Author: Diana Blazaitiene | Owner of Soprana International Personnel |IPTER Lithunia
Productivity, commitment, and retention are all boosted by an innovative onboarding program for the online team. With the lack of workplace visits, staff drinks, gift cards, and encounters with new colleagues, managers must find ways to make recruits feel comfortable and enthusiastic. As many organizations are trying to figure out how to build a virtual onboarding program, we came up with the 10 best strategies that could improve the welcoming process of new employees even when they have not had an opportunity to meet management in person.
As new hires begin working online with a team, the company requires creative and inventive approaches to prepare and integrate them. It’s critical to ensure that the systems are well-organized when bringing on new hires and to keep all paperwork up to date, but it’s especially important when training remote staff.
- Make sure to adjust your orientation and training plan
Develop your data flow so that you provide the most important information to your recruit right away, but don’t confuse them by revealing it all at once. Note that you should gradually provide them details over their first few weeks at your company. You must establish a coordinated procedure to onboard a virtual worker, even more so than for traditional in-person training. This is true not only for the workers‘ first day of work but also for any precheck or continuing events you arrange for them.
- Encourage workers to communicate and ask questions
Traditionally, a boss will swing by a new hire’s desk regularly to check how the process is going. Executives today instead communicate with their employees via email, text, and web conferencing. No matter how you’re connecting with new staff, the interpersonal aspect of communication should be addressed. Humans feel uncomfortable in unfamiliar circumstances. A recruit will experience the same insecurity as a student experiencing a new school change might, asking: „How can I build relationships when all these people have already known each other for a long time?“ A successful onboarding system will calm nerves and assure fears.
- Build a connection with new workers before onboarding
Managers should meet with recruits often from the moment they agree to their job offer. Companies should consider increasing the pace of these interactions as we transition to online training, build comprehensive plans, and attempt to be as simple and clear in communication as possible to prepare employees for the actual onboarding sessions.
- First day = First video
So far, the closest option to a real-life meeting is a video conference. So, the best solution is to use simultaneous video conferencing for first-day training so there can be plenty of time for questions and multiple contacts. Always remember to schedule regular breaks. Since you won’t be in the same physical environment as the recruits, it’ll be more difficult to detect facial signals that indicate when they’re about to gloss over or need to get a coffee to refresh and reset.
- Provide workers with all needed equipment and software in advance
If your company provides employee’s laptops or other devices for work, be prepared to ship them to their homes and provide instructions on how to install all needed programs ahead of time. Also, prepare in advance all credentials and logins, so everyone would be able to connect to the company’s system even before the first day of onboarding. By doing this you can save the time of installing the software and go directly to training.
- Keep workers engaged and check how are they feeling during the meeting
„Zoom exhaustion“ is real. It’s the effect after extensively being on online platforms. We need to quickly realize what we as employers, will have to do to maintain employees are involved in the process of onboarding. It is easy to lose attention during long online meetings and especially depending on the number of distractions that we have around us. As a manager, try to ask questions frequently to check on workers and prepare some additional time for unexpected „recharge“ breaks.
- Promote the company’s values
A good organization must have a community founded around a collection of deeply held and commonly expressed values backed up by policy and framework. Three incidents occur when a firm’s culture is established: Workers are informed of how senior leadership expects them to behave in any case, they accept that the expected response is the correct one, and they are aware that upholding the organization’s principles is respected.
- Create a checklist
Through the first period of working, all recruits should be given a checklist of activities to accomplish at their own rate. Those tasks are filled with background data that will give them a comprehensive understanding of a company, namely details on the website, various divisions, and the firm’s background.
- Establish a Buddy program
A Buddy is a knowledgeable and committed group member who is well-versed in the workplace setting. They can devote time, be available, and collaborate with and support the new hire during their first few months of employment.
To give an additional layer of peer reinforcement and support to incoming workers, you may consider connecting all of the recruits with a current employee volunteer, possibly from a separate team or department. Colleague/Buddies will help recruits with non-position-related cultural issues, like taking them on a facility tour, presenting them to other workers and so much more!
- Help teams organize online coffee breaks
Since new hires won’t be visiting the workplace or greeting people in person due to online onboarding, look for other ways to recreate that experience. Ask recruiting leaders to put together a list of individuals for whom a new employee may have simulated coffee chats. This usually covers their entire staff and any cross-functional colleagues they may interact with daily. Employees can have a virtual coffee meeting and a friendly conversation with other incoming workers or the ones who already have been working for some time. This activity boosts team spirit as well as helps new hires adjust to the working environment faster.
Although online onboarding is a new concept for the majority of businesses, some well-known firms, such as Dell and Marriott, have been doing it for years and have figured out their paths to growth. Developing an interactive onboarding template helps you prepare every phase of the training and gives new virtual workers special moments. Participation, acquisition, and talent management will all improve for companies that master their onboarding process. Engaging the staff to go above and beyond to make recruits feel accepted and respected is almost a guarantee to transform each new hire into active business representatives.