4 Ways to Virtually Onboard Employees

Woman on a video chat

The COVID-19 pandemic will be with us for the foreseeable future, so having a virtual onboarding strategy is an essential part of getting back to work and ensuring employee success. Since your new hires will most likely miss out on traditional onboarding in an office, it’s crucial to have a virtual onboarding process that makes them feel engaged and a valued addition to the team. We’re sharing our four ways to virtually onboard employees successfully.

Create a Virtual Onboarding Plan

Before you can successfully onboard new employees, your organization most likely will need to create a virtual onboarding plan. The old processes of having your new hire sit in the office filling out seemingly endless forms and paperwork are gone – maybe for good – so it’s time to tweak your traditional process to fit the new virtual world. 

Here’s a simple breakdown for creating a virtual onboarding process before your new hire starts. 

  1. Change all your physical paperwork into editable PDFs. It’s also a good practice to send these digital files to your new hire after the offer is accepted but prior to their start date. This will save time; they’ll need to do admin work and let them start training faster.
  2. Plan their first week schedule. If your new hire meets with various departments, these departments should have an overview presentation prepared to walk the new hire through how each department contributes to the business. 
  3. Set up their technology before your new hire starts. This will save time and headaches for your new hire trying to set up their systems. We’ll cover this further in this blog.
  4. Subscribe to the notion you cannot over-communicate with your new hire. Stay in contact with them between the offer acceptance and start date. Provide a clear agenda for their first week schedule and check-in with them regularly after they start.

Have Their Tech Ready Beforehand

Have their tech ready and set up before your new hire starts at your company. Your IT department should prepare your new hire’s computer, phone, and any other tech they’ll need to perform their job successfully before their first day, and then your company should either mail or drop off the new hire’s tech for their first day. When a new hire opens their laptop, they can download needed software and programs just by entering the right credentials. 

Having your new hire’s tech ready beforehand not only will make their transition into their new role more manageable, but it will also show them they’re already a valued member of the team. Being remote, your new hire won’t have to worry or troubleshoot through setting up their computer or downloading any software they’ll need when the company preps their tech before they start. In other words, your new hire will be one step closer to hitting the ground running.

Don’t Try to Cover Everything in One Day

Starting a new job is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming for your new hire. Help set them up for success by spreading their onboarding and training over their first week. Don’t try to cover everything in one day with your new hire. Make an onboarding plan that covers the different areas they’ll need to know over the course of their first weeks. Create a plan for your new hire to meet virtually with any necessary departments and give them that schedule on their first day. 

Spreading out the onboarding and training over your new hire’s first week helps them stem the overflow of information they’re taking in so they can absorb it better. Avoiding covering everything in one day also helps keep your new hire from becoming too overwhelmed by the influx of new information – leading to longer employee retention.

Keep Them Engaged and Connected

Besides getting to know the company and their role, successful onboarding includes your new hire getting to know their co-workers. Being virtual means your new hire will miss out on the face-to-face conversation and connection with their co-workers. Prevent them from feeling isolated by keeping them engaged and connected to the team. This can be done by having a 1:1 with their new manager within their first week, setting up a Zoom lunch with their team, and assigning one of their teammates to be their virtual “buddy” to answer any questions they have and make them feel more comfortable.

Having your new hire feel engaged and connected in their work and with their team is a vital step in any successful virtual onboarding experience – in fact, it can be a major factor in long-term retention. Successful virtual onboarding also includes taking time to have their tech prepped and ready to go as well as spreading out the training throughout their first week. By following these three steps for proper virtual onboarding, you’re ensuring your new hire, existing staff, and business’s bottom line are set up for success.

About EG Workforce Solutions

We’ve been in this business for decades and have developed a deep network of professional connections. Whether they’re companies looking for talent, job seekers looking for work, or an up-and-coming store in need of some temporary help, we know the right people to bridge the gap between the hiring and the hired.

But what’s more, we get to know people. From employers hiring to candidates looking, we take the time to listen and learn. We hear your likes, talents, and needs. We gain an understanding, and with it, we’re able to facilitate lasting relationships between businesses and people.

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