As remote work becomes increasingly popular, organizations must learn how to effectively onboard international teams. Onboarding an international team requires careful consideration of cultural norms and values, access to technology, clearly defined expectations, flexible working hours and activities, opportunities for growth and development, and communication channels that are easily accessible to all team members, regardless of their location. By implementing these best practices, you can create a successful onboarding experience that ensures everyone feels comfortable and supported as they transition into their new role.

Provide support

“Research by Gallup found that employees who receive regular encouragement and training opportunities are 3 times more likely to feel engaged in their work (Gallup, 2020).”

When it comes to onboarding an international team, it is crucial to provide clear communication about job roles and expectations. This will help new employees to understand their tasks, responsibilities, and goals right from the beginning of their employment. Additionally, it is essential to provide access to technology, so that remote team members can easily connect with their colleagues, as well as company systems for communication and collaboration purposes. 

Furthermore, it is crucial to include an orientation program that introduces the company’s culture and values. This way, everyone understands the organizational norms from day one. During the onboarding process, it is also important to offer encouragement and training opportunities for individuals to gain knowledge about how the organization works and to develop their skills further. 

Lastly, cultivating relationships with colleagues and mentors is crucial during onboarding activities. This can help team members feel connected even when working remotely, which can promote trust within virtual teams. 

Useful Resources and Tools

  • Communication Platforms: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom
  • Training Materials: Online courses, webinars, tutorials
  • Mentorship Programs: Pair new employees with experienced team members
  • Cross-cultural Training: Provide resources on cultural diversity and inclusion

Clear expectations

“A report by McKinsey highlights the importance of reliable technology access for remote teams, stating that it enhances collaboration and productivity (McKinsey, 2021).”

Access to technology is another important factor when onboarding an international team. For the team to successfully collaborate and execute tasks, they need access to reliable technology such as video conferencing software, online document storage, messaging applications, etc. That way individuals can connect quickly and easily no matter where they are located. Additionally, documents should be translated into the language of each team member so that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities effectively from the start. Furthermore, response times must also be communicated for teams to keep up with deadlines and expectations; setting clear timelines will allow individuals to properly plan their workflows accordingly.

Finally, training resources should also be made available during onboarding activities for new employees to better understand how their role fits within the organization as a whole. Providing materials such as tutorials or webinars on topics related to the company’s culture or processes will help ensure that everyone has a good grasp of what’s expected of them before they even begin working with other members of the international team. By implementing these best practices when onboarding an international team you can create a supportive environment that allows all participants to feel comfortable while transitioning into their new position

Useful Resources and Tools:

  • Translation Services: Google Translate, Deepl, professional translation services
  • Project Management Tools: Trello, Asana, Jira, Slack, Notion
  • Time Zone Converters: World Time Buddy, Time Zone Converter
  • Employee Handbook: Provide a comprehensive guide to company policies and procedures and make sure they know about the resources


“According to a survey by FlexJobs, 76% of remote workers consider flexibility in work hours as the most important factor for job satisfaction (FlexJobs, 2020).”

Flexibility is essential when onboarding an international team; it allows for different cultural norms and values to be respected while still meeting the needs of the organization. Companies should ensure that they accommodate holidays and celebrations based on each employee’s culture or religion to foster a sense of inclusion and recognition. Furthermore, access to technology and communication tools such as video conferencing, messaging applications, online document storage, etc should also be provided so that everyone can easily collaborate regardless of geographic location.

Additionally, companies must make sure their policies are aligned with local laws and regulations to ensure compliance across all countries where employees may reside. This includes labor laws related to working hours and minimum wages as well as immigration policies if any team members need visas or work permits to work remotely from certain locations. Respect for these guidelines will help create a safe environment for everyone involved within the international team both during onboarding activities as well as throughout their tenure at the company.

Finally, employers should also show flexibility when it comes to scheduling; allowing remote workers some freedom around when they choose to work will help them manage their time more effectively while still ensuring that deadlines are met efficiently by all parties involved. By providing this level of support you can create an atmosphere where individuals feel comfortable expressing themselves without fear of retribution or prejudice due to cultural differences stemming from varying backgrounds in your workforce.

