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Our Guide to Remote Onboarding

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Companies of all sizes, sectors and locations are continuing to work remotely as they seek to maintain their usual business functions. This is emphasised following the Prime Minister's announcement on the 10th May, as businesses will still have to work from home as much as possible for the foreseeable future.

One new challenge that many are facing is that of onboarding new employees to the business – remotely. This can feel daunting if you’ve never done it before, but these tips will help you to feel confident and prepared, offering you and your new hire the best chance of success.

Preparation is essential
Before your new employee even has their first day in the business, you need to ensure that you are prepared for their virtual arrival. This should involve organising their main point of contact, line manager responsibilities and if you have a mentorship scheme set up internally, assigning this role within the team. Ensuring that your team are aware of their roles in relation to the new placement is essential and is all part of a clear communications strategy.

You should also take this time to share an overview of the company and policies with your new hire, in order for them to be prepared for their first day in the new role. If you have one, providing them with your business or employee handbook could also be useful.

As your new employee won’t be entering the physical workplace, it is important to ensure the delivery of all relevant technology and supporting materials. Aim for the new recruit to receive this in advance of the start date, allowing them to check that they have everything they need and that it works properly. Your role in this should also be to set up all relevant emails, and accounts and allow all necessary permissions.

First impressions really do count
To ensure that the first day runs smoothly, you need to remember that first impressions count, and treating this virtual first day just like one in the office would be is important.

Introduce the team, perhaps through a company meeting during their first day, where you can outline roles and responsibilities. Depending on the size of your business, you could use this as a chance to encourage each of your employees, or team members to say something about themselves. A first day would typically involve a grand tour of the office, but this can’t be the case in these virtual times. Instead you can replace this with plenty of screen time with their new colleagues to create an inclusive environment.

Set out a clear schedule for the first week, which must incorporate a virtual video meeting with their new line manager. The purpose of this is to ensure that your new employee understands what their role involves and provides the opportunity for them to ask and address any initial questions.

Taking the focus to the future
As you look to the future, embracing your new employee within the business is imperative. Onboarding a new member of staff requires dedication, focus and attention to ensure they continue to be made to feel welcome.

Make sure that you set up induction sessions with relevant departments across the business including HR, IT, marketing and finance to provide a wider understanding of what the business is seeking to achieve. This can also involve discussing targets, key deliverables and by involving your workforce in your long-term vision, it will help to embed them within the company culture and align their values to your own. 

As part of these communications, the initial onboarding process is a good time to map out any training opportunities to upskill, enhance and retain this talent long-term. Take an early and continued interest in the development of your team; they will be the ones to drive the vision and future of your business.

There is a clear need to ensure that a positive virtual onboarding experience is executed in order to enhance a new employee’s engagement with, and ongoing commitment to, the business. If you are looking to make a new hire during this time, then get in touch today.

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