Facing the New Normal of Virtual Onboarding

Living during a respiratory pandemic means making strategic decisions about the number of people you’ll meet every day. Experts say that fewer social contacts translate to a lower infection rate, so it’s no surprise that almost everything, from concerts to interviews, is currently happening via Zoom.

Employee onboarding is one of the many, many activities now taking place virtually. While the tech makes it possible, the process remains far from perfect. Here’s what companies like yours can do to improve the virtual onboarding experience. 

Create a New Hire Schedule of Activities

You wouldn’t onboard a new employee in a single hour in ‘normal’ times, so there’s no reason to do so just because you can send them links to all your documentation.

Every new employee should get a schedule of activities for their first week so they know what to expect. Include events like:

  • Going over the employee handbook
  • Completing paperwork with HR
  • Discussing company culture and expectations
  • Setting up technology with IT
  • Meetings with direct supervisors and other key stakeholders

Don’t forget to build time in for a conversation. Your goal isn’t just to inform but to build a relationship with your new employee. 

A few other good ideas include adding a ‘new hire social’ to the calendar. Set up a Zoom call for all new hires and their teammates to mix socially and chat. If you want to go the extra mile, you can set up a guided discussion or even a game to play during the session!

Go Further with Weekly and Monthly Check-ins

Don’t limit your program to the first week of work. Think of it like school: if your teacher never checked in after your first week in school, you could easily fall behind and you’d both be bewildered by the end of the term.

Schedule in sessions for check-ins, with supervisors, and with HR. Supervisor check-ins should be weekly, and company check-ins should be monthly. These give your new employees a chance to ask questions, clarify issues, and bring up any problems or roadblocks they face.

Use Starter Packs to Make Their New Job Tangible

For many people, a new job doesn’t come with much change. The only physical difference they see is in their direct deposit. You can make your culture and brand feel more real with some simple touches – like swag packs.

Send over a company polo, travel mug, laptop case, or whatever else makes sense for your group.

It’s a small touch, but it is a physical reminder that they’re part of the team.

Use Virtual Onboarding to Welcome New Employees

Virtual onboarding is here, and it could become the new normal for years. Companies can use it successfully, but you can’t rely on a single video call to do all the heavy lifting. You also need to find appropriate and on-brand ways to make employees feel welcome and engaged.

Did you know? Employee engagement starts at the interview stage. Get in touch to learn how RightStone recruits and interviews the perfect fit for every client.

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