Onboarding and training are important steps in the hiring process. That's because when a new candidate joins the team, they need to know everything clearly. Whether it's offering insights into the job role or familiarising them with the company policies, job onboarding includes a lot of steps!
However, when it comes to a virtual team, onboarding and training occur remotely. So, what are the best ways to ensure successful remote onboarding and training? If you're thinking so, then here are some best practices for engaging a new hire in your remote team:
Instead of a generic and boring pre-onboarding process, try out something more innovative. Generally, remote pre-onboarding includes sending emails and initiating documentation. But you can add a unique touch with welcome messages, gift hampers, hardware/supplies delivery, etc.
Welcome messages, as in, you can ask your HR department to write a dedicated email to the new hire. Alternatively, you can ask them to record a welcome video message. You can also schedule a one-on-one between HR and the candidate for a pre-onboarding interaction. In fact, that would be a better way to discuss the dos of the documentation. During the one-on-one, you can share their login credentials and introduce them to their teams.
Similarly, if you have any welcome gifts/handbooks for your new hires, this is the best time to send them the same. It's also an impressive way to interact with new hires before they start their journey. Along with the gifts, make sure to send in other essentials like the equipment and peripherals (PCs, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, etc.) to their home.
Send the Work Schedule
After the welcome gifts and other formalities, tell them about the work schedule for the first day. It's recommended to divide their training schedule into simple and understandable steps. We recommend documenting things in a planner, so it can serve as a reference for them later. The more they understand, the better they'll be able to keep pace with the learning regime.
You can further elaborate on the office login/log-out times, flexible hours, breaks, etc. In this step, the idea is to define the work schedule as thoroughly as you can. So, cover the important points and make sure the candidate is aligned with them.
Familiarise with Company Culture
Remote or not, a company must define its company culture to the new employees. Make sure to explain the sets of beliefs, attitudes, values, purposes, standards, and behaviors of the company to the newly hired employee. Also, tell them about both written and unwritten rules for people.
Remember that the company culture is the foundation of a company. Besides, when an employee is more familiar and aligned with the company culture, they're more likely to work with the organization for the long term. Also, they would know how the top management wants them to respond. So, defining company culture should be one of the first steps in the remote onboarding and training period.
Explain the Work Expectations
When you're onboarding a new employee, they're completely unaware of the work expectations. Although they must have read their job description, but again it's just a brief up about their roles. They need to know their job role more comprehensively.
For that, you can schedule a dedicated one-on-one between the reporting manager and the employee, so they can be more clear about their responsibilities. You can further ease things by making a video demonstration of their working regime. When an employer is clearer about their work expectations, the employee is less likely to get confused in the future.
Engaging Through Activities
As it's not a traditional office setup, new hires may miss out on early interactions with their fellow employees. That's why it's best to engage them with different office activities like virtual break rooms, virtual company events, friendly challenges, show and learn sessions, and more.
Another great way to engage is to include them in a virtual water cooler. It's a great activity for new hires to start their little chit-chat with employees, popularly known as the water cooler conversation. Once they know their team better, it'll be easier for them to sustain themselves in the company.
Assign a Buddy During Training
What's better than a buddy to be by your side during the training period? Nothing! That's why, for that added comfort and better assistance, assign an office buddy to the new hire. They can work as peer mentors who answer their relevant questions and offer informal training about the company's work culture. As it's more of a friendly relationship, new hires can be more open and direct with their queries to them.
Now, who can you assign the "buddy" role to? Well, reach out to any team member who you think is more collaborative and communicative with people, and go for them! Ask them to socialize with the new hire and resolve their queries during the initial days.
Ask for Feedbacks
In a remote office setup, there's no way to find out whether the new hire is satisfied with the onboarding process. Plus, the lack of physical interactions makes it tough to interpret. However, you have to know if you're going right with your onboarding process or not. For that, you can schedule feedback calls.
Feedback calls are the best ways for employers to ask whether the new hires are satisfied with their job onboarding process and what things can work better for them. You can ask them specific questions to receive constructive feedback.
Feedback calls are also ideal for making employees feel heard. It puts a great impression on the new hires, and they can sense how you're attentive toward them. Eventually, it can boost team morale and ensure employee engagement in a team.
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