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Still hiring? You’re likely onboarding new employees virtually, possibly for the first time. Follow our tips for a successful virtual onboarding process.

Communicate

Reinforce your organization’s vision, mission and culture by prioritizing virtual one-to-one meetings, ideally on camera. Clearly explain the company’s overall structure, and how the new employee’s role fits within their department and the bigger picture.

  • Designate someone who will communicate with the new employee in terms of the expectations of their first day, first month, and beyond. Consider assigning the new employee a mentor or ‘buddy’ in their department who will check in regularly and answer any questions.
  • Ensure open communication with direct reports: Make education and knowledge sharing accessible.
  • Consider having a representative from upper management meet the new hire. Showing they are valued in the organization will help new employees feel welcomed and motivated. Ensure consistent communication and updates from company leaders.

Streamline Your Process

Set up your new employee for success by ensuring they have the tools they need to get started.

  • How can you digitize your current onboarding process? Utilize the tools available to you by amalgamating onboarding documents and welcome packages into organized PDF documents that can be easily shared digitally.
  • Arrange to have a laptop configured and shipped to their home in a timely manner, and coordinate secure sharing of any profile logins or passwords. Avoid setting up systems over video conference – the more you can do in advance, the better!
  • Plan for eLearning. Review any training that will need to be modified in order to be shared virtually – can you provide visual aids, are you able to effectively screen share? Does your company provide training videos? Consider recording and sharing real-time videos of your processes if not readily available.
  • Set out clear and concise expectations of remote work. How can they prepare? Do they have a strong Wi-Fi connection and a quiet space to work?

Plan for Success

Define clear expectations for the employee by creating a detailed orientation schedule and agenda. Avoid having your new employee sitting at home wondering how they are going to fill their first week of work.

  • Consider welcoming new hires through a virtual conference call with team members, in addition to a welcome letter including information the new employee should be aware of (i.e. any insurance benefits policies, team member contact information, company policies, etc.).
  • During the employee’s first couple weeks, plan for individual introductions to each of their teammates. Can you set up a virtual on camera ‘coffee date’ with key team members? Leverage your digital tools to foster community within your company and reduce isolation while working remotely. It is important that new employees are given the opportunity and tools to meet and regularly connect with their new colleagues, as this won’t be happening organically at the office.
  • Assign the new employee a series of tasks that they can complete within their first week, utilizing their new training. Plan ahead to provide either concise written instruction, or clear instruction via videoconference. When delivering any new tasks or training, be sure to check in frequently with the new employee.

 

Your onboarding process sets the tone for your new employee’s experience with your company. By utilizing the digital tools available to your company and meaningfully shifting your onboarding process into the virtual space, new employees will feel connected and armed for success in their new role.

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