REMOTE ONBOARDING LOOKS LIKE IT'S HERE TO STAY...
But how can you help your new hires settle in virtually...
Over the last 18 months, many office-based employees have been working from home. And, with almost 74% of UK workers saying they want to work both from home and the office, it’s safe to say remote working isn’t going anywhere (Atlas Cloud).
With the future of work looking hybrid, many companies may be looking at remote onboarding. Whether you’ve been hiring throughout the last year, or you’ve just started recruiting again, it’s important to get onboarding right. Starting a new job is pretty big deal. it can make us feel anxious and worried, and joining a company remotely can be even harder on employees.
If your onboarding process isn’t right for your new employees, you run the risk of lower engagement and retention levels. Here’s our tips on remote onboarding…
1. Don’t want until their first day to start:
On a first day we usually get to meet the team, maybe have a photo done for ID and at some point, get our laptops from IT. But this will need to change if you’re onboarding a new hire remotely.
Make sure they have the right tools and resources available to them, like their laptop, and have it sent to their home so they have it before their first day, as well as any details they may need in case of any issues.
Also prepare a clear agenda for them so they know what to expect for their first few days including any links to meetings they need to attend.
2. What should their first few weeks look like?
When onboarding remotely, it can be more difficult to get to know everyone, so make sure to schedule individual inductions in with each of your new hires’ teammates as well as something fun like a virtual team coffee or team lunch – strictly no work talk allowed!
As well as meeting their teammates, make sure they also have inductions in with leaders in other departments as well as support teams. But try to space out their inductions and learning sessions to give your employee a chance to take in all the information, ask questions and not be overwhelmed.
During their first week try to give them 2-3 tasks that they can complete over their first week, so they’re not sat at home unsure what to do with themselves. Make sure you also introduce them to your company values to get them engaged and inspired from their very first day or week!
It’s important to not rush the onboarding process, most companies might consider the first month to be enough time but research from the Career Builder suggests that it should be closer to three months. When brining in a new hire remotely, it might take more time for connections to fully integrate them into your culture.
3. How to help them feel welcome:
It can be difficult to get to know our teams when working remotely, but there are a few things you can do to make it easier:
- Try to use video on calls when you can. They help us make eye contact and notice facial expressions that are important to interpersonal communication. Plus, it helps us put faces to names.
- Make sure managers check in regularly to see how they’re doing and answer any questions they may have from other induction sessions.
- Consider assigning your new hires with a buddy from their team who is there to check in, be a support, and someone they can talk to. This can also help tackle any feelings of loneliness they might be experience.
- If you want to go the extra mile, why not send them something in the post to make their first week special. It could be company goodies or a voucher for them to get coffee.
4. Make sure expectations are clear:
To help your new hire settle in, make sure their manage makes the expectations clear. This can be in the form of a task calendar once their training and onboarding sessions are done or defining short-term and long-term goals.
Try to have weekly one-on-one meetings too, particularly while they still settle in, that way everyone is on the same page as to how the new employees is getting on or if they’re struggling with anything. Daily or weekly team stand ups or meetings can also help, it will give your new employee the chance to learn what everything else is working on, any priorities and how their role fits in.
5. Support management:
We all know that good management is key to having a good employee experience, which is why you need to support them when they’re managing remote onboarding. Make sure you train them on best practice and provide support, encourage them to make time for both formal and informal check ins and to tailor the pace of the onboarding to each new employee. Plus, you could use recognition to showcase excellent management across your business.
6. Don’t forget to get feedback:
When you’re trying something new, it can take a while to get it perfect, so when you’re implementing remote onboarding don’t forget to get feedback from your new hires when they’re settled. It will help you see how you can improve the process going forward.
That’s our top 6 tips on remote onboarding!
Getting onboarding right is key to positive employee engagement, experience, and staff retention. For support on improving your employee experience with benefits, rewards, and recognition get in touch with our experts today!