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Top tips for businesses virtually onboarding new starts

Top tips for businesses virtually onboarding new starts

It’s vital for businesses to endeavour to simulate virtually the employee’s traditional first day experience.

With no physical office, it can be more challenging for businesses to create a wholesome start for new recruits from a distance. However, with first impressions being key, it’s vital for businesses to endeavour to simulate virtually the employee’s traditional first day experience and early weeks insofar as possible. It’s also important to make them feel at ease with the concept of working remotely with which they may not be familiar. Setting an empathetic, supportive and positive tone will foster a better sense of belonging, ultimately foster loyalty to the company and positively affect a better adjustment outcome.

Planning is key

It is crucial that the virtual onboarding is carefully planned to every detail to ensure that the onboarding process is as seamless as possible. Planning highlights the value the business places on its employees which will ultimately result in better employee retention. It’s important to provide the new start with the right tools and resources for remote working, including tested IT hardware and a system for fresh recruits to use from their homes. A PDF welcome pack could be digitally sent out in advance of any starting date itemising the protocols and policies unique to your business, effectively communicating the norms, expectations and structure of the organisation. Virtual induction days should be carefully itemised so that the new start knows exactly what to prepare and what to expect in advance.

The challenge of getting to know what it’s like to work in the business

With physical human interactions not happening, it can be difficult for a new start to capture the ambiance and ethos of the business. The culture of the business is woven through everything that happens throughout the business and is part of the fabric of its parts; experienced in the office environment as workers interact with each other and with clients. It is more important therefore to promote the culture, goals and mission of the organisation and to better enable new recruits to feel engaged and inspired and to see how they can fit in with and contribute effectively to this culture and mission.

Meeting with work colleagues

Remote onboarding reduces the opportunities for new starts to spontaneously and informally get to know their fellow workers and to build trusting relationships. The invisibility of team members can be detrimental during this early transition since it is a sense of belonging that make employees want to stay. It’s important to visually connect new employees with existing employees to foster a deeper connectedness and limit their potential to feel isolated. Collaborative technology and digital tools should be used to maximise inter-personal engagement. Introductions should be made gradually, first to the team and then to the whole organisation over time. Team and cross functional tasks could foster further integration and deeper understanding of the business. Regular calls should be made to touch base. A virtual work buddy of similar rank could be assigned to answer and assist with all the questions, knowledge gaps and settling in issues in the early weeks. Be sure to also use collaborative technology and tools to maximise important social engagements.

Monitoring and evaluating the process to iron out any irregularities

It is more important than ever to monitor the virtual on boarding experience. New employees can provide meaningful feedback to further enhance the onboarding experience for other future starts.

Over 25 years and going strong!

Over 25 years and
going strong!