When implementing Leadership Development programs for our clients, we emphasize that helping employees feel respected begins with the onboarding process. That is why we encourage leaders to create strong onboarding programs. Proper onboarding helps employees understand their role and sets them up for success – both for themselves and for the company. With so many employees working remotely, the importance of onboarding has become even greater. Our Leadership Development team has identified some of the best practices you can use to get new remote employees off to a great start.
Sometimes called pre-boarding, this is the time to provide materials and technical equipment after the employee has signed on and in advance of the employee’s start day. Make sure they have things like the company handbook, computer, credentials and any other tools they need. This gives them a chance to set up their technology and make sure everything is working on day one. They will also be prepared to ask questions in the onboarding session.
Create a Structured, Multi-step Onboarding System
Many companies are having success with a 5-day program of short sessions. Short sessions are much more effective to deliver information.
Use Strategic Repetition
People simply can’t retain large amounts of information all at once. Make sure the most important information is repeated several times throughout the process.
Use Video Conferencing
As we all have learned over the last two years, using Zoom or another video conference platform is the next best thing to being together. Set up an initial meeting with key contacts and leaders to make formal introductions. This is the time to welcome the new employee, share a short bio and describe their role in the company. Introduce team members and explain their roles as well.
Set up a separate “get to know you” call at a later time. This is for members of the employee’s direct work group to share information about themselves and the job. This will give the new employee a feel for the culture of the company and a chance to interact with their work group.
Assign an “Onboarding Buddy”
We recommend you select a knowledgeable colleague who can be available to answer specific questions about processes and workflow during the new hire’s first few months with the company. This helps the employee build confidence in their job performance and contributes significantly to job satisfaction.
Explain the Organizational Chart
It’s critical for new employees to understand the roles and responsibilities of their coworkers. Titles don’t always convey how a person interacts in the company. Understanding who has final authority on projects and decisions brings a lot of clarity to the job.
Consider a Virtual Happy Hour.
This is a great way to conclude the onboarding process and make the new employee feel welcome. It’s simply a friendly virtual gathering at the end of the week designed to welcome the new employee and bring the team together.
Leadership Development is about learning how to build a team in which each person is able to perform at their best. The first step is the successful onboarding of each and every new employee.