Useful Resources and Tools:

  • HR Software: BambooHR, Workday
  • Global Payroll Solutions: ADP, Gusto
  • Cultural Calendar: Keep track of holidays and events across different cultures
  • Remote Work Policies: Establish clear guidelines for remote work arrangements and ensure new team members get training about it.

Technology access

“A technical background helps new employees quickly adapt to company systems and software, reducing the learning curve and enhancing productivity (SmartRecruiters, 2020).”

Additionally, it is important to ensure that all new team members have access to high-speed internet to participate in meetings and complete tasks. If this is not possible due to geographic location or other issues, the organization should look into alternative methods such as providing mobile hotspots or investing in satellite technology. Furthermore, training for the use of specific software should be provided so that employees can easily learn how to navigate their workspace from day one. This will help them familiarize themselves with tools quickly which will allow them to get up and running faster as part of an international team.

Moreover, having a designated IT contact who can assist with any technical problems during onboarding activities is also beneficial; having someone who understands the platform’s features and settings ensures that everyone remains productive while troubleshooting any potential issues related to technology usage efficiently. Finally, organizations should make sure they are equipped with secure communication channels such as encrypted emails and messaging applications which guarantee privacy when discussing sensitive topics remotely across borders. By taking these measures you can create a safe environment where everyone involved feels comfortable accessing information securely no matter where they are located throughout the onboarding process.

Useful Resources and Tools:


“Research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology shows that recognition for achievements positively impacts employee motivation and job satisfaction (Aguinis et al., 2021).”

Encouraging growth and development during onboarding activities is essential for employees to gain confidence in their abilities as well as build relationships within the organization. Companies should provide training materials on topics related to their culture or processes which will help new members understand how their role fits within the organization as a whole while also developing skills needed for success in their position. Furthermore, offering recognition for successful projects or incentives for meeting goals can motivate employees throughout their tenure at the company; this will show them that hard work pays off regardless of location or circumstance. Finally, setting aside time for meaningful conversations between colleagues allows remote teams a chance to get acquainted with one another which will foster trust and create connections even though members may be separated by physical distance.

Communication channels must also remain open at all times when working with an international team; having an easy-to-use platform like Slack ensures that messages are sent securely without any delays due to different time zones across countries involved in project collaboration initiatives. Additionally, response times must also be communicated for teams to keep up with deadlines and expectations; setting clear timelines will allow individuals to properly plan their workflows accordingly while still taking into consideration cultural differences amongst members who might not adhere strictly to clockwork hours due to certain holidays or festivals celebrated locally but not observed globally by other participants involved in group activities remotely. By implementing these best practices you can ensure maximum efficiency during onboarding activities while creating a supportive environment where everyone feels comfortable contributing towards organizational objectives despite being apart geographically speaking

Useful Resources and Tools:

  • Employee recognition platforms: Bonusly, Kudos
  • Professional development budget: Allocate funds for courses or certifications
  • Team building activities: Virtual icebreakers, team challenges
  • Feedback channels: Regular feedback sessions to address concerns and provide support

Cultural awareness

“According to a report by Deloitte, organizations with strong diversity and inclusion practices are 2.3 times more likely to outperform their peers (Deloitte, 2020)”

To ensure cultural awareness when onboarding an international team, employers should take the time to familiarize themselves with the various cultural norms and values of each country their employees may be from. This can be done by providing resources related to cultural diversity, such as tutorials or webinars on topics like language, customs, holidays, and other aspects of life in different countries. Additionally, they should also look into forming partnerships with local organizations that specialize in helping individuals transition into unfamiliar cultures; this will enable everyone involved to better understand one another’s backgrounds while still respecting any potential differences among them.

Furthermore, employers need to recognize special days and events that are celebrated according to the culture or religion of their staff member’s home country. By doing so they can show appreciation for all employees regardless of origin while creating a sense of inclusion within their organization which encourages everyone involved to feel comfortable expressing themselves without fear of prejudice due to varying backgrounds amongst your workforce. Similarly, companies should provide access not only to physical materials but also to online resources such as books or articles on cultural awareness as these can help new members gain knowledge about traditions and beliefs often found throughout international teams working together remotely.

