Onboarding your employees at a distance – a handy guide

There are no second chances to create a first impression, which is why we are following up on our onboarding post with a remote work angle. In the previous post we outlined the three main areas on which to focus your onboarding program: Operational, Strategic and Social.

These areas remain true for a remote onboarding program as well, and below we have put together a short and handy guide of the most essential components that you will want to consider when your new employee is not physically present.


  • Provide a computer with the right settings already installed and a ready to use email address. Deliver the computer before the first day.
  • In case something does not function as it should – make sure your new employee has the contact info to your IT support handy on from the get go. You do not want technical issues to consume your employees first day.
  • Provide a library of resources for your new employee to quickly reference. This can be done as part of pre-boarding to help prepare your employee for day one even better.
  • Have your collaborative platforms set up and invite your new employee from day one, if not earlier.
  • Prepare templates of tasks that your employee can complete as part of the onboarding. Design the tasks to incorporate as many of your workflows and tools as possible.
  • Provide contact info with names and roles of your new employees colleagues with encouragement to reach out for help or advice at any time.

Strategic & Social

  • Incorporate strategic information in the library of resources mentioned above, such as your organization’s values, structure, project expectations, working hours etc.
  • Follow up with a phone call or a virtual meeting on day one. Make sure your new employee is aware of how he or she plays an important role in achieving the goals and contributes to the culture.
  • Assign a remote buddy/mentor. With the technology available today there is no reason that a buddy system should only be applied when onboarding onsite. If anything, to be assigned a mentor can be just the kind of social relief and interaction your new employee needs to quickly feel a part of your organization. You will also ensure that they get the social interaction many of us are missing when working from home.
  • Check-in, check-in, check-in. Have a plan for regular check-ins, such as day one, week one, week two, month 1 and so on.
  • Make sure that you schedule these sessions in both yours and your employee’s calendar.

Take these factors into consideration in addition to your current onboarding program and combine it with good remote leadership (read previous post on remote leadership here) and you will be on the right path to convert your new employee to an engaged and productive long-term employee.

Good luck!

The CIP team

Published 2021-04-27

Share post:

More posts:

Follow us on social media