4 TIPS TO BRING VIRTUAL EMPLOYEES ONBOARD IN A MEANINGFUL WAY
You’ve got the right person for the job, now how do you set your new employee up to succeed while starting the new job remotely? This is a question organizations are asking as virtual and hybrid work becomes common practice. A memorable virtual onboarding process is critical for organizations moving forward in an interconnected world.
Despite the challenges that come with not working side-by-side with new team members, an effective virtual onboarding experience is completely possible. Start with these intentional approaches that help new hires feel like they’re not alone on an island.
1. A STRONG COMMUNICATION PLAN
Establish a strong communication plan that lets new hires know what to expect as their first day approaches. Don’t wait for their start date. Communication should begin as soon as they’re hired. Include them in team correspondence, especially as it relates to tools, resources, and protocols that support working from home. Give them an agenda of onboarding activities that they will complete within the first week, the first two weeks, the first month and the first 90 days.
Include items such as:
- Communication about equipment and IT needs
- Special dates and meeting invitations
- Welcome letters and tips to prepare for the first day
2. A SUPPORT PLAN
Make sure your new employee has the equipment they will need to work virtually. Plan in advance to provide IT support. This is especially important in a virtual work setting.
Consider appointing a mentor who can support new employees with the work environment and assist in training. Mentors can show your new hires processes for getting things done. They can also help point new hires in the right direction if they have questions or get stuck. Having a trusted mentor who is responsive and knowledgeable can help the new hire be productive from the start.
3. SCHEDULE FREQUENT CHECK-IN’S
Be sure to add new team members to team huddles and weekly meetings. Face-to-face connections via video conferences help new team members feel connected. Take time to explain what is expected in those meetings beforehand. Also, make introductions. Connect them with various members of the team she or he will work with and have them schedule brief video meetings together. Regular, short video check-ins are a good idea early in their new employment. These meetings offer both the social interaction that is missing from at-home work and an opportunity to answer their questions.
Remember, virtual work feels isolating for some people. Reach out to include new hires early and often so that they feel included and valued.
4. LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES
Finally, whether you’re rolling out your system for virtual onboarding, or looking to refine the process, keep your eyes open for the unique opportunities to improve the onboarding experience: