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Remote Employee Onboarding Program Checklist

September 29, 2022
Wes Mitchell-Lewis
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The work you put into perfecting a remote onboarding process can also help you build a remote team in general. Things like a company handbook, a friendly digital culture, and regular 1:1s benefit all of your employees – not just your new ones.

When you invest in onboarding, you invest in your team. Make sure you’re devoting ample resources to onboarding and providing your team members with the support they need. Your new employee’s first weeks on the job are arguably their most important. This is when they get their first impression of your company and their role within it. The support they get during this time is critical to their overall success.

Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.

Every company needs to define the purpose of its onboarding program. Is it to improve employee retention? To increase employee productivity? To more quickly get people ramped up to their full capacity? It will be up to you to figure out what will work best for your organization.

Remember that, regardless of your onboarding goals, the best onboarding programs are centered around learning. They ensure that every single employee knows about the company, the role, the product, the market, and anything else that might help them grow the organization.

That’s because a good onboarding program can help your new employees feel like full members of your team, which is especially important for remote employees. You can’t rely on office culture to bolster your onboarding when your team is remote. A remote employee won’t be able to tap someone on the shoulder to ask a question, greet their new colleagues in the lunch room, or find their own equipment in a supply cabinet.

You can easily overcome those obstacles by building a great remote onboarding program. Lots of fully-distributed companies have mastered the art of remote onboarding, and in fact, a well-thought-out remote onboarding program will beat a haphazard in-office onboarding program every time.

This Remote Employee Onboarding Checklist is designed to provide actionable steps you can take in your process that will benefit your new employees. Each step will need to be tailored to your specific company according to resources, time, and overall onboarding goals.


Your Remote Employee Onboarding Program Checklist

  1. Pre-boarding. Make sure your new hire has everything they need well before their start date – access, contracts, contacts, swag & equipment. 
  2. Set clear expectations. Let your new hires know what is expected of employees at your company – think communication, work hours, company goals and milestones.
  3. Schedule 1:1 time with managers. Put a 1:1 on their calendar on day one, and make sure that hiring managers are accessible to their new hires from day one.
  4. Start a buddy program. Match each new hire with a more seasoned employee to be their buddy and help them feel more at ease.
  5. Assess their workspace. Help new hires assess their workspace and ensure they can be productive there.
  6. Create a standardized onboarding experience. Create a curriculum that covers your business and allows employees to learn about every aspect of the company.
  7. Schedule meet & greets. These meetings create early touch points for the new hire so that they can get up to speed quickly.
  8. Maintain a company handbook. Document everything about your company and allow every employee to suggest edits.
  9. Foster a friendly digital culture. Get your team connected and foster real, lasting bonds between your employees.
  10. Create a system for feedback. Give new hires an opportunity to provide feedback to help you improve your onboarding for future hires.

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