From the minute a new employee accepts an offer, they are evaluating whether they made the right career choice. Believe it or not, having a solid on-boarding strategy for your new employee, especially those will start off in a remote capacity, can significantly increase employee retention, as well as directly impact productivity.
How can you create an effective and consistent on-boarding strategy for your remote working new hires that fosters trust, communication, and information sharing during those early days of employment?
Here are some tips and strategies that we hope will help:
Create a playbook for the role.
- Take the stress out of on-boarding by creating a playbook. A good playbook offers an introduction to the company, some insight into your culture, your mission, vision, values, and stories that underscore your culture from your employees and customers.
- No playbook? No problem. You can easily create a google doc with links to your training manual, orientation documents or other appropriate links.
Consider these things before they start:
- Mail an on-boarding package to your newly hired employee a few days prior to their start date.
- Make sure they have equipment and logins set up so they can be productive on their first day.
- Be sure they have electronic access to your handbook, company network, and other internal communication tools.
- A day or two before they start, send their orientation schedule and an agenda of what will be accomplished each day during the first week – so they know what to expect.
- Send a welcome gift! A plant or some company swag.
Ensure the hiring manager knows the importance of their role in on-boarding. The hiring manager should:
- Drive and own those first few days with their new-hire! Google research has shown that having the hiring manager be fully engaged the first several days of a new hire’s on-boarding improved engagement and effectiveness by 25%.
- Within the first two weeks, have a role and responsibilities discussion with their new hire. This helps the new employee understand and appreciate the impact of their job.
- Ensure the new hire understands team goals, priorities, and success measures.
- Assist the new hire in building a social network within the organization, going as far as making virtual introductions where appropriate. Take charge and match the new hire with a peer buddy.
- Without fail, before everyone gets ‘too busy’, schedule onboarding check-ins weekly, then once a month for the new hire’s first six months.
- Encourage open dialogue, and then demonstrate it.
Organize a strong orientation schedule.
- It is essential to create and share a detailed outline and schedule of what is expected from the manager and other colleagues during orientation.
- Include other team members in the on-boarding process. Plan a schedule assigning each team member, and/or internal colleague a specific role to help orient the new employee.
- Create an efficient task list where the new hire has to reach out to various colleagues to learn more about their role and how it impacts the organization.
Encourage Team Building.
- Consider a welcome video or video call with the whole team. This helps put faces with names and kickstarts relationships.
- Conduct a virtual team-builder activity with everyone. A fun, easy and interesting option is ‘Two Truths and a Lie”: Everyone shares 2 true things about themselves and one lie. The team has to guess which of the 3 shared stories is a lie.
Consistency is key! New employees, whether working remote, in the office part-ti