When a new hire starts working at your company, it’s important to help them feel welcome and encourage them to feel like part of the team. If this new hire happens to be doing remote work instead of coming into the workplace physically, this might seem challenging. However, there are several effective ways to make a remote hire feel like a valued part of your workplace culture. Helping this new co-worker fit in with the rest of the team, whether they’re physically present at work or fellow remote workers, can boost morale from the start. Consider the following tips for welcoming remote hires to your workplace.
1. Host Fun Events
You might not be able to hold an event in the office to welcome a remote hire or celebrate their birthday and other special occasions. However, you can hold fun online events instead to make sure they feel included. Having these kinds of events gives new remote hires a chance to meet others and introduce themselves to everyone. This can help them fit in more quickly while also showing them that they’re part of the team.
Ideas for online events include scavenger hunts, online games that everyone can participate in, and even pizza parties. You can also have virtual birthday parties and other celebrations throughout the year. You can host an event to welcome your new hire to the workplace or set up events that take place on a regular basis to help them feel even more included, such as an online game event every Friday.
Another idea to consider is doing exercises that help employees get to know each other. For example, you can play a “fact or fiction” game where everyone writes three things about themselves with two being true and one being false. The rest of the group then votes on whether each revelation is true or false. You can also come up with a certain topic and ask everyone to list their top five items, such as their favorite movies or favorite foods. Having these events doesn’t just benefit new remote employees. It also helps the rest of the workforce build a rapport and feel more valued as team members.
2. Encourage Open Communication
Being a remote hire can feel isolating, especially if the rest of the workforce is at the office. To help your new hire feel like part of your workplace culture, encourage open communication. Remote workers should feel comfortable discussing concerns they have or issues they might be dealing with. They should also find it easy to communicate with other workers, as needed. Open communication can help build trust between remote hires and the rest of the team, including management.
If your remote hire seems hesitant about communicating, take the initiative and have regular meetings to check in with them. These meetings can be one on one, especially if remote workers have issues or concerns to discuss, or you can hold them as group meetings to help remote workers feel more involved as team members. By holding regular meetings, your remote hires may feel more open to bringing up concerns or providing feedback, since the burden of reaching out isn’t on them. Regular, open communication is also an important part of ensuring remote hires feel heard and seen, even though they’re not physically in the office.
3. Hold Team-Building Activities
Team-building activities are great ways to help new remote hires get to know the rest of the workforce. You don’t have to hold these activities at the office or another physical location. Instead, you can easily hold team-building activities virtually, so that remote workers and other workers can all participate. These activities aren’t like regular office meetings where you discuss specific projects or tasks. Team-building activities often focus on non-work-related topics, which gives remote workers and other employees a chance to learn more about each other.
You can do these activities once a week, once a month, or more often. For example, you can hold a quick video meeting and ask each employee to answer an icebreaker question, such as where they grew up, what their favorite food is, or what items they would want if they were stranded on a desert island. If you do a team-building activity once a month, you can plan a longer one set up as a virtual game that encourages remote workers and other workers to work together.
4. Offer Exciting Initiatives
Helping your new remote hire feel like part of your workplace culture might mean going above and beyond. Instead of focusing on the usual day-to-day aspects of the job, consider offering fun and exciting initiatives. These initiatives can help remote workers feel more engaged with the rest of the workforce while motivating them on the job. You can offer initiatives for everyone who is part of your workplace or focus solely on remote workers.
The initiatives you offer can be given for achieving a goal on the job. For example, you might treat remote workers to lunch deliveries when they hit a certain number of sales or reach another goal. However, you don’t have to limit initiatives to work-related goals and tasks. For example, you can offer initiatives that encourage creativity, such as a decorating contest where remote workers can spruce up their work area at home while those in the office decorate their workspace. The point of these initiatives, whether they are goal-related or not, is to help remote workers feel included in your workplace culture.
5. Provide Involvement Opportunities
Remote workers might not feel like part of the workplace if they mainly spend their time focused on doing the individual tasks assigned to them rather than work done with the cooperation of a team. If their job doesn’t involve collaborating with others regularly, these workers can end up feeling left out of workplace culture. Providing opportunities for remote workers to become more involved on the job can help prevent this from happening and improve their morale.
You might consider offering the opportunity for remote workers to receive training on the job or even provide training to others if possible. This provides them with a chance to work with others on learning or teaching work-related skills. You can offer remote workers opportunities to lead team meetings from time to time. This can encourage them to interact with other team members during meetings while also giving them a chance to show their leadership skills.
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