Onboarding new employees was challenging even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and it was possible for everybody to come to the office. With the new remote work culture, it can be difficult for new hires to get adjusted to their new roles and work effectively in their positions. However, since we will continue working remotely for the foreseeable future, we need to figure out how to work our way around this challenge. In this article, we will provide you with some practical steps you can take to improve your onboarding process, but first, we need to understand the challenges we are looking to overcome.
Challenges in Onboarding Remote Employees
When it was possible to come to the office new employees could meet their team members, ask questions, and get a sense of how they will interact with one another. Now that we live in a remote work culture, new employees find themselves at a disadvantage because it will be more difficult for them to get a hang of the culture and find out the official and nonofficial ways things get done. This can be an even bigger challenge if the people that you hire are not used to working remotely. Also, working from home means that new remote employees will not be able to bond through in-person meetings.
Mindy Support developed its own onboarding process to meet these challenges. While other companies are downsizing we are expanding and hiring new people every day. We were able to do this without losing the personal element involved in communication by using presentations and other visuals to show candidates what it’s like to work at Mindy Support, how we care for their safety and the opportunities we offer. In addition, we can also recommend that you take the following steps to improve your onboarding process.
Utilize Video Conferencing Tools
While you cannot bring people in for an orientation like you would normally do, you can introduce them to other team members via Skype or Zoom. While this may not be as good as a face-to-face meeting, it’s the next best thing. New employees will be able to see other people’s facial expressions, body language, and make eye contact with everybody which is critical for interpersonal communication.
The video conferencing tools mentioned above will also give your new hires an idea of what your office looks like. This can be done by preparing videos with a virtual tour that best depicts the working culture. Even if your video is not current, you should still use it because if remote workers see their co-workers in action they will feel a little less isolated.
Specify the Expectations
One of the first things you need to stipulate are the expectations because this will make sure that both you and your new employees are on the same page. Also, employees will be more successful if they know what is expected from them. It is important to also explain how the company will help them achieve the set goals such as providing trainings and access to shared resources. To set a clear time frame for benchmarking and measuring progress.
Be sure to verify that the person understands all of the tasks and knows how to use the tools necessary to get the job done. Tell them about any project you would like to start soon, company management, and access to shared resources. It is also a good idea to provide new employees with documentation detailing the onboarding process so they can use it as a reference if they have any questions.
Roll Out the Welcome Wagon
If you would like your new employees to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and generally feeling like they are part of the team, you will have to go above and beyond the traditional introductory processes. For example, if you would usually send out a general announcement that a particular person has just been hired, you will need to go out of your way a bit more. Try personally introducing them to other team members who they will be working with and tell them to whom they can turn to for answers to specific questions.
This is important for increasing job satisfaction, building relationships, and increasing the performance level of new employees.
Always Analyze and Refine Your Processes
Whenever you implement something new into the onboarding process, you should always review it for effectiveness and make the necessary changes if you are not happy with the results. You should always ask for feedback from current and new employees about their reactions to the onboarding process and try to learn the best practices from other remote employees who had the same experiences. Of course, it is also important to ask for feedback from the new hires who have just completed the new onboarding process since they can provide valuable insights as well.
Mindy Support continues to recruit and hire new remote workers every day since we are growing and opening new locations. All of our HR processes have shifted online and we conduct interviews, test tasks, and onboarding online while building personal relationships with the people that we hire. By having all of the necessary processes in place we are able to quickly recruit new candidates to assemble even the most sizable team.
Posted by Il’ya Dudkin