As Coronavirus continues to disrupt our daily lives, many are now adjusting to teleworking full time and with that comes challenges.
Not only is it crucial that your company stay informed on any COVID19-related information, but it’s also crucial that they make the necessary modifications to the various aspects of work, including the onboarding process.
If you’re in charge of onboarding new hires but are not sure how to simplify employee experience in times of remote work, here are a few quick tips on improving the virtual onboarding process.
Create a Plan 📝
Before the onboarding process can begin it’s essential to create a plan to help set new employees up for success. Establishing a schedule will not only help make the virtual onboarding process easier but will allow for a window of time if anything needs to be adjusted. The first day is always the longest especially with all the paperwork that needs to be completed, so give new employees time to prepare by emailing them any important documents in advance.
Legally binding services like DocuSign will get the ball rolling with any remote paperwork. If your employees require smartphones or laptops make a plan to get them their work equipment early through priority mail express. Although virtual, make employees feel welcome by preparing for their arrival and planning their introduction with a virtual tour, so they know what to expect when going back to the office. Creating a plan will allow the pre-onboarding process to run smoothly and efficiently.
Think About The Overall Experience 🙌
Although there are no physical face-to-face interactions taking place, new employees should feel engaged and included during their onboarding experience. Adapting any important information digitally will not only help keep employees organized but will also make it easier to send all the necessary documents. Provide a digital employee handbook that offers a clear outline of the company’s culture and any important knowledge, like the day-to-day operations.
If your company uses specific internal platforms on a daily basis, a great way to teach new hires how to use it is by creating interactive user guides. Digital onboarding tools like Helppier allow you to record step-by-step tours and contextual tooltips to demonstrate specific tasks and help employees get started. You can also create tutorial videos for a more effective training experience. Embracing digital tools will help you accelerate onboarding online and improve retention as employees will be able to understand their roles and tasks right away.
Also, don’t worry about over-communicating during the onboarding process. This is the time where new employees need the most guidance and support. Utilize video conferencing tools like Zoom or Google Hangouts to help establish some face-to-face engagement. If your team is on any internal communication tools like Slack workspace make sure to set their account up. Make new employees feel included in interactive training, which can make onboarding feel more connected and interesting.
Make Them Feel Special 🎀
Many companies are going through challenging and confusing times, so it’s essential for new employees to feel comfortable and prepared for future success. All employees want to feel like they are a part of the bigger picture, however, working remotely can create a feeling of alienation. Keep constant communication throughout the day. You can also go above and beyond to really brighten your new hire’s day.
If your company offers swag, don’t forget to put together a care package that will show your new employees how much you care and how excited you are about them joining the team! You can also prepare a welcome basket that offers small things like office supplies or gift cards to any local hot spots to welcome them to the area! If your company typically invites them to lunch on the first day, consider buying them lunch via food delivery apps to ensure they still get the full first-day experience. These small acts of kindness will give any employee a sense of family and relief.
Prep Your Team 🕺
In order for your new employees to perform well, they have to feel comfortable and like they are a part of the team, so get your team involved in the onboarding process! Kick-off onboarding with a fun “get to know you” game. This is a great opportunity to break the ice and get any awkward introductions out of the way. New hires can also use this time to create a rapport with the team and establish some background information on who to go to if there are any unanswered questions. Make it known that there is always a shoulder to lean on if needed.
If you’re not sure how to get them involved consider setting up a virtual mentoring program to help get new employees acclimated to their team. It will create a bonding opportunity between team members and utilizing the buddy system is a great way to help set team expectations and offer advice on any work from home challenges. Building that feeling of community will make the transition period easier for everyone.
The onboarding process is meant to welcome new employees and help them better adjust to the company’s culture. Undergoing onboarding virtually can be a bump in the road, however, it should never infringe on the employee’s experience. So, approach onboarding with a clear and straightforward mindset, and it will make the process much easier.