Onboarding New Employees Remotely in 2020

The uncertainty around the effect of COVID-19 in the workplace has forced companies to think about extending the period in which employees are working from home. This will also be the case for those that are currently furloughed. Some companies such as Twitter have said that they will allow employees to work from home permanently, even after authorities allow workers to return to the office. With this new reality, companies will have to prepare to continue with their recruitment process, re-evaluating their onboarding strategy and making suitable changes to onboard people from home.

In order to thrive and onboard new starters successfully in these conditions, companies will have to ensure that new practices are in order. Team managers will have to create an environment and culture of togetherness for new employees as it is possible they may not see another colleague in person for an extended period of time so making them feel part of the team is imperative.

To help you during this process, we have put together some useful tips on how you can successfully onboard a new employee from home.

Review your Processes

Onboarding correctly is important now more than ever. The lack of physical interaction should not be used as an excuse for not introducing, training or making sure that your new starter has everything they need to do their job. With that being said, you will need to review your new starter pack and onboarding process. Most companies already have an induction plan, where they cover a number of training activities, introductions and sit downs with other colleagues. No part of the plan should be neglected. It is your responsibility to ensure that you tailor your plan and complete each step digitally. It’s expected that some elements of the plan may take longer to complete – such as training, but that should not be used as a deterrence.

Invest in Technology

Technology is a key component that will allow an employee to work from home successfully. As part of the onboarding process, it is your responsibility to ensure that on their start date, new starters have the hardware and software that is necessary for them to carry out their work. Before they start, you should communicate with them to gain an understanding of their needs. Once all the information has been obtained, you will need to arrange with your IT department to purchase all hardware such as laptops and phones. They will also need to install the necessary software on the machines such as e-mail accounts and any programmes that they will be using. During the discussions with the new employee, it is important to determine what type of internet connection they have and establish if it will be sufficient for the work that needs to be carried out.

Communicate

Communication is something that is essential during an employee’s tenure at a company. As you will be carrying out the onboarding process remotely, your communication will have to be better than it ever has before. Not only is communication important once the employee joins the company, it is also crucial to communicate with them before. Times are unfamiliar and there is a huge amount of uncertainty, so new starters will need to be kept in constant communication to guarantee the onboarding process is seamless. With everything rapidly changing, it is important to keep new starters in the loop with any change to work processes that could potentially affect them in the future. Once the employee starts working for the company, constant communication is pivotal, not only to ensure that they are settling well into the company but also to boost their morale.

MRK Associates is a recruitment and career advisory company specialising in finance and revenue management jobs.

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