Finally, employers must remember that education does not end once onboarding activities have concluded; companies must continue encouraging open dialogue between colleagues even after official training has been completed for remote teams to remain connected despite being geographically separated by vast distances at times. By implementing these best practices you can create an environment where all participants feel respected while understanding how their role fits within the company’s overall objectives no matter where they call home

Useful Resources and Tools:

  • Cultural sensitivity training: Diversity and inclusion workshops, cultural competency training
  • Cultural competency assessments: Evaluate team members’ understanding of cultural differences
  • Employee resource groups: Establish affinity groups for employees from specific cultural backgrounds
  • Cross-cultural communication workshops: Enhance communication skills across diverse tea


“The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recommends establishing clear communication guidelines to prevent misunderstandings and promote collaboration within remote teams (SHRM, 2021).”

Effective communication is essential when onboarding an international team. Companies should set clear expectations for how employees are expected to communicate with each other and their managers, as well as establish channels through which they can submit questions or provide feedback promptly. Additionally, routine check-ins and feedback sessions will help the team stay on track with goals while also allowing members to voice any issues they may be having within their roles.

Creating specific channels dedicated solely to offers and managers will ensure that all relevant information is communicated quickly and accurately without any confusion stemming from mixed messages across different platforms like emails or chat applications; this helps maintain efficiency by eliminating potential delays due to miscommunications between teams located remotely. Furthermore, employers should encourage active listening amongst staff members so that everyone involved understands each other’s perspectives effectively; this creates an environment of respect where everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas freely without fear of judgment stemming from cultural differences.

Finally, companies need to create a safe space for dialogue during onboarding activities for remote teams to build relationships despite being separated geographically speaking; setting aside time specifically allocated towards meaningful conversations allows individuals a chance to get acquainted with one another resulting in increased trust levels throughout the group which encourages collaboration even when working apart at times. By implementing these best practices you can create an atmosphere where individuals feel valued regardless of culture or background while helping them understand how their role fits within the organization’s objectives efficiently no matter where they call home.

Useful Resources and Tools:

  • Communication guidelines: Establish protocols for email etiquette, meeting norms, and response times 
  • Collaboration platforms: Google Workspace, Microsoft Office 365, Notion
  • Virtual team building activities: Virtual coffee chats, online team games
  • Regular check-ins: Schedule regular meetings to touch base and address any issues


In conclusion, onboarding an international team requires a multifaceted approach to ensure that everyone involved can collaborate effectively. Companies should provide support in the form of training materials and access to reliable technology which will help new members understand their role within the organization as well as develop skills necessary for success; setting clear expectations and providing incentives for meeting goals will motivate employees throughout their tenure at the company while encouraging growth and development. Additionally, employers must take into consideration cultural differences amongst staff members by offering resources related to diversity and recognizing special days or events celebrated according to each individual’s background. Finally, communication channels must remain open at all times with routine check-ins allowing teams located remotely a chance to stay connected despite being apart geographically speaking. By implementing these best practices you can create an environment of trust where individuals feel comfortable expressing themselves without fear of prejudice resulting in maximum efficiency during onboarding activities no matter where they call home.

Our Chief People Officer’s Recommendation for Smooth Onboarding

Our Chief People Officer, Olga Svoboda recommends a 5-step onboarding logic to ensure a welcoming and inclusive environment while facilitating the best and fastest onboarding experience for new employees:

PREPARE: Establishing a clear structure and process for onboarding, which is shared with candidates even during the selection stage, provides them with a sense of security even before they decide to join us.

COMMUNICATE: Effective communication is key, both internally and externally. We communicate with new employees, prospective employees, existing employees, and the market to ensure transparency and alignment throughout the onboarding process.

PROVIDE RESOURCES: It’s essential to provide both technical and human resources. This includes offering the necessary tech resources and tools, as well as providing comprehensive training and mentorship to support new employees in their roles.

CARE: Continuous check-ins for expectations and ongoing feedback are crucial. Regular follow-ups and ongoing support demonstrate our commitment to the success and well-being of our new employees.

SOCIAL INTERACTION: Fostering social interaction is vital for building camaraderie and a sense of belonging. Encouraging social activities and team-building exercises helps new employees integrate seamlessly into our company culture.

By implementing these steps, we aim to create an onboarding experience that not only accelerates the integration of new employees but also cultivates a culture of support, collaboration, and inclusivity from day one.

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