Abhijeet Ganguly is a certified Human Resource professional from HRCI. He has around 9 years of experience in all gamut of HR domain.
COVID-19 has prompted companies to make improvements to their business processes. Several businesses around the world have switched to a remote workforce. That means firms moving forward with hiring plans will most likely virtually onboard on new employees. Hence, a positive onboarding experience is necessary to increase the likelihood that new team members will stay and remain engaged for a certain tenure.
Onboarding vs Remote Onboarding
Onboarding is the action or process of integrating a new employee into an organization and familiarizing them with one's products or services. The onboarding done virtually is Remote Onboarding.
What is effective onboarding?
An effective onboarding program, irrespective of an in-person program or a remote program, provides employers with an opportunity to communicate their values to new hires and explain "why they do what they do".
Why does onboarding need to be effective?
Onboarding helps new hires adjust to the social and performance aspects of their jobs so they can quickly become productive, contributing members of the organization.
- First impressions count - If the onboarding process is haphazard, new hires may start job hunting again before day one finishes.
- They feel more engaged with the organization. Effective onboarding helps employees gain the tools and knowledge they need to be productive and happy. This effort for the employee, their experience, and their success could make them more engaged.
- They feel more associated with their colleagues. Effective onboarding often involves "getting to know you" work activities and training with coworkers. These efforts offer an opportunity for new employees to develop relationships that would help them feel more embraced and connected.
- They feel more blended into the organizational culture. New employees would be well acquainted with the company culture and values if integrated during onboarding.
Tips for Onboarding Employees Remotely During the Covid-19 Pandemic
Managers and prospective recruits around the world tackle the uncharted seas of Remote Onboarding. Below are some tips to ensure an effective remote onboarding.
- Greet them well. In an ideal scenario, all new remote hires would come to the workplace for a day or two to see their peers in person and get a sense of the culture of the company. Since this is not possible, then they should be greeted with a face-to-face video chat with the hiring manager. It helps new hires to understand the social and professional expectations from their current employer more effectively than a phone call. A "support kit" that has a mouse pad, a cap with the company logo etc. should be sent to new remote hires, to make them feel they are part of a team.
- Make onboarding interesting. Plan the content for remote new hires. A recorded video of employee describing the topics would be effective than evaluation at the end of each topic.
- Stop overwhelming with too much training. Overwhelming remote new hires with extreme information at once will contribute to confusion, stress and frustration. Train new hires on the skills that are necessary to do their job.
- Set clear expectations. The expectations related to company values, the team’s objectives, and the new hire’s responsibilities to be established in the first week of joining.
- Be connected. Remote work can become isolating, especially for new hires. Connect daily through a call or video chat to help new hires feel like part of the team. Assign mentors to new hires. It gives new hires platform to contact for questions.
Sourcing talent is only one part and providing the environment to thrive is the other part. Nobody knows how long this crisis will last. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced employers to become creative using careful planning and consideration. Using the above steps as guidance, one can help new hires get acclimated to thrive in their new work environment and weather the storm.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2020 Abhijeet Ganguly