August 5, 2020, 0 Comments

Take Your Onboarding Completely Virtual, Even if You’re in the Office

With the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020, your company most likely transitioned to remote work to protect employees from the pandemic. This made virtual onboarding of new hires necessary. Chances are that your organization wasn’t prepared to move onboarding completely online. You may still be trying to figure out what works best, or how you can improve your process. Because onboarding is a vital part of the employee experience that increases employee retention, you need to continue working on it.

Whether you’re in the office or working remotely, follow these guidelines to provide virtual onboarding.

Spread Out Onboarding 

Schedule the onboarding process over five days. Since people learn best in short bursts, they will retain more information than if it’s given all at once. Create a calendar of full days of engagement with links for each session. Use interactive video sessions to provide an overview of the company, its culture, and products/services. Include video conferences with an onboarding buddy, managers, teammates, and leadership. Allow time to take breaks and answer questions. Finish the week with a quiz, scavenger hunt for online resources, or virtual happy hour.  

Provide Technology

Ensure your new hire has the proper technology to complete their work. If you ship them a laptop, include videos with step-by-step instructions for setting it up. This may include entering the right credentials to download the necessary software and programs. Include a contact name and number for the employee to call if they need help.

Promote Engagement

Make onboarding as interactive as possible. Ask managers to find creative ways to promote connections with new hires. This may include sending a welcome basket with branded gear to the employee’s home, reaching out with a welcome message before onboarding, or providing an onboarding buddy to share advice and navigate the new hire experience. Include breakout sessions, employee polls, chats, and virtual lunches and coffee breaks. Provide opportunities for having fun and connecting.  

Request Feedback

Ask for feedback in the weeks following onboarding. Showing employees are heard and valued promotes engagement and interest in the job. Make sure the new hire has enough resources to complete their work. Ask whether coworkers are promoting feelings of belonging through interactions. Ensure the new hire works in an empowering environment that encourages collaboration. Regularly follow up to continue improving the onboarding experience. 

Get Help with Virtual Onboarding

Even if you are back to working in the office, it’s in your best interest to keep your onboarding virtual. Many new hires will feel more comfortable working remotely and maintaining physical distance from others to protect themselves from COVID-19. Create a structured, scheduled process with lots of manager, team, and leadership participation to make onboarding effective. Building a strong foundation for a new hire to create relationships while learning their job responsibilities is one key to lasting employment with your organization.

For help implementing or improving your virtual onboarding process, talk with Arlington Resources. We have HR professionals who can work with your company to fill your onboarding needs. Learn more today.

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