Non-Desk Employee Onboarding

Non-Desk Employee Onboarding

Non-Desk Employee Onboarding

Within any working environment, effectively onboarding new employees is an important concern. This becomes challenging for organizations with non-desk employees, though, since they may not have the same access to information or technology as office workers. Technology is changing how these companies go about onboarding employees in a way that sets them up for success. So how do you solve that problem and how do you communicate with offline staff? In this article, we discuss the questions:

  • How do you describe a non-desk employee?
  • What is the employee onboarding process?
  • What is the role of HR in the onboarding process for non-desk employees?
  • How do you communicate with employees who don’t have email?

What Is a Non-Desk Employee Who Needs to Be Onboarded?

When you focus on employees that do not work in an office setting—but rather in the field or warehouse, for example—you’ll need to adjust your onboarding to their needs. Why is it important to consider the onboarding process for these non-desk employees? According to Emergence, 80% of the global workforce are non-desk workers, which means a significant portion of your company may not have the accessibility office workers have.


When it comes to communication and employee engagement, workers in the field require timely and accurate delivery of important details. In fact, non-desk workers have different communication requirements, habits, and preferences than desk-bound employees. Email, group chats, and social networking apps can be difficult to use and highly distracting. Being a non-desk employee can also mean an employee doesn’t have access to a company email or other office communications like messaging apps.


For example, sending mass group texts to workers in the field can get your onboarding messages lost in the wall of responses. However, there are solutions to ensure your team gets the information they need without overwhelming them. One platform you can use to reach employees is Yourco. With Yourco, you have the ability to send onboarding documents and messages individually, without overloading workers’ phones.


So how do you tailor your onboarding process with employees that aren’t bound to a desk?

What Is Included in the Onboarding Process with Non-Desk Employees?

The onboarding process should outline the roles that team members are expected to play and the standards that they must uphold during their employment. However, it might be tough to design a plan for workers who don’t have office workspaces. For new employees, the onboarding process is a big opportunity to connect with coworkers. Onboarding can help establish a sense of belonging that makes people more invested in their work and better enjoy where they work.


Desked employees frequently remain in their company or remote offices to participate in onboarding through the use of webinars, videos, or course content. On the other hand, offline employees are not usually trained in an office environment. Construction, manufacturing, and utilities are just a few examples of sectors where effective in-person onboarding and training are crucial. And it’s no surprise that jobs in these sectors have a greater degree of danger than office environments.


Additionally, non-desk employees benefit greatly from visual material that may be easily referred to when needed, like training manuals and visual aids. They are also tasked with physical duties that are most effectively taught and learned through hands-on experience. In reality, if you use the appropriate methods, onboarding your non-desk workers may be straightforward from the get-go. So what steps should you take to create the most effective onboarding processes for non-desk employees?


Non-desk employee onboarding should:

  • Make onboarding a positive experience
  • Supply useful information and training
  • Implement communication strategies
  • Acknowledge and appreciate new hires 
  • Invest in new technologies

Consider the Employee Onboarding Experience

When onboarding new workers, it’s important to think beyond the necessary touchpoints (such as documentation that needs signatures). You should also consider the information that provides context and empowers them (such as brand goals and company structures). These first experiences play an important role with how new employees feel about your company and how committed they are to staying there. Managers can develop effective onboarding materials and programs by first gaining insight into the needs of new recruits.

Develop Engaging Training

The onboarding process can be improved by offering non-desk workers immersive and interactive learning possibilities. In fact, the success or failure of your new recruits’ experiences relies on the quality of your training and onboarding program. Offline workers will have a higher chance of remembering the company’s values, culture, and performance goals if they get training that is both interesting and interactive during onboarding. One way to do this is by giving them multiple opportunities to put what they learn into practice. You can get your new recruits up to speed without overwhelming them if you make a strategy for what they should know now and what they can learn later.

Implement Communication Strategies

Onboarding workers who don’t work in the office might be difficult if there aren’t clear lines of communication between managers or HR and trainees. To further guarantee that non-desk workers are on the right track during onboarding, an effective communication plan can include regularly scheduled check-ins and regular feedback from managers and HR teams. Think about how you can get input from new hires to find out where you can make changes and improvements to the onboarding process. When new employees have questions or concerns, they should feel comfortable approaching their managers and other colleagues. One strategy you can use for communication is using a texting solution like Yourco. With Yourco, you can send all of your onboarding documents through SMS text messages and can make managers and HR more accessible.

Acknowledge and Reward New Hires

Demonstrations of appreciation may make the onboarding process go more smoothly and could improve morale. Unfortunately, new recruits are often discouraged and dissatisfied when their efforts are not recognized, and the quality of their work can suffer as a result. You need to show that your organization cares about its new hires’ education and growth by rewarding their efforts during the onboarding process. Recognition, prizes, and verbal appreciation are all great ways to acknowledge non-desk employees. As a result, your new workers and upper management will develop a stronger sense of mutual respect and confidence in one another.

