In light of this, it may be useful to create a pre-onboarding process for your new starter, presenting them with a digital welcome package that can be easily circulated via email or host on a shared digital drive. Do this a few weeks before they are due to start. This may seem self-explanatory, however, there is a large proportion of companies that do not have these facilities in place. While 63% of employers have staff working remotely due to COVID-19, only 43% have remote company policies in place. In order to facilitate the changing work landscape, you should prioritize creating one.
The welcome packages should cover your companies policies and guidelines, so they know what is expected from them within their new role, allowing them to digest key information about your business. You should also set out an itinerary for them for the first few weeks, with each day broken down and structured into morning and afternoon tasks.
The welcome packages should also contain a main point of contact. If your company facilitates a ‘work buddy’ or mentoring process, make sure to include this within the welcome package too, so that they can reach out to the prospective person prior to starting.
The pre-onboarding stage is also a key opportunity to ensure all the tech requirements are in place. If the employee requires a work laptop, phone or various office equipment, make sure to send this over with ample time to set up their remote workplace. Given the nature of the government guidelines concerning COVID-19, deliveries may take longer than usual, so preparing in advance safeguards you from delayed delivery slots.
Set up all the necessary technology
Once the pre-onboarding process is complete, it is essential that your new starter has the necessary technological requirements expected to do the job role itself.
A desk, chair and computer is a prerequisite for most office employees when they join a new company. However, those candidates working remotely may not have this in their home. The pre-onboarding process should clarify what the new starter has and doesn’t have, which is then the responsibility of the employer to complete an ergonomic check and accommodate their technological needs.
It may be useful to set a budget for each remote worker when setting up a new home office. Present them with a list of office essentials.
Additionally, if you have a dedicated software specific to your company, make sure the candidate has access to a person who can set this up for them, as well as assist them in navigating the software. This can be organised as a set of meetings or in the shape of a dedicated online portal. Zoom / ringcentral or Microsoft team meetings are useful platforms to do this, as they have a function where you can share your desktop screen. It’s also free, saving your company money!
Set up an onboarding buddy/ mentor
As aforementioned, if your company facilitates a ‘mentoring’ style of learning, then this can be an extremely useful way of onboarding a client remotely. In addition to providing extensive knowledge of the company, mentors can assist in facilitating the integration of a new starter within the company. They can act as a first-line of communication and can help with providing answers to the new employees’ questions.
Unlike office culture, working from home can be lonely and in some cases (pardon the pun) an isolating experience. A work buddy / mentor can act as that friendly face and help the new starter be immersed within the business culture.
Set up a clear line of communication
By now, for those employees working remotely, your company will have established a line of communication to keep each worker connected. Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams have been integral platforms for a number of businesses to stay in touch and maintain usual business practice expected within the usual office environment.
While a new starter should have received a number of a specific person (i.e., HR manager) to contact during the onboarding process, other means of communication with a range of individuals within the company should be provided too. Setting up video conference calls with key members of the business is a priority during the onboarding process, as a way of decreasing any feelings of isolation. This will also help them understand the company ethos and gain a better feel of the company – understanding their brand values and how their role fits into the wider business strategies. They can also help build relationships with colleagues during various skype / zoom / microsoft teams conference calls.
It is always good business practice to schedule check ins with the new starter on a regular basis. A tip would be to get a member of the team / manager / buddy to pencil time aside to communicate with the employees, to ensure they are clear on the tasks at hand. This also provides a perfect opportunity to assign tasks and give feedback on the work the new starter has completed.
Make a memorable and lasting first impression as a business
While it is essential that an employee makes a great first impression, it is just as important for this to be reciprocated by the company. Indeed, 11 percent of individuals have changed their minds on a job role after being onboarded. Sending a warm welcome is essential to encourage and motivate your employers that they have made the right decision working for your company. Let them know how excited you are for them to join the company and reinforce this with regular contact from a multitude of individuals.
Over 17% of employees quit after their job after the first week. Therefore, it’s important to make the employee feel relaxed and at ease when joining your company
Set up training programs
Finally, make sure you set up a training program that will facilitate remote working.
It is important that induction training is varied to keep your new starter entertained and motivated. Endless days of compliance training, for example, will not be motivating! Ensure that your company’s employee value proposition is central to your training and do your best to bring it to life and make it relevant to the individual.
Make your training adaptable to the remote workplace. This could involve introductory videos about your business, team diagrams and short introductions to key personnel. The top tip would be to keep it varied and entertaining – refraining from a stagnant onboarding process.
Employers on a global scale are now seeing the huge benefits of a remote workforce. Despite the current pandemic forcing employees to stay within the confinement of their own home, it is predicted that nearly 40% of employees will continue remote work even after the pandemic is over. And we can see why! Companies are saving money exponentially on business premises and can recruit on a national scale – particularly those employees who have had previous experience working from home. They do not need to focus on candidates in the locality, as remote work facilitates onboarding on a global scale.
However, the trick is to ensure that your company is prepared for this. Being prepared and ready for remote working is essential to the functioning of your business. Follow these tips and you will be on the right tracks to onboarding amazing talent for your workplace. This is an investment that will surely pay off!