The pandemic has forced many organisations to shift to a remote workforce. As a result, processes and procedures need to be adapted to accommodate changes to the way we work and interact with our colleagues. This includes your onboarding strategy.
So, how can you onboard a new member of staff remotely?
- Equip new starters with the computer hardware they will need. Check in with them in advance of their start date to ensure they have set up and tested the equipment so that any issues can be addressed.
- Send a company message and gift to welcome your new starter to the team. This could include a hand-written card and some corporate merchandise such as a mug, calendar or stationary.
- Help new starters to complete onboarding documentation by sharing paperwork such as the contract of employment with them digitally via email. You could also consider using e-signature technology so that they can sign and return any legal documents easily.
- Bring your company culture to life by sharing your employee handbook in a digital format. Direct new starters to the company’s social media channels and send pictures and videos of any recent team activities.
- Arrange training which will help new starters to hit the ground running. Training may relate to IT systems, company procedures or the role and responsibilities and could be conducted via webinar, video call or an interactive online course.
- Ensure new starters understand how to communicate with colleagues. Provide instructions relating to company telephone/email contacts, any group messaging tools, video calling software and telecoms.
- Encourage managers to plan goals and set expectations for new starters. This could include:
- Defining goals for the first 3 months of employment
- Creating task lists with deadlines using digital collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams or Trello
- Scheduling regular one to ones via video call to provide support, coaching and discuss/monitor performance
- Set up video meetings and regular touch points with team members to promote relationship building and ensure effective integration.
- Create a remote buddy system. Nominate members of staff to provide support to new starters and help them settle in.
- Schedule calls after their first week, month and quarter to touch base.These calls will help you understand if they’re facing any difficulties and whether they’ve settled into their roles.
- Arrange to meet in person. Consider a face to face meeting if it’s safe to do so and in line with social distancing rules. This may not be possible in the short term, in which case, invite them on-site as soon as is feasible.