Businesses have been forced to adapt their onboarding process in the age of COVID-19. The switch from in-person to remote hiring can be a make-or-break process for your company. It is important for your new employees to feel as welcomed in their remote workspace, as they would in your traditional office set-up.
Luckily, technology is one step ahead of us. As Starbucks runs become virtual coffee breaks, you will be more prepared than ever to build your virtual team.
Here are 6 tips from Toronto recruiters to successfully onboard candidates from the remote office space:
1. Make Your Expectations Clear
Avoid any miscommunication by outlining exactly what you expect from your employees from the get-go. Do you want daily or weekly updates? Should they be tracking their hours, or do you have set hours for them to work each day? The more transparent you are with what you want done, the more efficient your employees can work.
2. Facilitate a Successful Orientation
First impressions are important. Through software applications like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Webex you can host an initial meeting with new hires to outline company culture, expectations, and to introduce everyone to each other. Run additional orientation sessions on an individual-level (signing legal forms, IT set-up) and with department teams (specific job training).
3. Implement a Buddy Program
Without the convenience of going to the office next door to ask a question, new employees may feel a lack of guidance and support. By setting up all new employees with an individual buddy, they will be more comfortable asking questions, in turn increasing productivity and self-efficacy. “91% of employees who have a mentor in the workplace are satisfied in their current job” says Laura Wronski and Jon Cohen in a CNBC article.
4. Schedule Recurring Virtual Meetings
Foster a positive workplace environment by implementing scheduled check-ins. Run daily company-wide meetings at a set time (the beginning of the workday or before lunch are the best). Insist that each department head leads a weekly meeting with their team to discuss achievements and goals. Plan 1-on-1 meetings with each new hire to answer questions or concerns, either weekly or at your discretion. There is no such thing as too much communication in the remote workplace.
5. Set Short- and Long-Term Goals
Working in isolation and without being surrounded by people with a like-mindset can result in decreased motivation. By setting weekly goals and communicating them through a checklist format, your new hire can “check-off” each task as they go, providing them a sense of accomplishment. While you are at it, ask them for a few professional goals they wish to achieve in the long run. This will give them a clearer image of what they are working towards.
6. Give and Receive Feedback
Ask your employees for honest and critical feedback on your onboarding process. Not only will this increase productivity, it will create open and honest communication. Feedback is a two-way street. Ensure you are providing your new employee with feedback during their initial week. “68% of workers feel more fulfilled in their job when they are consistently receiving accurate feedback” says Amelia Peacock on the Clutch Blog.