Onboarding Remote Employees: Integrating New Hires Into Your Company Culture

A strong organisational culture serves as a foundation for unity and cohesion among employees, fostering a sense of belonging and collective purpose. As a first step to build a strong organisational culture and maintain such a culture, we need to learn what it actually refers to.

By definition, organisational culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, and behaviours that shape the unique identity of a company. It greatly influences the way people approach their tasks, solve problems, and collaborate with colleagues at a workplace.

Onboarding remote employees

It is well known that a positive and well-defined culture can enhance employee engagement, productivity, and overall job satisfaction. Importantly, organisational culture also plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining talent, as individuals are drawn to workplaces that align with their personal values and professional aspirations. Moreover, a healthy organisational culture is essential for navigating through changes, as it provides a framework for adapting to new challenges and embracing innovation.

Organisational culture also significantly impacts how employees approach their responsibilities, tackle challenges, and collaborate with their peers. A positive and strong culture affects employee engagement as well, boosting their commitment to their roles and the organisation. This, in turn, tends to enhance overall productivity and job satisfaction at work.

Strategies to build a strong organisational culture

A projected 22% workforce growth by 2025 signifies a massive talent hunt. But here’s the twist: 64% of European IT professionals crave a hybrid or fully remote work model. This surge in remote preferences presents a unique challenge – integrating new hires into a strong company culture despite the physical distance.

Onboarding done poorly can lead to isolated, disengaged employees, hindering productivity. So, how do we bridge the physical gap and ensure your new European tech talent thrives from day one? Let’s dive into some effective strategies.

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Building a seamless remote onboarding experience:

  • Pre-boarding prep: Start by sending a welcome package with company swag, a personalised note, and information about the team and company culture.
  • Set clear expectations: Provide a detailed onboarding agenda with daily or weekly tasks, outlining goals and resources available
  • Virtual introductions: Organise video calls or virtual coffee chats to connect the new hire with colleagues across departments.
  • Utilise technology: Leverage project management tools, communication platforms, and video conferencing software to facilitate collaboration and communication.Documentation is key: Create a knowledge base (such as a Confluence page) with company policies, processes, and FAQs readily accessible to new hires.
  • Documentation is key: Create a knowledge base (such as a Confluence page) with company policies, processes, and FAQs readily accessible to new hires.

Fostering a strong company culture remotely:

  • Virtual team-building activities: Schedule regular online games, social events, or virtual coffee breaks to promote engagement and a sense of community.
  • Recognition and rewards: Acknowledge achievements and contributions publicly to show appreciation and boost morale.
  • Communication is crucial: Encourage transparency and open communication by establishing clear communication channels and regular check-ins. Have regular all hands meetings, where information is openly shared. This must include key company information and also address employee concerns.
  • Invest in virtual learning: Offer online training and development opportunities to help new team members acquire the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.
  • Promote feedback mechanisms: Create a safe space for new hires to ask questions, share ideas, and provide feedback on the onboarding process and company culture. These can also be pulse check surveys where employees can anonymously share their opinions and feedback.

Going beyond the basics:

  • Buddy system: Assign a dedicated “buddy” from within the company who can answer questions, provide mentorship, and help the new hire navigate the company and its culture.
  • Be open about mental health: Create an environment where employees don’t have to hide their mental health issues and feel safe to talk about them. Offer mental health support in terms of a budget for therapy sessions or tie up with a company that provides counselling sessions for employees.
  • Offer virtual office tours: Use video conferencing or screen sharing to introduce the new hire to the virtual workspace and familiarise them with the team’s digital tools.
  • Organise virtual welcome lunches/dinners: Coordinate online food deliveries or virtual team lunches/dinners to welcome the new member and cultivate team spirit.
  • Set up a cultural committee: To fortify exceptional culture, a culture committee can be an important step. At WorkMotion, the culture committee is made up of passionate people who design and implement cultural initiatives such as book clubs, or Slack channels where we celebrate holidays and recipes from our diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Boost morale: Think of ideas that will infuse motivation and enthusiasm into your team. For example, a dedicated #thank-you Slack channel where you can thank colleagues for their help and express support. This has a snowball effect on all employees, leading to more recognition and appreciation. Effective remote onboarding is an ongoing process. By implementing these strategies and fostering a culture of inclusion and connection, you can empower your new remote team members to thrive and feel valued within your company, regardless of location.

This is a guest article by WorkMotion, Europe’s leading HR tech firm to help you hire beyond borders. Want to grow your business by hiring the best talent worldwide? Book a free meeting.

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