Onboarding new employees virtually is something companies can do with the right amount of planning, coordination, and proper tools. Recently, our company onboarded our first virtual hire from end to end. Having such an experience has taught me that our team can do anything, with the right combination of the human approach and technology. Kudos to my teammates Kianna White and Miracle-Ann King for all of your hard work.
If you’re considering taking your onboarding process virtual over the next few months, here are a few areas to consider, as you map out your new hire’s welcome into the organisation:
Invite your new hire to a virtual team huddle to meet all of the team, prior to the start date. This gives the new employee the opportunity to meet the team and to get to know each other prior to coming to the office and meeting the entire organization. It allows for familiarity formed with the team, leading to a level of comfort before their first official day in the office.
Create and send welcome videos from team leads for the new hire to watch. It’s also a great opportunity for leadership to talk about their team and what they do and an awesome way for the new hire to learn about the business in more detail. I would recommend that the video is no more than 2 minutes long, so get leaders to make their points as quickly as possible. That is a great way to help new hires feel welcome.
Conduct a virtual on-boarding session. We used Skype and shared the presentation on-screen, but feel free to use any tool you are most comfortable with. This a great way to engage employees prior to coming into the office. You could even include a brief welcome video from the CEO.
Schedule virtual calls with other team members over the first two weeks. 1:1 session with team members is a great way to start a fast integration into a new team. While the team huddle is a great introduction, these virtual 1:1 will help the new employee to develop individual relationships with team members from the start. When the first day into the office comes, they will feel more comfortable with their team dynamic, because of starting to build the relationship virtually.
Send a virtual office tour video so that they can see the facilities, including where they will sit, once the office reopens. This is a great opportunity to help new hires to find their bearings and they can play the video over and over. What a cool way to see the office before your first day in!
There is no reason you cannot hire and onboard virtually in this time of technology and possibilities. You’ll want to make sure that new employees are not sitting at home alone wondering how they are going to fill their first few weeks of work. Or even, wondering who they’ll be interacting with. Start fostering a culture of collaboration and oneness from early on.
Our new normal will bring many insights to the fore, how you take on every task to enhance the employee experience is what people will remember and appreciate. Always remember, the onboarding process will set the tone for the employee’s experience with the company, whether on-site or remotely. Be deliberate in your onboarding plans, it pays to invest in making it a great one!