How to Build Positive Working Relationships with Remote New Hires
Building positive working relationships with your employees is critical for enhancing engagement and productivity. As a company, we have realized that fostering these relationships from when the employees join the organization yields tremendous results. However, it is not as easy as it sounds.
Forming these bonds takes time, dedication, and a lot of work. Moreover, when employees are working remotely, you have to deal with unique challenges that come with it. Relationships are easier to forge when you can interact physically regularly. When you do it through a screen, you must put more effort into engaging effectively with the other side.
Nevertheless, we have found these strategies helpful in connecting and establishing relationships with our remote new hires.
Enhance New Hires’ Experience During the Onboarding Process
The first few months are always a learning period for new hires as they familiarize themselves with the company and the people. And as such, they don’t know much about the company or who to turn to when they need help. It can be confusing, mainly because they don’t have the privilege of walking to the next person for guidance. Enhancing their experience at this time might mean providing an FAQ for the most common questions new hires have asked in the past.
We have also found partnering with a PEO during the hiring and onboarding of remote workers helpful. The PEO or the professional employer organization is a full-service human resource outsourcing type that provides many services for businesses, such as payroll and benefits administration.
A PEO can be a great resource when you need to hire foreign employees. These organizations leverage their extensive experience to find you the best talents. They are also instrumental in developing onboarding processes that ensure an excellent experience for remote new hires. PEOs also take up most HR processes, giving you enough time to concentrate on your new hire’s onboarding.
As a company, you must ensure that your new hires are settling in well even long after the onboarding process is over. This communicates that you are invested in their success in the company. What we do in our company is check in with the new remote workers regularly.
But, we are careful not to come off as intimidating or distrusting. We inform them of our planned regular communication in the first few months to ensure everything is going okay. Another reason for prioritizing communication is to ensure that the new hires are kept in the loop of what is happening in the organization. This ensures that they are not left out, which goes a long way in helping new hires feel valued as part of the team.
Give Clear Expectations
As said earlier, remote workers don’t have the opportunity to walk down the hall for clarification. Moreover, trying to reach you for answers with no success can be frustrating, which can set them off with a bad taste in management. You will want to give clear expectations to avoid such scenarios.
Think about ways to provide new hires with clear directions so they know better how to accomplish their work. Likewise, let them know what they can expect from you as well. We have seen that letting them know the best time that they can send emails or make phone calls plays a vital role in avoiding frustrations.
Foster a Supportive Culture
Besides focusing on the relationship with the management, fostering the same connections and bonds between new hires and the rest of the team is equally important. We do this by striving to create a welcoming and supportive culture for new workers. It can be hard to connect with the rest of the team if the culture is competitive.
As much as we reward good performances, our goal is to have everyone collaborate and work together as a team. Another thing we do is create an environment that is safe to share opinions or ask questions without the fear of intimidation from the rest of the team. This hasn’t been easy considering the distance each employee works from the other.
However, holding regular virtual meetings and virtual happy hours and trying to get everyone together often helps enhance relationships between employees.
Base Relationships on Trust and Respect
Disrespecting employees and barking out orders harshly doesn’t do any good to the relationship that you are trying to build. Moreover, it can be hard to tell the extent of the damage it does to employees’ morale when working away from you.
Yes, new hires are bound to make mistakes since they are new to the company’s procedures and policies. But, correcting and advising new hires respectfully is paramount if you are to enhance your relationship at such a time. We take our managers and department heads through training on best practices when giving feedback. Nothing too lengthy, but enough to equip them with skills that help them communicate with new hires better.
It’s All About Commitment
The first few months are critical for new hires and you as well. It is the time to test whether you are fit for each other. Committing yourself to enhance the relationship with new hires helps retain them and set them up for company success.
Moreover, when they are working remotely, putting in the extra effort is essential. The above tips have proven helpful in our endeavor to form meaningful connections with remote new hires. Customize them to your needs to see results.
Leah Collins is an employee recruiter.
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