How To Give Remote Employees A Warm Welcome

a woman wearing a white shirt smiling and waving into the computer camera.

We are approaching our second lockdown amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and as restrictions continue to set in place, more companies are offering remote opportunities. Whether remote employment is temporary until a vaccine regularly available or whether it becomes a permanent option within companies, this trend is here to stay. It can feel tricky to navigate how to properly on-board employees that are working remotely. It can be a challenge for employees working from home to make connections with the team and feel like a member of the company culture. Here are some of our best tips to help you in the process of hiring remote employees and what you can do to make them feel at home. 


Send more than the bare necessities 


When you are sending technology, paperwork, and all of the necessities an employee will need to start on their first day, make sure you send all of their stuff to arrive before the first day. If you send their necessities to close to their start day, mail may come late, they have tech issues, or they’re missing something they need for work. 


Send a care package with everything they need to arrive multiple days before their start date. A thoughtful care package will make the process of them beginning work on day one seamless, and it will show the new employee that are you are organized and prepared. 


Another tip that we recommend is to send more than the basics. If your company has swag like shirts, pens, cups, etc., send it along with everything they will need for the first day. It’s necessary to make the new employee feel welcomes and a part of the work-family. 


You can go above-and-beyond the company swag and include a hand-written note welcoming them to the team, any other office supplies they may need like note pads or coasters. Another fantastic way for them to feel appreciated for joining the team is by adding in a gift card to a coffee shop, a restaurant, or a store like Target.  


It’s crucial to make the new employee feel appreciated before they even start their work. Good company culture makes for some of the happiest and hardworking employees.  


Make everything digital 


If your company has not yet transitioned from paper to digital, here is your sign. It makes the entire process of on-boarding new employees much harder to navigate. You should create a space within the back-end of your website, or through an online program, to house all essential documents that a new-hire will need. 


Whether that’s the documentation needed by the company, a schedule for starting work as an on-board, a directory with contact information, log-ins, etc., it should all live within this digital space. Not only will this save you time, but how would a remote employee be able to access these paper documents? 


When a new employee has everything they need in a digital space, it makes them feel thought-of and appreciated. You will be making both your lives and their lives easier when they can easily access all documentation within a digital space. 


Give an orientation to the company


Similarly, as to how you would welcome a person who is working at the office, it’s just as necessary to give a warm welcome to remote employees. 


Transition your in-person orientation to a digital one and include a presentation about the background of the company, successful players, and where the company sees itself future. Another vital aspect of orientation is meeting the team. It can feel a little funny for a virtual employee to meet their coworkers and teammates through a screen, so don’t be afraid to get creative.   


Continue to reach out 


Once the new employee receives their warm and inviting welcome onto the team and they have begun working, don’t let them fall by the wayside. No matter your relationship with this person or your position at the company, continue to reach out to them and ask them how things are going.


They may be experiencing a problem, and they don’t know who to reach out to, or maybe they want to chat and develop deeper connections with people that are working at the company. Continue to make the new employee feel welcomed into their new home. 


Overall, onboarding employees remotely isn’t ideal, and we know that. At the start of the pandemic, companies rushed to move in-office employees online, many of which are still feeling out the right methodology for remote new-hires. Whether you are a hiring manager or you are a new employee, be patient. Everyone is in the process of learning how to make people feel welcomed virtually, and it will take some time.