Hiring and managing remote workers doesn’t have to be rocket science. We have prepared this new blog series to let you in on 3 essential secrets to building a great group of online workers and managing them for effective performance. Last week we discussed how to master the interview to ensure you are hiring the best workers. This week we will cover how to make sure that new hires integrate flawlessly in order to make them productive and successful right from the beginning.
Onboarding is a Must
It doesn’t matter if workers are across the hall or across the world; proper onboarding is essential to creating an effective worker that can integrate flawlessly. The difference with remote workers is that you can’t jump up and run to their cubicle to show them how to do something whenever they need help. Because you aren’t able to communicate face to face, onboarding online workers looks a little different, but it is equally (if not more) important.
Take advantage of technology when onboarding remote workers to integrate flawlessly. In today’s world, you are able to capture your screen or upload videos and PowerPoint presentations for remote workers to access. You can get creative and build set up packages and new-hire onboarding programs. You can chat online or set up onboarding conference calls. The options are endless. However you choose to onboard new workers, always check for understanding following the onboarding. If a new worker is still unclear, continue providing onboarding until he is confident in his abilities to perform the task.
When remote workers are in different countries and time zones, getting on the phone can be tricky. However, being able to communicate is key when you hire virtual workers. Without consistent feedback and communication, remote workers may get off track or become unmotivated.
Luckily, there are multiple different ways to communicate no matter where in the world you sit. Email is great because you can send an email any time of the day, and it will be waiting in a worker’s inbox the next time they log in. While email is effective, it is also important to regularly touch base over the phone and with video conferencing. It adds a personal touch and allows remote workers to feel connected. Set up recurring phone calls and video chats on a regular basis in addition to consistent emails. Use a variety of communication techniques for the best results.
Create a Collaborative Vibe
The online worker is just as much part of the company as anyone else, so do not forget to include them as often as possible. To integrate flawlessly, people need to connect on a personal level. This also increases both productivity and work satisfaction. When you hire remote workers, create a collaborative vibe from the start. Introduce a new worker to everyone through email and video if possible. Encourage them all to communicate and build personal relationships. Conduct annual meetings where all of the workers can get together. If that isn’t possible to do in person, create a virtual event where workers can kick back, relax and get to know one another.
Show the Value
One of the challenges of hiring remote workers is keeping them motivated from afar. It is easy to appreciate and include workers that work in the office with you. In-office workers can see with their own eyes how they contribute to the company’s bottom line. But remote workers need to feel valued too. Online workers are a part of the company, and their work directly relates to the success of your business … so make sure they know it. Making them feel valued is critical.
Ask for workers’ opinions, include them in all of your company communications, and show interest in their personal lives outside of work. Tell them directly how their role and the work they do contributes to the growth of the company. Remind them frequently how much you value their quality of work. Recognize them when they do well. When workers feel valued, they will work harder because they will be dedicated to your success.
Integrate Flawlessly for Success
Integrating remote workers is essential to the success of both you and the new worker. If you fail to integrate properly, the new worker will quickly lose motivation, be unsure how to perform his tasks effectively, and have poor work satisfaction. This means that your investment will not result in the value you had hoped for. With the right techniques, a worker will be able to integrate flawlessly and you will have them up and running in no time. They will feel valued, understand how their role impacts the success of your company, and feel like a part of the company. Not only will they flourish as a worker, but your business’s bottom line will thank you.
Melissa Ricker is a nuclear engineer and a professional freelance writer specializing in career growth, technical writing and online entrepreneurship. She writes a blog, Engineered Motherhood, for working mothers who need help balancing career growth and time management.