Introduction to the Onboarding Remote Employees Checklist:

Onboarding Remote Employees Checklist

Despite successful onboarding increasing retention by 82%, 88% of organizations don't onboard employees well.

And when it comes to onboarding remote employees, the process can be even trickier.

But it needn't be.

Whether you're an office-based company that hires the occasional remote employee or if you're a fully remote company, this checklist ensures you go about onboarding remote employees without a hitch.

Here's how it works.

You — the manager — will begin by preparing paperwork, assigning the new employee a mentor, and ensuring they have access to the digital tools they need.

When their first day comes round, you'll introduce the new employee to the team and hop on a video call with them to let them know their tasks for the day.

For the rest of the week, you'll assign the first project for them to tackle. If you approve the completion of the project, you'll meet with the HR team and the employee to ensure all paperwork has been completed.

After that, you'll plan check-in meetings and explain how the employee fits into the company's long-term goals.

It's as easy as that with Process Street's BPM software.

Just launch this checklist for each remote employee you onboard!

Before their first day:

First thing's first: Before the employee starts at your business, there are some steps for you — the manager — to complete first.

The tasks in this beginning section will help you through those tasks.

The next task has a stop task attached. Stop tasks are used for enforcing order. Learn more about this nifty workflow automation feature by watching the video below.

Confirm basic information

Confirm the employee's basic information.

To kick off the remote onboarding process, confirm the employee's basic information.

Write down the employee's first name, last name, personal email, phone number, date of hire, and any extra details via the form fields below.

Prepare relevant paperwork

Prepare relevant paperwork.

This task is to do with transactional onboarding. This means completing all the necessary forms and documents so your new employee can legally start working.

Use the subchecklist below to guide you through the documents you need to prepare.

  • 1
    W-4
  • 2
    I-9
  • 3
    Insurance forms
  • 4
    Direct deposit forms
  • 5
    The non-disclosure agreement

Assign employee a mentor

Assign the employee a mentor.

With the basic information confirmed and the paperwork prepared, it's time to assign the employee a mentor.

Assigning a mentor will ensure the new employee quickly learns about the job and has assistance throughout the onboarding process. 

For finding a good mentoring candidate, you can check out these 15 characteristics of a successful mentor to ensure you find the right fit.

Write down the assigned mentor's name in the text box.

Discuss role, goals, and projects with mentor

Discuss the role, goals, and projects with the employee's mentor.

So that the mentor is aware of how to orient the new employee, discuss the new employee's role, goals, and projects with the mentor.

This can be done via Slack, Zoom, or whichever channel you prefer.

Write down details regarding the employee's role, goals, and appropriate projects in the form fields. Then, discuss what you've written with the mentor.

Create accounts for the employee

Create accounts for the employee.

No self-respecting remote employee onboarding checklist would be complete without ensuring you create all the accounts required by the new employee.

Once the accounts have been created, fill in the form fields below (the 'social accounts' widget refers to social programs like Slack, Teams, and Zoom).

Give employee access to tools

Give the employee access to the tools they'll need.

Now that you've created accounts for the tools your employee will use, inform the employee of their new email address, usernames, etc, via the email widget below.

If you're also sending the employee the passwords to these accounts, use a tool like Privnote. Privnotes automatically delete after they've been read. This means sensitive information stays safe.

Send employee required reading

Send the employee any required reading.

Whether the new employee works in marketing or engineering, each job comes with its own tricks and strategies. Often a company will want new employees to read certain books, e-books, articles, or manuals.

This material should be relevant to the job position

For example, when hiring someone to create checklists you can offer them to read The Checklist Manifesto or The Checklist Manifesto Quotes

Use the email widget (do edit as necessary first) to send the relevant reading material their way.

First day:

No matter if it's the employee's first job or their tenth, starting at a new company is always a little daunting. After all, there's a new company culture to get used to, new employees to meet and work with, and new processes to understand.

The next 4 tasks in this Onboarding Remote Employees Checklist will ensure the new employee has a successful, practical first day.

Welcome employee to the team

Welcome the new employee to the team.

It's the employee's first day, so introduce them to the team. Talk about their role, and tell them why you selected them — this will help the rest of the team remember them better.

As a remote employee, a welcome can be done via your usual communication software, like Slack.

Craft the message via the form field below and then paste it into an appropriate communication channel to welcome them.

Talk with the employee via video call

Talk with the employee via video call.

Now that the employee has been welcomed, it's time to jump on a video call with them to introduce them further to the company and their role, explain your expectations of them, and assign training material for them to work on. 

Follow the subchecklist below to ensure you cover these main topic areas during your conversation.

You don't always have to have video enabled on remote calls. But considering this is the new employee's first day, seeing a friendly face will help them ease into their role.