Invest in New Technologies

While there are a variety of technological solutions for onboarding office workers, non-desk workers are expected to learn on the job with no little to no access to computers or other training aids. There are a lot of solutions out there, but it’s important to invest in technology that streamlines the onboarding process for both you and your staff. One solution you can use is Yourco—a texting platform that can send onboarding documents, as well as keep in contact with new employees who have no internet access. Not only is it easy for new hires, but your management and HR teams are able to easily keep track of communications with everyone. That means they can help non-desk employees on an individual basis, rather than addressing the team as a whole.

What Are the 4 C’s of Employee Onboarding?

According to Dr. Talya Bauer of the SHRM Foundation, The Four C’s of onboarding new employees and maximizing success are compliance, clarification, connection, and culture.

  • Compliance describes the measures that must be taken by each and every new hire. Essentially, compliance is the starting point. It includes workers familiarizing themselves with your business’s core policies and procedures and completing any documentation. At this point, you should make sure your workers understand their rights and the regulations that apply to various aspects of their jobs.
  • Clarification explains how well newly hired workers understand their responsibilities and the standards set for their performance. You can also provide details about upcoming projects that employees will be involved in and outline how they could contribute. It’s important to note that, before you explain, some employees may wonder what they are expected to do.
  • Connection describes how accepted and valued newly hired employees feel. You should connect new hires with their coworkers by introducing them right away. When new hires make connections quickly, they ultimately feel more at ease in the workplace. New employees would benefit from having someone like a mentor to learn from throughout their first few months on the job.
  • Culture outlines your business’s traditions and policies. One way to do this is to give them a tour of the facilities, explain how everything operates, and describe their significance to the company as a whole. The process of onboarding new employees is crucial in creating, sustaining, and transforming the culture of a business. As HR or management staff, you should immerse new workers in the company’s culture right from the start of the onboarding process.

Recently, Dr. Bauer added two more “C’s” to the employee onboarding process: confidence and checkback.

  • Confidence is the degree to which a new hire feels they will do well in their position and if they will be up to the challenges they will face. Confidence is about providing new hires with the resources and support they need to thrive in their work. Confident workers are more likely to have an optimistic view of their decision to work for your company.
  • Checkback is the practice of following up with a newly hired employee at key points in their onboarding process. You can ensure their well-being, success, and satisfaction in their new position. The success of your new hire orientation can be evaluated by surveying the new hires themselves.

In total, the 6 C’s of onboarding help new employees settle in, feel comfortable in their new roles, and hit the ground running.

What Is the Role of HR in the Onboarding Process?

When it comes to the non-desk new hire paperwork, benefits enrollment forms, health and safety forms, and other legal documentation, HR is in charge of overseeing or assisting with completion. HR professionals can help foster connection between employees and the employer. They do this in part by working with new recruits to ensure they have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their new jobs. HR could also be responsible for overseeing any orientation programs or other materials provided to new hires that help in the onboarding process. Finally, HR managers need to inform new non-desk employees about the company’s rules and practices regarding communication.

What Are the 3 Most Important Elements of Successful Onboarding of Non-Desk Employees?

Building a solid foundation for employee success and retention begins with an efficient onboarding process. When creating an onboarding program, it’s important to keep in mind the following three factors:

  • Provide Helpful Tools to Non-Desk Employees: The best way to supply onboarding documents for new employees who are deskless is through technology that doesn’t require them to be connected to the internet. This can be done through platforms such as Yourco, which allows you to send document links via SMS text messages, without the need for connectivity or data plans.
  • Establish Relationships Between Employees: Get your employees and managers ready to teach new hires about the ins and outs of the company and non-desk routines and expectations. These connections provide the social support and resources new employees need.
  • Facilitate a Strong Workplace Culture: Providing tangible examples of your company’s mission, vision, and values can help workers to understand their role in the organization and their contribution to its success. Part of ensuring success includes making sure the new employee is familiar with the values and culture of the company.

How Do I Reach Deskless Employees?

With platforms like Yourco, you’ll have direct access to your employees without worrying about the internet. Even though they don’t have a desk or an official email, non-desk workers almost always have a cell phone on them.


Why is that important? The vast majority (98%) of people who get a text message actually read it, but only 20% of people read their emails. And the average text messages reply time is less than 90 seconds. That means your non-desk employees will read your texts and respond faster than a significant amount of email users. Plus, you need an internet connection to receive emails, and not all employees have access when they’re in the field.


If you want the best solution to reach your non-desk employees, visit our website and watch a demo to see how Yourco can help you!

Additional Reading


Yourco is the best thing we did last year! We are able to send instant text message communications to all of our employees.

Carolina Abrams
HR Manager at Sherwin-Williams