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3 Keys to Onboarding a Remote or Hybrid Employee

The workplace has undergone a significant transformation over the past two years. One of the biggest shifts has been the rise of remote and hybrid work. While both existed prior to COVID-19, there’s no question their acceptance and growth have been accelerated by the pandemic. 

In fact, employers that understand remote and hybrid workers can be at least as productive as in-office employees – if not more so – have a distinct advantage in the competition for top talent: they gain access to a much larger pool of candidates when filling positions.

After deciding to add a remote or hybrid employee to their team, employers need to take the process of onboarding those workers seriously. Here are 3 keys to ensuring a smooth transition into the organization.

1) Get to know each other at the outset. A candid conversation is a great starting point. An employer needs to learn whether the employee has prior experience working in a remote or hybrid role. If so, what has their experience been? What type of leadership style enables them to work most effectively? How do they receive and share reminders and other important information? And if they haven’t worked remotely, how do they plan to operate? 

At the same time, an employer should also look inward: have they managed a remote or hybrid employee previously? If so, did the relationship work? What were the pros and cons, and how could that experience be improved? If not, are they prepared to take on a different type of management? 

This discussion is essential to establishing a process that works for both the employer and employee.

2) Set clear expectations. Once the remote or hybrid employee and employer are on the same page regarding how work will get done, it’s time to set clear goals and metrics to measure performance and guide the experience. A reasonable approach is to think in terms of 30-, 60-, and 90-day expectations, and outline what should be happening at each of those stages.

For instance, an employer might say that by day 30, the remote/hybrid worker should be able to accomplish X; by day 60, they should be proficient in Y; and by day 90, they should be able to successfully execute 80% of their core tasks. 

3) Ongoing communication is a must. While this is true for every employee, whether remote, hybrid, or in-office, it is particularly necessary during the onboarding process for employees working off-site. Though they are not interacting in person with their colleagues on a daily basis, they need to feel engaged in the organization, its mission, and goals.

Employers should communicate frequently via text, email, phone, and video chats; ask questions; and both solicit and provide feedback on how it’s going. That connection not only enables remote and hybrid employees to feel part of the team, but it also helps them to be more productive.

Whether your organization is just starting to explore hiring remote and hybrid workers, or you’ve already taken the plunge, a strong onboarding program is a must. Alaant’s experts can put both the employer and employee on the right path forward. Contact us today and let’s get the conversation started!

About the Author

Tom Schin Director, Talent Acquisition Partnerships & Recruiting Consulting Services for Alaant Workforce Solutions

Tom SchinDirector, Talent Acquisition Partnerships & Recruiting Consulting Services

When he’s not working, Tom is an avid board game enthusiast, from Catan to Canasta, who makes sure game night is fun for everyone (even though they’ll probably lose). He’s also fond of celebrating his status as a child of the ‘80s by watching Star Wars, listening to U2, and reminiscing about his (gone-but-not-forgotten) Andre Agassi haircut.