Making anyone feel welcome without in-person contact can be challenging, but it is massively important. Team bonding and morale must take a higher priority while businesses embrace remote working as it won’t come naturally for some to communicate effectively from home. In order to avoid isolating your new colleague, schedule conference calls, introduce them to the team and encourage everyone to get to know one another, and set up one-to-one calls with key staff. Remember, they have never seen anyone face-to-face, so cameras on!
A particular technique implemented by many successful companies who are comprised entirely of remote workers is a “buddy system”. Assigning your new starter a “role buddy”, a peer with a similar role elsewhere in the company, will allow them to learn the ropes from someone who has already been there, and done that. You could also consider allocating a “culture buddy” for a more informal guide to working with you.
When it comes to the daily and weekly structure of your new starter’s first week, we recommend following these best practice guidelines:
Check in, often; schedule meetings every day between your new starter and their line manager, allowing time for them to get better acquainted and make any expectations clear.
Follow the PPP format in catch ups; discuss your progress, priorities and problems every morning to ensure that tasks are completed as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Answer their questions; finding the opportunity to ask or answer questions becomes more difficult when working remotely, so asking your new starter to compile questions into an email or chat at the end of the day will ensure they get all the answers they need.
Moving jobs at any time in life is stressful, and the current global situation only heightens the pressure. You should take this into account should any teething problems arise in their first week or so. If your company has access to any wellbeing programmes, let your new starter know about them and how they can be accessed, but also make yourself available and approachable enough that they could come to you with any issues.
What happens later?
Now that the height of COVID-19 has passed, you may decide to begin reintegrating employees into the office environment. At this point, any new starters should be familiar with people and routines and following a successful remote onboarding process will be excited to be immersed in your company.
As many companies have already, you may find that remote working has brought unanticipated benefits to your business; such as improved employee attraction and retention as well as an enhanced level of staff wellbeing. You may find that to implement aspects of remote working into your company, or continuing to allow employees to choose for themselves, will aid you in growing and adapting into a successful modern-day business.
Whichever road you choose to take, it is important to ensure that your onboarding process adapts and changes as quickly as your company, and we are here to help along the way. (Add brand) consultants are experienced in remote onboarding from start to finish. Contact your consultant today with any questions or concerns you may have.