Onboarding new employees remotely

Aug 17, 2020


By Lyndsey Hall


Onboarding new team members can be difficult and time consuming at the best of times. Now businesses are learning how to onboard remote employees during lockdown and social distancing.

The key to successfully integrating new team members who are working remotely is to offer a structured onboarding process. They may feel strange joining a company while working from home during the current phase of lockdown, so making them feel welcome is important.

Send a welcome package

One nice way to help new recruits feel part of a team is by sending them a welcome package.

This might include a welcome letter from the CEO, IT equipment such as a laptop, mouse, keyboard, etc. In addition, try to include some branded goodies such as a coffee mug, headphones, or a t-shirt. You can even throw in some edible goodies, such as a box of tea bags and a packet of biscuits to really make them feel positive about their new role.

Introduce the team

Set up calls or virtual meetings with other team members during their first few days on the job to help them get to know their new colleagues. It can also be helpful to assign a buddy to each new joiner. Their buddy can act as a key point of contact during their first few weeks in the role, helping them find out how to contact IT, find policy documents, or act as a sounding board as they learn the day-to-day aspects of their new role.

Communication tools

Ensure that your new recruits understand how to use all key communication tools. This might include company email, group messaging, video conferencing tools such as Skype, Zoom, MS Teams etc.

Make sure their calendar is preloaded with any weekly and monthly meetings that they need to attend, and give them a chance to get caught up and settled in before calling on them to share their thoughts in front of the team.

Goals and expectations

In advance of their first day, new joiners should be provided with a schedule of training and onboarding sessions. Their manager should also set up a call on their first morning in the role, to set out goals and expectations. Regular one to one meetings should be set up to discuss progress, resolve potential issues and help the new joiner to get up to speed as quickly as possible. Doing these meetings over video conference can be more effective as it can be helpful to read the body language of a new starter so that you can identify whether or not they feel comfortable with the tasks that are being assigned – most communication is visual, after all.

Have you recruited any new team members during lockdown? How did you find the process of onboarding a new employee remotely? Let us know in the comments or on Linkedin.

Related articles:

The Future of Work

Leading a remote team during uncertain times

How to recruit and retain top talent


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