Due to COVID-19, employers have had to make significant changes to their business practices, including onboarding. Managers and new hires across the country are navigating the unchartered waters of remote onboarding. The onboarding process is one that is extremely important for both employers and employees. As such, employers should still prioritize onboarding new hires, even though their process will be conducted virtually instead of in-person due to COVID-19.
If you have new hires and will need to conduct your onboarding virtually, here are 5 tips that will help your process run smoothly:
1. Meet with them in-person on their first day, if possible
If your local laws allow for it, try to meet with new hires at the office to welcome them to the company, get them set up with any necessary equipment and deliver any printed training materials. Be sure to test the equipment to make sure it works before you both leave the office. Keep social distancing guidelines in mind when meeting with new hires, which include keeping a 6-foot distance at all times. While it may seem odd, avoid shaking hands to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
2. Set clear expectations
This is already an important factor in a face-to-face onboarding process. However, because your onboarding is now being done remotely and you’re not there in-person to monitor a new hire’s progress, setting expectations becomes even more important. Expectations that should be discussed include the company’s values, the team’s objectives and the new hire’s responsibilities.
3. Don’t overwhelm new hires with too much training
Training new hires remotely isn’t ideal for managers or the new employee. If possible, only train new hires on the skills that are absolutely essential for them to be able to do their job. Overwhelming new employees with too much information at once when they’re working from home can lead to confusion, stress and frustration.
4. Check in with new hires daily
Having employees work from home can become isolating. When a new hire has to work from home, it can lead to feeling lost. Schedule a daily call or video chat to help new hires feel like they are part of the team and give them the opportunity to ask questions.
5. Match a new hire with a remote mentor
Assigning mentors to new hires is a great onboarding method both in-person and remotely. It gives new hires someone to contact for questions. Encourage mentors to have daily check-ins with new hires to establish a professional relationship and help the new hires feel included. This is a win-win for your new hires and your mentors; It encourages communication and team building – which are two factors that might be affected by a remote work environment.
For More Information
An effective onboarding program, regardless of whether it’s in-person or remote, provides employers with a solid starting point and sets a foundation for a strong company-employee relationship. While onboarding your new hires remotely may not be your first choice, COVID-19 has required employers across the country to get creative. For more information about how your organization can respond to COVID-19, or for additional onboarding resources, contact Carrera Lee.