Remote Onboarding Checklist, by Electra Learning
Making a new hire feel welcome remotely is a challenge all sectors are facing in the unprecedented times of the Coronavirus pandemic. Adapting innovatively to the remote onboarding process ensures that recruitment efforts are not wasted.
Feelings of uncertainty will be high. There will be additional pressure on a new hire with the media filled with stories of hiring freezes, cost cutting and redundancies. Be reassuring about company plans going forward, use the fact that you are hiring during the downturn to celebrate success.
Listed below are some tips to help navigate this new environment and make onboarding as smooth and successful an experience as possible.
UPDATE ONBOARDING PROCEDURE
- Avoid assuming that the existing approach to onboarding is appropriate for onboarding remotely. Innovate or create new processes with a focus on detail. With a lack of face to face facilitation, (inductions, tours, training) adding structure to the first few weeks means that new starts are not left twiddling their thumbs and feeling demotivated and unsure.
- Do not assume that the current team know how to onboard using remote tools and processes. Train the team in the change of behaviours and best practices required for onboarding remotely.
- Invite the new start to a Q&A session, invite them to feedback about the onboarding process. Perhaps offer guidance/training on giving feedback appropriate to your company to give them the confidence to be open, honest and constructive.
- Be sure not to neglect the need for human interaction, even if your updated remote onboarding processes are excellent.
New hires shouldn’t have to wait for instruction, be very clear with expectations. Send a welcome email 1-2 weeks prior to their start date with the itinerary for the first few weeks to a increased level of detail, perhaps broken down that to daily task level. Include in the email the contact details for main points of contact (at least their line manager and HR representative.) Give them access to the Company handbook, and a quick start guide to accessing and using any training platform. State when IT hardware will arrive and how (plus who to contact with issues). Provide them with the details of any buddy or mentor, who that person will be, contact details and when they will be in touch.
Take the time to understand a new hire’s individual situation. Collate the correct data such as what tech do they have at home? Any potential issues such as connectivity? Do they have the space to work and other challenges to home working, such as family and external environment challenges. What is their vulnerability to Covid19? (Can be used to develop a staggered return to work as isolation measures are relaxed)
- Over communicate and over engage. Arrange regular one to one sessions via video with line management. Be accessible, available to continuously answer questions (There is a need to be more accessible than ever).
- Clearly define expectations by going through the job description and reviewing responsibilities. Proactively answer questions a new start might be reluctant to ask. For example, questions about vacation, bonus or reimbursement procedures.
- It is important to strike a balance between creating clear and open communications and micromanagement. Communications can be reduced in intensity over time as the new hire becomes more confidently embedded in the business.
- Arrange a team video conference on the first day to give as friendly a welcome as they would if working in an office environment.
- Discuss the best way to communicate, how to troubleshoot communication apps and how different team members prefer to communicate.