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Good IT service management practice doesn’t just happen. It requires multiple trials and errors to get right and involves a thorough understanding of your people, processes, and technologies. In the following weeks, we’ll be sharing some great hacks to help optimize your ITSM processes.

This week, we’re looking at the people that help drive your ITSM strategies. Success involves the close collaboration of the right people with the right skills. But in today’s competitive labor market, they are scarce, making every hire precious and crucial to retain. Not to mention the rise of automation and increasingly sophisticated technologies are pushing the need for highly skilled IT professionals familiar with these fields. With tight budgets and severe skills shortages, what can organizations do to fill their crucial job vacancies?

One of the most effective ways of attracting talent is remote working. In fact, many organizations are already heading towards creating a remote/hybrid working workforce, with 82% of company leaders looking to allow employees to work remotely in some capacity permanently. However, this comes with its own set of challenges when it’s time to hire and onboard someone who’ll be a remote worker from the first day. So, what can be done to ensure a smooth onboarding experience for these new IT recruits?

Why is onboarding remote employees important?

A robust onboarding process enables new joiners to feel more connected, engaged, and productive in their organization. It helps employees get their bearings in the workplace, understand what their roles entail, and develop important relationships within the business. Setting employees up for success from the start also provides long-term benefits as it helps in preventing high staff turnover.

For remote employees, onboarding is even more essential to get right, as they don’t have the same opportunities to build relationships or observe company culture in a way that in-office employees can.

When should onboarding start?

The natural answer may be from the new hire’s first day of work. But research suggests there’s a lot to be gained from starting onboarding as soon as your job candidate accepts the offer, maybe even as early as during your hiring process! This makes for a smooth transition from their time as a candidate to when they become a formal employee.

5 tips for remote IT onboarding

With remote working here to stay, getting your onboarding right is critical to ensure you give the best first impression to your new starters. Here are five tips to help guarantee a successful remote IT onboarding process.

1. Create an onboarding checklist

An onboarding process has a lot of moving parts and it’s very easy to miss key activities, especially when everyone is already occupied with their usual daily workload. Having a checklist in hand ensures these essential tasks are completed and if not, they’ll be easier to follow up on.

Define the required activities, who’s assigned to the task, and target dates. With this information readily available, it’s much easier to track the progress of your onboarding and ensure the new employee has everything they need.

2. Automate what you can from the checklist

While some onboarding activities can differ depending on role or department, some tasks still apply to every new employee. These are predictable, repetitive work that will come up time and time again whenever someone joins the company or your team. So why not automate them?

Extract these types of activities that come up on your checklist and use automation tools like your ESM system to simplify the onboarding process. For example, with IFS assyst, you can create workflows that will trigger the different activities and send reminders to concerned parties whenever an employee onboarding process is set off. From creating their work emails to requesting key information, such as bank details, to requesting the necessary equipment to be delivered, all of these can be done automatically.

Not only is automation a huge time-saver, but it helps ensure the completion of important tasks.

3. Get them set up with the right equipment

Nothing dampens an employee’s enthusiasm more than not having the right tools to get started on their first day. Yet it happens more often than necessary. A recent study found that 43% of new employees don’t have essential work tools for more than a week after starting their jobs. Not only does it paint a negative picture of your company’s organizational capabilities, but this will have a detrimental impact on your new employee’s productivity from the get-go. This is especially bad if you’re looking to have your new employees hit the ground running.

When starting a new role, it’s important that new employees’ workspace and equipment are set up and ready when they start their first day. For remote workers, this means sending over the office essentials like laptops and monitors, along with the necessary logins, well before they start. If within your budget, a nice perk would be considering providing a home office allowance to make the employee’s setup a more comfortable place to work in.

4. Leverage your digital tools to forge connections

One of the most challenging aspects employees have when working remotely is the ability to get a feel of the company atmosphere and build connections with their colleagues, especially when they’re just starting out. These interactions that happen naturally in office environments are much more difficult to replicate organically online. Not being able to do these things can make remote workers feel isolated and out of the loop.

Many digital collaboration tools help create these interactions, but without the right strategy, employees can feel overwhelmed with information overload, leading to digital presenteeism. Take advantage of the different communication tools in your arsenal and forge connections through daily check-ins, team-building activities, or virtual watercooler chats. Work with new employees to decide which communication style suits them to ensure they stay informed and engaged, without the pressure of having to be ‘always-on’.

Likewise, you can also leverage self-service tools that enable employees to access internal services or information to help resolve their own issues. For example, if they need to request an additional monitor or don’t know how to submit an expense, they can log on to a ‘one-stop shop’ self-service portal to help address these issues quickly and efficiently.

5. Help employees set up goals and track progress

New employees want to make a great impression, as well as develop their skills and expertise. And as employees grow, the organization benefits, too! So, managers need to collaborate with their new hires on establishing goals and track their progress against them.

Working remotely as a newbie can be a difficult experience in itself. A clear structure with defined goals can ease that new starter anxiety and help employees stay focused and motivated in their first few weeks. Having specific projects they can work on that transitions them to their new roles not only helps set employees up for success but also gives a sense of accomplishment.

To attract top talent in the labor market, more organizations are looking to adopt remote working long-term. Don’t throw your hiring investments down the drain due to a poorly planned and executed remote onboarding process.

Want to know how IFS assyst can help with your remote IT onboarding? Get in touch today to learn more.

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