Provide a liaison person
It is critical to have a dedicated onboarding liaison person for remote onboarding. Not only will they fill in the role of the informal mentor, but also answer any questions as they come up. Make sure you identify, appoint and communicate about this liaison early on. If possible, this mentor should be someone other than the person’s manager, so that there is no formality in asking questions. A new employee can have a lot of questions, and the last thing you want is having them feel uncertain about who to ask.
Create a connection before their first day
As soon as the candidate has a start date, find the opportunity to showcase your business and make them feel part of the family. Some companies are sending a care package filled with the business’s merchandise, a warm note and a gift card, or just a bunch of flowers – this can work wonders to setting the person up to start on a positive note. This also holds equally true for technology. Offer the employee a session with IT to share your videoconferencing platform, communication channel, project management software and unwritten rules around virtual meetings, communications etc.
Plan their catchups
It is tough to have lunches, coffee catchups and crossovers in the hallways when the workplace is predominantly virtual. Be proactive with setting up a mix of formal and informal interactions between new employees and other team members. If you are onboarding multiple employees together, consider getting senior management to have an open-ended discussion with them. Ensure their direct managers have a one-on-one catchup mixed with lots of informal catchups with the team members. Avoid silos by doing this proactively.
Explain the company culture
Workplace culture is the single most important thing that defines how well a business performs. Don’t believe us? Read this blog to understand how workplace culture can impact your bottomline. Spend time talking about typical cultural dimensions in the workplace, unwritten rules around online chatting, how to raise any grievances or share experiences. Highlight any key ‘non-work’ chat groups or places where they can share a cute pic of their dog/cat. Create the space for the new employee to ask questions, and explain answers using different scenarios that they may encounter. Supplement these with a session from a senior leader on workplace culture, values and behaviours.
Onboarding is an important driver of employee, and business success. Getting off to a great start with clarity creates momentum and provides confidence to the employee.
Your onboarding program should however not just be limited to this early period of time, it should also provide an ongoing developmental foundation that continues to strengthen your employee’s experience and performance. Click here to access our Onboarding Checklist now