by Management 3.0 Facilitator Erick Masgo
Many organizations have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic that we have been facing. The human resources areas in particular, continue to transform their processes in the context of remote work and this includes things such as remote onboarding. I consider the first three months with a new employee key for the rest of the employment relationship. As more and more employees work remotely during the COVID-19 crisis, matching new hires to company culture and procedures can be challenging.
It is with this in mind, that we must take into account the following recommendations to have a successful remote onboarding process:
1: Avoid improvisation during remote onboarding
Plan in advance the list of tasks for onboarding a new employee so that you can provide the best entry experience. Contact the new team member a few days before their start date to digitally communicate the documentation that is needed and welcome them.
Send them the required legal documentation to be read without distractions (for example: contract, code of conduct or general policies of the organization, among others)
Think about a personalized onboarding package containing the most important information:
- Personalized welcome can be a video with words from the CEO
- Company video
- Testimonials from future coworkers
- Description of benefits
- Description of functions
Make sure the equipment and supplies the new hire needs are available and operational before day one.
Carry out the coordinated work between Human Resources, IT, Communications and other areas so that both the labor documentation, technical and communication resources are ready for the first day.
In our Agility in HR Workshop by Management 3.0 people who work in or closely with human resources, will learn about the Agile mindset, organizational design, roles, career paths, performance, goals & motivation, promotions, talent acquisition and retention as well as learning and development. The ICAgile-accredited workshop lasts 16 hours and is available in-person as well as online.
2: Do a 180 degree turn from the typical first day session for remote onboarding
Make a great first impression on new hires by making that first day interactive and fun.
Create a sense of belonging, for example, by sending the new employee a welcome kit. This could include a company t-shirt, mug, pencil or polo shirt with a personalized message.
Avoid boring Power Point presentations and opt for team-building activities, animated videos, and interactive group conversations to bond and encourage participation.
You can make use of the following digital tools during virtual onboarding:
- To simulate onboarding as if we were physically in the office, make use of virtual offices such as: Sosoco, Welo and Kumospace
- Send the new team member a welcome Kudo Card thanking them for being part of the company
- Have meetings during the first day of work with virtual reality: 3D Immersive Collaboration and MeetinVR
Grow your team successfully and achieve even greater employee engagement by carrying out an effective recruitment process. Our Hire Great People module is part of the Agility in HR Workshop.
3: Assign a mentor to each new employee for the virtual onboarding
The mentor is a highly experienced employee who will be there to help the new employee integrate and develop their skills and temperament in the position and within the organization. It is important to schedule a video conference or phone call between the mentor and the new hire on the first day of work.
4: Set expectations during virtual onboarding
Schedule a video conference or phone call for the employee’s first day to set expectations. Review the responsibilities, goals, and expectations of the position and explain how your role contributes to the success of the company. Talk to the new hire about key issues such as work hours, time management practices, the organization’s digital culture, career development, and how performance is measured.
Read on: Remote Leadership Do’s and Dont’s
5: Promote interaction and communication during remote onboarding
During the first few days on the job, use video conferencing to help introduce the new hire to key members of the company and their team. These presentations should generally be short, but they are very important in helping employees feel welcome. Have some questions ready to start a conversation and allow the team to get to know each other. Then schedule regular virtual meetings between remote workers and their coworkers.
If you are going to manage a business, you have to understand the different personalities, interests and individual needs that come together to make up your team. Our Individuals & Interactions module is part of the Agility in HR workshop.
6: Ask for feedback during and after remote onboarding
Schedule regular calls or video conferences to check in with new hires and see how they are doing with their new role and remote work, and if they need additional training or clarification on workplace expectations. Here are some sample questions about what a supervisor can ask a new hire in the first 90 days.
- How are you? How are you doing in the new job?
- What do you like the most about the position?
- Is the position / team / company as you expected?
- Is there anything that surprised you? What is it?
- Do you have all the tools and resources you need?
- How is the relationship with your colleagues?
- Do you feel excluded in any way?
- Is there anything we should make available to new hires that we don’t?
- What is going well and what is not going so well?
- Do you have any questions about your position, the team or the company?
- Can I do anything else as a boss?
- What can I do to ease your transition into the new position?
Supervisors should also provide performance feedback immediately after a behavior they would like to reinforce or address. Also consider taking a more comprehensive evaluation (like every 90 days), especially during your first year on the job.
Interested in Agile HR topics? Read on: Why Companies Need their HR to be Agile
7: Recognize remote work
One of the complaints from remote workers, is that their work is not as valued or less visible than that of employees who work in the traditional workplace.
Recognize remote workers for their contributions according to the company’s desired culture, and praise them for their good work and publicly highlight their achievements.
8: Evaluate the success of the remote onboarding process
New hires’ feedback is one of the best ways to evaluate the success of the onboarding process. If it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed. Ask remote workers and anyone else involved in the onboarding process, for feedback on their experience. Use online surveys to evaluate the experience of the first day of work and online surveys to follow up at 30 or 90 days.