We are all working differently in the wake of the coronavirus. Now employers must think differently about the most routine tasks like onboarding. Many new employees’ first day will be from their home office. Remote onboarding presents many challenges when the purpose is to acclimate new employees to your organization. But with any challenge comes an opportunity. So how can you start on the right foot with your new employee?
All managers must figure out new ways to work with their virtual staff. Hiring managers and human resources professionals are no different. If you need inspiration for bringing remote employees into the fold, start here.
Preparation is Key
Start by reviewing your typical onboarding process. Look at each item and think about the impact of distance. Consider this:
- Does your new hire need a company-owned laptop or cellphone? We bet your office is closed and new folks cannot stop by to pick up the hardware. Make arrangements to send the equipment through the mail.
- Do you have digital copies of important paperwork? New hires need an employee handbook, tax forms, and benefits information (to name a few). If you do not have the paperwork readily available, set a reminder on your calendar to get your new employee the documents as soon as you are back in the office. Remember: you must submit new employees’ tax documentation so they can get paid. See more on virtually filing here.
- What tools will your employee need to do their job? It may be impossible to get them access to their computer by the start date. In that case, send them links to the critical web applications like email, chat, content management systems, etc. If they need to download the software, offer to either reimburse them or add the cost of the software to their first paycheck.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Sometimes starting a new job feels isolating and lonely. Imagine that experience for a remote employee. Make a daily action plan to keep them engaged. Try some of these tactics:
- Schedule get-to-know-you video calls with their team members.
- In some cases, it is productive for new hires to meet with colleagues they don’t work with regularly. Give them a chance to learn about different parts of your organization.
- Share team training documents and add training sessions to their calendar.
- Plan for daily or weekly check-ins.
- Mail them a welcome package with company swag – like notebooks, pens, mugs, etc.
Back in the Office
Eventually, employees will return to regularly scheduled work in some form. When that time comes, your new employee will need some TLC. Here are some suggestions:
- Welcome them into the office with a team lunch or coffee meetings.
- Supply hardcopies of any critical paperwork.
- Schedule time for your new employee to ask outstanding questions.
Here at Talentfoot, we have a virtual office culture. We know what it takes to successfully connect with new employees. Need some inspiration? Let’s talk about best practices for remote onboarding or whatever else concerns you about recruitment during the coronavirus.