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How To Onboard New Employees Virtually

Working remotely has quickly become one of the most prevalent and important trends of the year in the business sphere. While workers and employers working from home can mean convenience and working at different paces and increasing job satisfaction, it also means increased difficulty in making sure new hires have all of the information they need to integrate quickly and efficiently within your company.

The on boarding process is already difficult and subject to many variables, even while working from the office, so adjusting to remote on boarding can be extremely challenging for companies of all sizes and experience. Luckily, there are many principles you can use to streamline the process and get your new employees up to speed in no time at all.

  • Gather resources and information in one location
  • Make sure employees establish a support network
  • Check in periodically to make sure the transition is smooth

Establish A Central Hub

This can be done on your website or a third-party system and is easier than you may think. You can set up a “hub” with all of the information new employees need, organized by job type and date to ensure everyone can access the necessary information.

The hub can also outline what new employees can expect during their first few days or weeks, especially in this new and uncertain climate, as well as a timeline for them to follow as their first few days come and go.

These employees will have a job to do, and a centralized hub is a great way to give them the instruction they need when a manager is not physically present to do so.

It also lets them know that your company is rooting for them to succeed from day one, as you can add support systems to the hub which wouldn’t be available elsewhere, for more experienced employees.

Establish A Support Network

This can be done in multiple ways. You can give your new employees three to five established employees to talk to if they’re having issues, or you can put the onus on them to make connections and establish a unique support setup for themselves.

Whichever route you choose, your employees will need a group to guide and teach them during the first few weeks on the job, and a group of established, hardworking individuals are a great source for this guidance.

These guiding employees should be from the same department and their hours should align with those employees who are seeking guidance. It shouldn’t take long to establish this report either; just two or three fifteen-minute calls per day should convey enough information for the inductees to function without placing too heavy a burden on the established employees.

Not only will this keep the workflow moving efficiently, this simple time between employees is great for office morale and comradery.

Give Them A Welcoming Gift

It may seem trivial, but providing a welcoming gift of some sorts, even something slight and inexpensive, is a great way of letting your new employees know that they’re appreciated and that you’re on their side during this unorthodox transition into your company and its values.

Everybody appreciates a great t-shirt, gift card, or personally signed note when entering into a new and nerve-wracking experience, and your gifts will convey positivity and confidence that will hopefully last during the more burdensome times of the on boarding process.

Again, these may seem trivial, but the age-old adage is true: it’s the thought that counts. In addition, you should take care to include new employees’ names in the company letter, to let them know that you know they’re there and are eager to see the benefits and creativity they bring into your company, even so early in their careers.

Chat With Them Early And Often

While autonomy is important for new employees, it’s also possible that they’ll need guidance that only their supervisors or managers can provide. Be sure to keep an eye on their progress and make sure they know which responsibilities they’re in charge of and that these responsibilities are getting done in a quality and timely manner.

You can schedule meetings in advance to ask them about their time at the company and inquire to any needs they may have, no matter how insignificant.

These meetings don’t have to be in person of course. You can schedule video conference calls with your new employees and utilize multiple digital communication services to check up on them throughout the day.

Again, autonomy and distance are crucial during this developing time for new employees, but without physical access to them, it never hurts to make sure they know their duties and are executing at a satisfactory level. You can even designate certain chat channels for certain employee groups, like those from the same department, and currently on boarding employees.

Final Thoughts

On boarding employees is never an easy process. There are a multitude of variables that can confuse new employees and setting a routine naturally takes time and effort on their part. To help streamline their time while they work remotely, be sure to provide them a centralized location, help them establish a support network both personal and professional, and check in on their progress and comfort with the assigned tasks.

It may require more energy on the part of your company, but the long-term rewards are well worth the effort.

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