With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic affecting the way we live and work, it does appear that remote work would be the norm of many workplaces and companies for the foreseeable future.
During this period, it might not be possible to put off hiring in order to meet business needs of today and to support growth plans.
With remote hiring, businesses would need to adapt face-to-face onboarding processes into a digital form. Here are some ideas of how you can onboard new hires remotely while your team is working from home.
Why Is Employee Onboarding Important?
One of the main aims of employee onboarding is to assist new employees to get used to the professional, cultural and social expectations of their new workplaces in order for them to perform their roles as well as possible.
Companies who invest in well thought-out employee onboarding processes can enjoy greater efficiency, quicker integration of new hires, and inculcate a positive company-wide culture.
Involve Existing Employees In The Onboarding Process
Having a successful onboarding process would ensure that new employees become an integrated part of the team. New hires should be introduced to other team members in team video conferencing sessions and be aware of who to approach for advice and reporting.
Ask members of your existing team to reach out and connect to new hires individually via the various digital platforms your company is using. Set aside remote-based time for teams to introduce themselves to new hires and to spend some non-work time together virtually.
Such efforts can go a long way in fostering good workplace relationships that are crucial to employee satisfaction and performance.
Provide Necessary Work Equipment In Advance
Companies should ensure new hires have the necessary tools and equipment to do their job way before their start date. This is because new hires might more need time to get used to operating work-related devices without any face-to-face guidance from other employees.
During this work-from-home period, you can consider using logistics services to deliver the relevant work devices to new hires well in advance. Be aware of holiday and weekend non-delivery days and if necessary, use premium services with guaranteed delivery times.
Communicate Clear Expectations To New Hires
Businesses can use the opportunity of employee onboarding processes to clearly communicate expectations to new hires before they begin work.
By onboarding employees by giving them clear details of their job scope, team goals and individual performance indicators, employees would be better equipped to contribute successfully to the team. Additionally, businesses and managers can set clear time schedules for milestones, training and employee reviews.
Where possible, businesses should introduce new hires to upcoming projects in the pipeline. New hires should be given written documentation of the onboarding process as reference guides, so they can continue to refer to them during their time with the company.
Businesses should link new hires with senior team members who can mentor them to better achieve business goals and company values. Studies have shown that mentoring is a trend to be included in a company’s remote workforce and hiring strategy.
When planning mentor allocation, you might consider factors such as job position, subject matter expertise, communication preferences and time zone.
For instance, businesses might choose to set some time aside every week or month for new employees to ask and clarify anything with their assigned mentors – either individually or in groups. By getting their doubts clarified in real-time, new hires can accelerate their learning processes and execute their roles more successfully.
Onboarding VS Orientation
Businesses should note the crucial differences between onboarding and orientation programmes and adjust their approaches towards new hires accordingly.
The orientation of new hires is usually a one-off event to welcome new hires to a business and enable them to learn more about business goals, culture, mission and vision. Also, orientation programmes can include pockets of time when new hires have to learn about company codes of conduct.
On the other hand, employee onboarding is usually a coordinated sequence of events over a couple of weeks or even months, depending on new hires’ roles.
Employee onboarding programmes are ideally customised for a particular job role in the organisation and thus, no two employee onboarding programmes would be exact replicas of one another.
Even though time-consuming, a good onboarding programme would be appreciated by new hires, and lead to stronger teams and better outcomes for a long time to come.
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