– by Beau Peters
Beau Peters is a creative professional with a lifetime of experience in service and care. As a manager, he’s learned a slew of tricks of the trade that he enjoys sharing with others who have the same passion and dedication that he brings to his work.
Thanks to the pandemic, virtual hiring, onboarding, and remote work are the norm. However, those processes are quite complex, and it can be hard to ensure you hit everything you need to when you’re in-person, much less in a virtual environment.
Did you know that the average new hire completes 54 activities during onboarding? How can you ensure that the process is completed well and that your new employee feels bonded to the company?
Here are some tips that can help.
Make the First Day Great
One of the best employee onboarding ideas is to make the first day memorable. In the office, it’s easier to personalize the first-day experience. However, just because you’re working virtually doesn’t mean you can let this go. Many new hires feel like their new managers are preoccupied with other things and don’t enjoy their first day.
Take the opportunity to make a new employee feel special and welcome. Meet with them on video, and consider having a group call to introduce them to the rest of the team. You can mail them special company swag or take other steps to help them feel bonded to the organization.
All new employees are nervous on their first day, so do everything you can to set clear expectations, encourage communication, and help them feel comfortable in their new assignment.
Assign a Buddy or Mentor
As a new hire, especially in a remote environment, it can be hard to know exactly where to go when you have questions or concerns. Often, the direct manager is busy, or the new employee doesn’t feel comfortable “bothering the boss.” Plus, most millennial new hires anticipate being mentored and find it critical to their success.
Make it easier to ask questions and learn the ropes by assigning the new employee a buddy or mentor from the team. This can be their go-to for support, questions, and clarification. This buddy should check in on the new employee regularly for the first few weeks of their tenure.
The right employee mentor or buddy has a strong understanding of the team’s work and has a great attitude about the organization. It’s important that a new hire is taught the right way of doing things from the start and that there aren’t undercurrents of negativity that affect their outlook.
Encourage a Lot of Communication
New employees may feel uncertain about what they can ask for or unclear about their role. It’s important to encourage communication — even over-communication — so that they feel comfortable. Everyone should be able to negotiate for what they need, regardless of their position with the company.
If they have something important come up that the buddy or mentor can’t handle, ensure that you make time to take care of it as quickly as you can. Part of helping a new employee feel like part of the team is having timely responses to their requests.
Make Sure They Understand Company Guidelines
There are a lot of rules and regulations buried in the company handbook that most people never read. It’s essential to bring up the most important guidelines in person or in writing aside from the guide.
For instance, you might have company rules about social media, device security, or using company resources in specific ways. Walk the new hire through these protocols so that they understand how to do things correctly.
No one wants to get in trouble in their first few weeks on the job because they weren’t aware of specific ground rules. Ensure that your new employee hits the ground running with a clear understanding of dos and don’ts!
Provide Training on Company Software and Tools
Even in today’s technological world, it’s not safe to assume that someone knows how to use a tool like Asana, Microsoft Teams, or even Zoom. Provide training on these tools in a way that is accessible and insist that there is no such thing as dumb questions.
Your organization probably has more specialized tools as well. Knowing the ins and outs of these programs may have been a requirement for the position, in which case you can probably skip the basics. For anything else, however, make sure there is judgment-free training available.
Make Goals and Standards Clear
When you start a new position, the first thing on your mind is making a great first impression. It’s much easier to do that when you know what’s expected of you. As a manager, leading remote teams may be a new challenge for you. One of the vital skills is communicating goals and expectations.
It’s best to use a combination of written and verbal instructions. You can provide written goals in an electronic format, but be sure to meet with your new team member to answer any questions they have and clearly describe the details of their assignments.
When your new team member understands what’s expected of them, they’ll be much more comfortable diving into their new assignments and making a positive impact!
Onboarding is Crucial for Employee Loyalty
A great onboarding experience can improve retention by up to 82%. Considering how much it costs — in time and money — to find and hire excellent candidates, that’s well worth the investment.
When you follow the tips above, you’ll do a great job bringing in your new remote employee and helping them feel at home with your organization. It’ll be the beginning of a great professional relationship.
Are you looking for new employees? If so, we can help. We have excellent connections to high-quality candidates that could be perfect for your organization. Find out what we can do for you today!