Onboarding in a Covid World

The onboarding process is crucial to orient new recruits to a company and its culture. Starting in a new company can be a daunting experience for new employees, an onboarding process can give them a sense of belonging and make them feel welcome. Unfortunately, for most businesses the normal recruitment and onboarding process that we are all familiar with, has fell victim to Covid-19. Most recruiting at present is being done remotely. The same holds true for the onboarding process. Both can be challenging, especially if remote work is new to your company’s work culture.  

Remote workers can find remote working very isolating and lonely, this is even more true for employees who are new to the company. If you are planning on hiring staff, its important you have a remote onboarding plan in place for remote workers. Some points to include in your onboarding plan to ensure the new employee feels welcome are:

  • Introducing them to the team: A vital part of the remote onboarding process is to integrate the new employee into the team and business and have them feel comfortable and welcome. This can be done through a group email or preferably through a group video call. By introducing them on a video call it puts a face to the name and breaks the ice, it can be daunting for the new employee to have to ring a co-worker they have never met.

 

  • Digitize the induction paperwork: One of the most time-consuming elements to onboarding a new employee is the paperwork. Instead of posting or emailing contracts and relevant paperwork to the new employee, digitize the documents. This way you can email the contract and relevant forms, and these can be signed electronically and instantly using various applications. This saves time on printing and scanning forms, paperless is the way forward.

 

  • Getting set up for remote working: Arrange for any hardware or software to be delivered and installed for remote working before the employee’s start date. Ensure that the IT manager is in regular contact with the new employee to assist with any equipment set up or issues they may be facing.

 

  • Communicate the company’s culture: It can be difficult for a new employee to absorb the company’s culture remotely. Be proactive and communicate the company’s culture and values at the beginning of the onboarding process. Include the history of the company, the future for the company, goals, achievements or milestones, vision statements and mission statements, share an employee handbook, again this can all be digitized.

 

  • Have a buddy system in place: It would be helpful to pair your new staff with remote co-workers who have been with the company a long time. They can help answer any questions new recruits may have about the work and/or about the company.

 

  • Check in regularly: Starting in a new company can be an anxious time for new employees. With remote working it is harder to feel connected via email. It is important to check in with new employees at regular intervals so that they don’t feel abandoned or disconnected. Encourage them to voice their queries, concerns and opinions.   

 

  • Ask for feedback: When new employees have settled in, always ask them for feedback on their onboarding experience, is there anything you could change or improve on when it comes to the remote onboarding experience, be open to their ideas.

 

Coronavirus is undoubtedly impacting the way we do businesses right now. The remote working implication is a huge learning curve for us all, but if we put policies in place, such as an effective remote onboarding process, it can help maintain your best practices and values within your company.