Onboarding new employees has been carried out remotely for the most part since the start of the coronavirus crisis. Under these difficult conditions, how can you keep remote workers enthusiastic about their new jobs and make sure that they are engaged with the company? And how can you keep your finger on the pulse at the same time, so that you can straighten out any problems in the onboarding process as quickly as possible?
- Give new employees a buddy
Employees who start a job working remotely can have a lack of clarity about their role. So, it makes sense to match each new employee with a defined onboarding contact. These “buddies” can reduce the fear factor around asking questions such as: “What actually is my role? How will we work together? What do you think will happen in the short term within our team and within the organization? What do you expect from me? If I want to do my job properly, what do I need to watch out for?”
- Explicitly ask new employees what problems they are facing
Ask in what situations employees find that they are experiencing difficulties in carrying out their new role. Because with remote working, colleagues aren’t always available when new employees are facing problems, it makes sense to explicitly ask about the difficulties that they face. You may also have to schedule more calls than usual and, if necessary, to meet in person, bearing in mind health and safety measures.
- Help employees build up a network
In general, even under normal circumstances, not all employees are aware that it’s important to build up a network themselves within the company — and this is even more difficult to do when working remotely. That’s why it may be useful to help new employees plan targeted conversations with colleagues who will be important contacts when carrying out their work tasks, including colleagues in other departments.
- Explain the company culture
The company culture can be directly addressed during one-to-one online conversations. It’s very difficult to get to know the culture from behind your computer screen, so you need to make lots of aspects explicit. Like: How do you handle risks? If you win a customer but you don’t have time to consult beforehand, can you make a decision on your own right away? Is that allowed here? Or do you have to run everything by the director first? Or: What’s the etiquette? How do you express appreciation, for example? The particular questions will vary depending on job, department and country.
- Reassure new employees
It’s very important that you reassure new employees who work remotely. Emphasize that onboarding will be a little slower than in the office and try to adjust the expectations of new employees. This will stop them wondering whether they have made the right choice, or feeling insecure. New employees really want to demonstrate as soon as possible that they can make a valuable contribution, but this is sometimes a bit more difficult remotely and in times that are uncertain. It therefore makes sense to explain that and to say as clearly as possible that this situation is a little more difficult, and that everyone knows that. And that it can sometimes be difficult for existing employees to work from home as well.
- Find out why employees leave companies prematurely
Contact with (new) employees is crucial nowadays if you want to avoid high turnover rates and ensure that everyone can perform to the best of their abilities. Continuous listening, where you regularly ask employees for feedback via pulse checks, is ideal for this. This allows you to discover what is going wrong and what you can do about it before it is too late. Only by implementing procedures such as this are you able to use feedback from your employees to improve things from within, always stay a step ahead the competition and enjoy sustainable success.