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 an online team and managing them for effective performance. Last week we discussed how to master the interview to ensure you are hiring the best workers for your team. This week we will cover how to make sure your new hires integrate flawlessly onto your team in order to make them productive and successful right from the beginning.
Onboarding is a Must
It doesn’t matter if your employees work 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 your 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 your new workers, always check for understanding following the onboarding. If your new worker is still unclear, continue providing onboarding until he is confident in his abilities to perform his job.
When your 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 employ virtual workers. Without consistent feedback and communication, your 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 your 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 your 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 Team Vibe
Your online worker is just as much part of the team as anyone else, so do not forget to include them as often as possible. To integrate flawlessly into a team, people need to connect on a personal level. This also increases both productivity and job satisfaction. When you hire remote workers, create a team vibe from the start. Introduce your new employee to all of your team members through email and video if possible. Encourage the entire team to communicate and build personal relationships. Conduct annual meetings where all of your workers can get together for team building. If that isn’t possible to do in person, create a virtual event where your team can kick back, relax and get to know one another.
Show the Value
One of the challenges of employing remote workers is keeping them motivated from afar. It is easy to appreciate and include employees that work in the office with you. In-office employees can see with their own eyes how they contribute to the company’s bottom line. But remote workers need to feel valued too. Your online employees are a part of your team, 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 your 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 for a job well done. When workers feel valued, they will work harder because they will be dedicated to your success.
Integrate Flawlessly for Success
Integrating your remote workers onto your team is essential to the success of both you and your new employee. If you fail to integrate properly, your new employee will quickly lose motivation, be unsure how to perform his job effectively, and have poor job satisfaction. This means that your investment will not result in the value you had hoped for. With the right techniques, your 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 team. Not only will they flourish as an employee, 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.