Onboarding Employees Remotely
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to adapt in new ways and change typical office protocols. As many have shifted to working remotely, employers face the challenge of onboarding new hires virtually.
An effective onboarding program, whether in-person or virtually, is essential for both employers and employees and is designed to provide a solid starting point to cultivate a long-term relationship.
For employers, this time allows the opportunity to share the company’s goals and values while training new employees on the ins and outs of the position. The onboarding process allows new employees to build a rapport with the management and other employees, harboring a sense of belonging and loyalty to the company.
If your business has new employees who need to be onboarded remotely, check out these tips to help the process run smoothly:
Set clear expectations. Now that you are not there in-person for the entire onboarding process nor to monitor a new employee’s progress, it is important to set clear expectations on the company’s values and the new hire’s roles and responsibilities.
If possible, have a face-to-face meeting. If you and the new hire feel comfortable (and local laws allow), try to meet with new hires on their first day to welcome them in person, set them up with any necessary equipment for the job (computer, software, office supplies, etc.), and deliver printed training materials. Make sure everything is functioning properly and the new employee feels comfortable using the equipment before departing. Please follow social distance guidelines, including keeping 6 feet or more distance and wearing masks or face coverings. Forgo the handshake, and give them a wave instead!
Don’t overwhelm new employees. Having too much information at once can lead to confusion and stress for new employees working from home. By prioritizing the training and focusing on skills essential for the position, employers can help the new hire avoid any unnecessary frustration and make them feel more comfortable in their new role.
Assign a remote mentor. By assigning a mentor to new hires, the new employee will feel comfortable having a go-to person for questions. In turn, the mentor may develop confidence and pride in their job, boosting morale and company loyalty. Daily check-ins between mentors and new hires will establish strong relationships and encourage a sense of belonging for the new hires.
Check in often. Regularly check in with new employees to make sure they not only understand the their training and responsibilities, but also do not feel isolated at home. Allowing opportunities to ask questions and build a rapport with other employees will help them feel part of the team.
Contact IBA for more onboarding resources or for additional information on how your business can respond to the changes and challenges associated with the pandemic.