5 Ways Onboarding Remote Employees Can Inspire Loyalty & Dedication

Emily Patz
Emily Patz
Posted April 6, 2020 in Human Resources

Your company’s onboarding process serves as a first impression that sticks with new employees well beyond their first day.

Don’t believe it? Check this out:

Glassdoor reports that a positive and supportive onboarding process may improve new hire retention by 82% and boost their productivity as they settle into their new job by over 70%.

Wouldn’t you like to gain these same benefits with remote employees?

As you shift to the new normal of remote work, it’s important to tailor your onboarding process to be just as engaging, informative, and helpful for remote employees.

Adapting your onboarding process to serve remote employees will equip them to acclimate to their role and team faster and more successfully, as well as position your company as innovative and ahead of the curve. 

Because let’s face it. 

Even before COVID-19, more and more companies were beginning to accommodate remote work.

So turn this temporary setback into a long-term opportunity by revamping your onboarding experience to prepare, excite, and impress new employees no matter where they’re based.

What’s the Cost of Not Tailoring Onboarding to Remote Employees?

We discussed the retention and productivity-boosting benefits of a solid onboarding experience, but what happens if you take a passive stance to onboarding? 

Does a run-of-the-mill onboarding process negatively affect an employee’s opinion about your company? 

A recent survey by machine-learning company Digitate revealed that new employees who perceive their onboarding experience as poor are twice as likely to seek other job opportunities soon after starting their job.

If that’s not troubling enough, Gallup found that only 12% of employees feel their organization did a great job with onboarding.

#1. Streamlining the Onboarding Experience to Acclimate Remote Employees 

onboarding-remote-employeesWe all know how much paperwork comes along with the first day on the job. 

Now imagine experiencing onboarding designed for in-office hires as a remote employee.

First, you’d receive an email with 20 pages of documents to print and fill out. 

Oh, you have a printer? Phew! That’s a relief.

Once you’re done, you’d better hope you have a scanner or it’s off to the office supply store to scan the 20 documents, email them to yourself, then forward that email to your employer. 

Is that a good experience? Better yet, is that the kind of experience a company should be providing in the year 2020? Of course not. 

Fortunately, your onboarding process for remote employees doesn’t have to require a commute. (Nor does it need to waste so much paper!)

The solution:

Lean on human resources software that simplifies the many aspects of onboarding by managing documents, hosting training materials, and collecting and organizing data all from a single system. 

Best of all, many of the software systems that can help with onboarding have other features that your human resources team will love

Not sure where to start? Check out these top-rated online onboarding tools.

Once everything’s organized, it’s time to decide where to begin. 

Fortunately, that decision is easier than you think:

#2. Showcasing Your Company Culture

iStock-1187170562Before you dig into processes and tools, start with what’s best about working for you by creating a fun and lighthearted welcome video starring your team. 

What’s the best way to go about it?

Look to these awesome welcome video examples for inspiration.

You can also share how your company puts its mission statement into action by featuring inspiring customer success stories, employee testimonials, and highlights from your social good program

Finally, modify the welcome gift that would await a new employee at their desk to work for remote employees the moment they log in on Day 1. 

Need some ideas for welcome gifts that don’t break the bank?

Check out these 11 gifts your new remote employees will really enjoy.

#3. Fully Supporting Remote Employees with Tech Tools Designed for Collaboration 

iStock-1156463337Remote work requires the right tools in order to be successful. 

At the very minimum, you’ll want to provide remote workers with access to:

As a bonus, send new remote workers a digital gift card that enables them to upgrade their home office space. 

But don’t stop there. 

The truth is, you can be stocked with all the tools mentioned previously, but still fail at remote collaboration. 

Here’s the crucial ingredient that will help you achieve maximum ROI on your tech investments:

#4. Demonstrating a Knack for Clear, Consistent Communication

Know what the biggest pitfall of remote work is?

Poor communication. 

Staying in tune with team members and the status of multiple projects can be challenging for a distributed team.

That’s because the truth is, the tools you have to keep in touch are only as good as the processes that support them. 

Lucky for you, the processes you can put into place are easy, free, and will save your team a ton of time. 

Consider these crucial meetings that most certainly shouldn’t be emails to put those tools to good use:

Daily stand-ups 

These routine huddles ensure that everyone’s updated on the status of current projects, what each team member is up to, and if there are any roadblocks that need to be addressed. Quick, structured, and time-boxed, a standup is specifically reserved for timely topics that align everyone on the team around top priorities.

Bi-weekly planning meetings

When an employee works remotely, it’s easy for them to work in a silo. Prioritizing projects as a team on a scheduled basis allows everyone to have a hand in determining what they should work on - together. Toward the end of the meeting, each team member can elect to dedicate their time and talents for the initiatives that will result in the greatest value and form small teams to tackle big projects. 

Project kickoffs

Before your team begins work on a project, it’s important to make sure everyone’s on the same page, especially remote workers who aren’t privy to impromptu desk-side conversations about how the work should be done. Bring together all the key players on a project to discuss, document, and assign work so everyone understands their part. 


Scheduling time to check in with remote employees on a regular basis is a must for those managing distributed teams. A recent Forbes article reveals that a whopping 89% of human resources managers credit check-ins and regular feedback with both employee success and satisfaction. Your one-on-one meetings are a time to not only get a temperature check on how employees are feeling. You should also take care to recognize their recent contributions so they leave feeling seen and supported. 

#5. Welcoming New Remote Employees to the Team

welcome-remote-employeesWhen a remote employee starts on your team, getting to know their new crew isn’t as effortless as it would be for an onsite employee. 

Rather than leaving it up to them to navigate the who’s who of your department, actively invite remote employees to engage with their team on a more personal level through team-building activities they can participate in from anywhere. 

Need ideas?

Check out these 20 remote team building activities designed to bring the whole gang together.

The Key To Inspiring Loyalty and Dedication Beyond Onboarding

When an employee works remotely, their contributions and accomplishments are more easily missed than if their hard work was playing out in front of you in real-time.

Don’t let distance detract from your ability to show remote employees how much you appreciate them. 

Instead, opt for a digital rewards and recognition platform like Giftogram

Giftogram empowers managers like you to thank, acknowledge, and treat their employees at any time, from anywhere using digital gift cards employees can redeem just about anywhere. No postage or hassle required.

Watch this short video to see how it works:


Best of all, the only thing you pay for is the dollar amount of the gift. 

That’s right.

A $10 digital Giftogram is just that. Ten bucks.

That includes the cool designs that set the perfect tone for recognition.

Ready to get started? 

Set up your free account online or call 973.887.1600 and we’ll give you a hand.