Remote and hybrid working has gained traction. But you still need to provide a great onboarding experience to new joiners – if anything, in today's work environment this is even more critical. How do you do this? This post outlines how you can ensure hybrid or remote work success with 8 tips for onboarding.
It’s widely accepted, with all the changes the pandemic has imposed on us, that new flexible working models are key to retaining talent. To tackle the challenge of onboarding people remotely you'll need a plan and tools that remove the barriers to success for your new hire. To make sure they feel welcomed, supported and connected, we've put together a list of 8 steps to effectively onboard remote workers.
1. Start with a warm welcome
By thoroughly welcoming new starters, you help build rapport between colleagues and make future communication easier. Involving them in team meetings and catch-ups is an integral part of the onboarding process – just like introducing someone in the office!
Making sure newcomers know who they should speak too when needing anything will have them feeling comfortable within their surroundings as soon as possible, and everyone will benefit from the increased efficiency of cohesive teamwork.
2. Use a digital platform
As with a normal onboarding process, you’ll need to ensure employees are provided with everything they need for day-to-day work. Remote workers not only need somewhere to work from, but most importantly, remote access to all of your company resources through their laptops and relevant software/hardware. A digital platform helps remote workers virtually navigate the business – and a well-designed digital employee experience can inspire and excite, too.
A digital platform provides a hub for onboarding
Think of your digital platform as a gateway to the company, a single point for all the resources that enable employees to engage, track, navigate and plan activities.
A digital platform helps new starters get started
Along with applications and software, ensure that your new team members are provided with useful resources like quick start guides, a list of the best groups to join or directories of whom to contact about what, frequently needed links and company news. The onboarding process is more constructive when the user is provided with not only basic guidelines, but also an environment that encourages people to explore all the features of their workspace.
A digital employee experience platform like Atlas helps new starters feel confident and powerful from day one: it provides people with what they need on their first days at work, and continues to empower them to share knowledge, learn and understand more as they grow into their role.
A digital platform provides relevant information at point-of-need
Atlas allows you to personalise information and send targeted information at relevant times. People have questions when starting a new job so why not address these straight away? By doing so you’ll replace their apprehension with excitement and speed up the process of them feeling comfortable and at ease.
3. Work to a plan
A plan for the first month of a new starter’s employment helps them get on track and prevents them from feeling overwhelmed by having too much information to absorb at once. A schedule or plan tailored towards a new employee’s personal strengths and the requirements of their role is even more beneficial
A well-considered onboarding plan provides people with the confidence and support they need to feel comfortable and empowered to work.
4. Appoint remote partners, culture guides and weekly buddies
The induction is the perfect time to build on new starters' excitement and spark an even greater sense of community at your company. Spend time on quality one-on-one interactions. These can be done remotely. Atlas, for example, provides effective ways for everyone to communicate and collaborate as a team or one-to-one, within a secure digital workspace.
A buddy system is an excellent way to help integrate new starters, giving them someone they can go to with questions or even just for some friendly advice. Why not find the most passionate and long-tenured team members to welcome new starters? This helps instil company values early on and it's often a mutually rewarding experience.
5. Make it easy to ask questions
Make the process of asking anything easy. This is key for new starters and will encourage them to feel comfortable about asking questions. A digital workspace is particularly useful for this. It provides people with a single place to get answers about things like benefits, equipment, pay, and so on. And when you're working remotely, this type of always-on support really helps.
6. Be upfront and open with wellbeing
You might think that a wellbeing survey is a bit formal, but it doesn't have to be. Wellbeing surveys, including daily pulse surveys, can help businesses gain insight into how their employees are feeling – something that’s particularly important right now. Microsoft Viva is a great platform for building employee connection and engagement.
Wellbeing surveys also give the management team data to review, so pain points can be seen and solved. Just the act of offering support in uncertain times can go a long way.
7. Collect feedback
To make sure you’ve got a great onboarding experience for new starters, it’s important to collect feedback. Make time to discuss highlights and challenges experienced once people have settled into their new role and routine. Consider how the experience differs depending on if someone is working from home or in the office, or a combination of these. And then use the feedback you’ve collated to make any necessary improvements to your onboarding process.
8. Create a long-lasting positive impression
Onboarding is not just about giving new starters a warm welcome; it’s also about selling the business to them. Job searching and choosing an organisation to work for is often stressful and takes commitment. The induction process is a way for the company to affirm that your new starter has made the right decision.