the team about what surprised them and what you can do better for the next hire. 

Prepare your next onboarding

Make sure you don't miss anything by putting together a checklist and creating that guided experience for your next new hire.