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Elaine Coffman, Vice President of Human Resources at Majorel

Setting remote employees up for success

Setting remote employees up for success

The effect COVID-19 had on company culture and policies cannot be understated. The topic has been discussed at length over the past few years, but with employees finally returning to offices, employers are only now beginning to discover the real impacts of the pandemic on their long-term business strategies.

What was once a product of necessity has become an expectation for older employees who are now used to the flexibility work-from-home arrangements provide and younger workers whose careers have started in their homes. Furthermore, studies have found that employees working from home are often more productive than their counterparts working in offices.

Yes, remote work is here to stay—and that means employers of all sizes must shift their approach to hiring, onboarding, and educating their workforce. The prospect of widespread change to these processes can be daunting to employers, especially in light of the uncertainty of the last few years. Luckily, it only takes minor adjustments to set newly remote employees and businesses up for long-term success.

1. Get creative when engaging candidates.

Conducting video interviews and other parts of the hiring process can be a challenge, thanks to at-home distractions and the limitations of video meetings. Hiring managers and HR professionals must work hard to make the process engaging and informative to attract top talent.

2. Rethink your criteria for employment.

Success for both employees and employers starts with ensuring each hire is the perfect fit. The freedom remote work affords workers may not be productive for every candidate. Taking self-motivation, focus, and time management into account when hiring may be more critical now than ever before.

3. Revamp the introduction process.

Bonding with the rest of the team is integral to a new hire’s success, but remotely starting a job can hinder forming those connections. Take special notice of how new hires are integrating into the company’s culture and make an effort to encourage social events despite the distance. After all, strong teams lead to stronger results.

4. Tailor the onboarding process to each new employee.

When new hires get to your office on day one, they’re on a relatively level playing field. They all have the same space and equipment to work with. When hiring remote employees, the people designing the process must keep in mind that each person’s environment is unique. Before a new hire begins work, try to get information on their comfort with the technology they’ll be using, their working environment, their internet speed and strength, and other pertinent information. The one-size-fits-all approach won’t cut it for a remote workforce.

5. Make communication the top priority.

Without in-person interaction, a lot can get lost in translation. Set the expectations for communication early and often to ensure remote hires understand the necessity of keeping in touch. Doing so will save the employee and their teams time, resources, and energy in the future.

Employers who were once resistant to the idea may be surprised by the myriad business benefits having a remote workforce can offer. Widening the hiring to people who don’t live within a commuting distance of a company’s office opens up a world of opportunity for employers. Without geographic limitations, companies can recruit from more diverse populations, bringing new points of view, backgrounds, and experiences onto teams.

To hear more of Elaine’s thoughts on setting your remote workforce up for success, check out her recent Q&A with StrategicCHRO360.

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