Virtual Onboarding Process
Once you have hired the right person for your team, you will want to make them feel welcome, excited, and engaged from the first day. In a remote team, you don’t always have the option of going out for a meal together or taking a walk around the office to meet everybody. So how can you create a virtual onboarding experience for your new recruits that achieves the same objectives?
Vary the Format
A full day of online meetings full of new people and information could be exhausting and overwhelming for a new recruit. Consider which different formats or channels of communication you can use to get across different information in the most effective and digestible way.
For example: meeting new colleagues is probably best done over a video call, but information about payroll and HR processes could be delivered by email. Some training may work better on a live call, but other types of training could just as well be delivered by a recorded video that your new recruit can watch by themselves and follow up on.
Be Available and Check In
When a new employee joins an office, their first day tends to be punctuated by check ins from their line manager, HR contact or buddy. You would keep in close contact and be available to them while they are settling in. In a virtual team it is important to make yourself available digitally to your new employee while they settle in. Let them know how and when they can reach you and check in with them from time to time to see how they are getting on.
Lead with Your Values
When a new employee joins your virtual team, it may take some extra effort to communicate team culture and values without the usual physical or environmental cues and clues. You might want to send them some materials in advance, then make time to discuss your vision, values, and company maxims right at the start of the onboarding process. Get your new recruits excited about your goals, so that they are pulling together in the same direction from the first moment they come aboard.
Onboarding a new team member requires quite a number of paperwork. There will be contracts to sign, company handbooks and policies, process documents and inductions. Make sure that key documents get through to your employee by requiring them to confirm receipt. We all know emails can be lost and overlooked, so be sure that those most important contractual documents get through. There are several options for digital signing of documents, so make sure that your new team member can access these where paperwork requires a signature. Make sure that documents are sent in an appropriate format that is both secure and can be edited or filled out digitally as required by your new team member.