If you’re hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve likely struggled with virtual onboarding. Onboarding - the process of integrating new employees with your company’s information, tools, and culture - is an intimate experience that’s usually performed face-to-face. Training your new hires and introducing them to their teammates is valuable time you can spend getting to know each other personally and professionally. Even though today’s remote working guidelines have disrupted our regular onboarding, there are many practices you can use to virtually onboard with success. Follow these simple steps to ensure that your new hires feel welcome, prepared, and ready to thrive in your company.
Like all aspects of your business, planning is key. Develop a road map and stick to it. Determine information, timelines, key personnel, tools, and any other elements that will contribute to the success of your new team member. Look at your physical onboarding process and discover how to take each step online with as little disruption as possible. Here’s an example.
Be prepared to ship any necessary tech to your new hires. The idea is to position them to succeed, so make their early onboard period as easy as possible by putting the right tools in their hands from day one. As a bonus, include some swag like t-shirts or any other branded merch that will make your new hires feel an extra connection to the company.
Remote onboarding software can streamline the entire process for both you and your new hire. It lets you channel communication, share documents, create checklists, and more as you eliminate the back and forth and focus on growth. There are plenty of affordable - and even free - tools out there. Here’s a list of some of the best.
You can also make a splash by introducing the company with a visually fun template. Try Canva - the free design software with hundreds of existing templates for delivering information in compelling ways.
A company wiki (software used to create a collaborative environment) is a great place to store critical information, processes, and training resources for your new hires. Your team can curate and build your wiki with valuable information on a regular basis, so when the time comes to onboard a new hire, you already have a robust resource at your fingertips. The best part about a wiki is that it’s cloud-based and easily accessible by your new hires. Here’s a list of the best free and premium wiki software.
Factor in the hurdles a new hire might face as a result of their remote onboard, and set realistic expectations as a result. You might have to shift your typical timeline as distance and virtual conferencing create new challenges to employee development. When remote workers know what’s expected, they’re more inclined to give themselves room to grow and participate in meaningful ways.
Not everybody can work from home (or their local coffee shop). Offering your new hires a flexible workspace option like OnePiece Work gives them a space to focus, learn, and produce. Office amenities they may not have access to at home - like wifi, cutting edge tech, and meeting space - will help your new hires thrive from day one.
Use your team to create a culture of support. Frequent mentoring, inclusion, and check-ins from your senior employees will go a long way towards making your new hire feel at home. Share onboarding responsibilities with others. Try pairing the new hire with experienced colleagues who do the same job and can speak to it from a ground-level point of view.
Have fun, and show your new hire what your culture is all about. Host a virtual happy hour. Schedule a virtual trivia night. Find creative ways to introduce your team. Remember, your new hire is missing out on the opportunity to make small in-person connections with their coworkers, so give them new chances to relationship build.
Remote onboarding is a special challenge, but when it’s done right it can grow valuable members for your team. Use these steps and you’ll be on your way towards getting new hires up to speed with confidence and ease!
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