  • 1
    Talk about company culture (Going through company values and policies)
  • 2
    Explain expectations (What good/services should the employee produce? In what time frame? How should they work with others?)
  • 3
    Assign training material (This'll be the tasks they'll complete before their first project)

Create a list of colleagues to contact

Create a list of colleagues for the employee to contact.

As a remote employee, it's harder to establish connections and friendships with colleagues. 

That's why the new employee should dedicate time to meeting their new colleagues via video call. 

Create a list of people the new employee will be directly working with, so they can establish connections and friendships from the get-go. The list should be manageable — i.e. for a company of 40, the new employee should meet with around 10.

Ask the employee how they're doing

Ask the new employee how they're doing. 

As the first day closes, ask the employee how they're doing. It doesn't have to be via a video call — a quick message via Slack or similar will do the trick.

This provides them with an opportunity to tell you how they're doing, and open up the dialogue for any questions (considering they're new, they've probably got a ton of questions they'd like to ask).

You can also use this opportunity to send the new employee the list of colleagues you created in task #13, and ask them to set up intro calls with them.

Use the text widget below to draft out your message and then send it to them, alongside the list of colleagues for them to meet.


Colleagues for the new employee to meet:

{{form.Colleagues_to_meet}}

First week:

Seeing as the first day is over for the employee, they'll now spend the rest of the week getting stuck into their first project for the company.

The following tasks will help you assign, explain, and approve the first project — on top of finalizing paperwork with HR.

Assign the first project

Assign the employee their first project.

Your new employee has completed their first day. The next step is to assign the employee their first project.

This will ensure they learn the job hands-on and feel valuable to the company, rather than doing menial tasks.

So that the employee is fully-informed, make sure to also say what's expected of them during this project — what the project includes, how it should be done, when it should be done for (ideally by Friday), and so on.

Write down the project title, the explanation of the project, and your expectations in the form fields. Then, message the employee with what you've written to assign the project to them.

Upload the finished project

Upload the new employee's finished project.

Once the first project has been completed, upload the project either as a document or as a link via the appropriate form field below.

In the next task — which is an approval task — you'll approve or reject the new employee's project.

If you decide to reject the employee's project in the next task, ask them to redo the project again so it's up to your standards.

Approval: First project

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Upload the finished project
    Will be submitted

Meet to check over the paperwork

Meet with the employee and HR to check over the paperwork.

Seeing as the employee's work on their first project is satisfactory, meet with the employee and a member from the HR team to ensure all the forms are filled and correct.

A meeting is also a great opportunity to let your employee know if there is any other paperwork for them to fill in including tax forms. Plus, they can ask any questions about work-related paperwork issues to you or the HR staff member.

Once the meeting has taken place, record the date and time of the meeting in the form field below. 

First month:

With the new employee's first project and their paperwork completed, they're becoming a more permanent fixture within the company.

The next steps — which the following tasks will help you with — ensure you're constantly checking-in and meeting with the employee, that they know how they fit into the company's goals, and that you're training them appropriately.

Plan check-in meetings

Plan check-in meetings with the employee.

You should schedule regular meetings with the employee for the first month. This could be twice a week, once a week, once every two weeks, and so on.

You can use this time to address any issues and concerns your employee might have. You should also spend the meetings offering some constructive criticism and advice on their tasks. 

An excellent way to schedule these meetings is by using Google Calendar or Calendly. Add your employee to the event and make sure you are both ready for the meeting.

Confirm when the first of these regular check-in meetings will take place via the date and time widget.

Explain long-term goals

Explain your company's long-term goals.

In the world of business, there are always some long term goals your company is moving towards. You should let your employee know where they fit in the picture. 

Letting your employee know that they're involved in long-term goals will make them feel more secure and understand the mission they are working to achieve. This will naturally cause them to be more engaged.

Explain these long-term goals either in your regular check-in meeting or via Slack (or similar). If you opt for the latter option, use the text box below to draft your message before sending it to them.

Provide reading material for personal growth

Provide employee reading material for personal growth.

You provided the employee with reading material at the beginning of this process. But now that they've settled in a little, it's time to direct them to articles, books, e-books, and other resources that'll further their knowledge in their field.

Use the email widget below to send the reading list across. Most of the email has been written for you — all you have to do is edit as necessary.

Review the onboarding process

Review the onboarding process.

The employee has settled into their role, they know what to do with their time and the recurring tasks they must complete, and all necessary paperwork has been completed.

This means the employee in question has been successfully onboarded.

However, could the process be bettered at all? Are these steps of this Onboarding Remote Employees Checklist that could be altered, added, or removed?

Review the onboarding process by asking your employee for their opinion — perhaps create a survey and hear their thoughts so you can improve your onboarding process for the future.

Once you've got your results, optimize this checklist's template or create a new employee onboarding checklist with Process Street's nifty checklist app to work through!

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