The employment paperwork is complete. All technology systems are setup. Communications mediums are shared and a go. Now what? It is crucial to build lasting relationships with all new hires regardless, but on-boarding new employees remotely can be a daunting task. For our Clients, it is critical to keep the new hire engaged and motivated, and the last thing any firm wants is for a new hire to feel overwhelmed or lost during their first couple months of work.
RETS asked some of our recently hired candidates what their employer did well when welcoming them as a new remote employee, and what they could have improved on in their on-boarding process. Here are step-by-step tips on best-practices for on-boarding new hires remotely that will make a major difference for any real estate firm:
- Videos are Vital! Videos can be a critical link between you and your new remote team member, especially during the on-boarding process. Schedule a welcome meeting with the entire team via Zoom or video platform of your choice! Hold an ongoing weekly Zoom to keep the new hire and their team members engaged.
- Expectations Must be Clear. Taking the time to show new employees the ropes and setting expectations is critical. RETS recommends that after those initial welcome team calls, utilize video and ‘zoom shared screen’ to walk them through any insider info or tips. Discuss work times and availability, response time, and productivity expectations. How should they check-in? How should they contact people? Who will they be working with in order to achieve their specific deliverables? Be as clear as possible about their responsibilities.
- The First 30 days are Crucial. Clarify how your new remote team member will be evaluated in the first 30 days of employment. How will their success be measured? Specify the performance review process and clarify those deadlines coming up in the next month. This will help new remote employees have a clear goal and know what they should be working towards. AND really reinforce your availability to help them be as successful as possible as they start this leg of their career journey!
- Communicate, communicate, and communicate again! When employees are remote, there is no such thing as over-communicating. Even clarifying to those new hires what gets communicated through which channels is critical. In fact, our number one response from candidates is they wish their managers were more accessible when they had questions in their first month of work.
- Foster a Sense of Belonging. Loneliness and isolation can be major pitfalls of remote work, so it’s vital that new team members know that their employers are always available if they need to reconnect and restore their spirits. One of the biggest challenges as a manager of remote employees is making sure that they stay productive and happy, while also feeling that they click into the company culture. Especially as most of the world has adopted social distancing to do their part to flatten the COVID-19 curve, many are experiencing increased feelings of stress, anxiety or sadness. RETS’ Executive Recruiter Brandi Popovich witnessed the effects of this personally with one of her recently placed candidates, who moved across the country to a new city before stay-at-home-orders came into effect. Working long days remotely and being isolated from loved ones, new hires don’t always know how to ask for help from their new employers. RETS recommends following up with new remote employees often as they acclimate to the company. This is an easy way to make them feel as welcomed and supported as possible!
By focusing on these key areas to get new remote employees effectively up to speed on the role, team and culture… real estate employers will be able to effectively facilitate a positive on-boarding experience!
Berkeley Davis, Managing Director, About Berkeley