We just finished week 2 of on-boarding our first remote teammate, so I want to share what we learned through the process. Thankfully, our new teammate has had a great attitude along this journey and transferable skills he has been able to apply. Through this time, we have discovered a brand new process that we now know can be successful.
Here are tips to follow for remote on-boarding – whether we like it or not, this may be our new norm for a while.
Tip #1: Communicate – Encourage open and frequent communication from the start
- Offer frequent check-ins via video chat (i.e. Microsoft Teams) throughout the day, to provide face-to-face support and offer the new employee opportunities to voice questions or concerns
- Have your organization’s leaders check- in with the new employee. This added touch shows that everyone cares from the top down.
Tip #2: Empower Your New Employee – If your new employee expresses interest in moving to the next step in training (potentially ahead of schedule) help them get there
- Help your new teammate progress at their desired pace – keep in mind that it may require more creativity.
- Keep your new teammate motivated and excited about their new job by allowing them to take the lead in their learning, even if remote.
Tip #3: Shadowing/Training – Shadowing and training are essential actions to learning a job
- Shadowing and training can still be accomplished, with the right technology in place (i.e. Microsoft 365 platform), and can be easy for both trainers and trainees
- Keep training going by phone, video chat, screen-sharing, and shared phone lines. Shared phone lines provide an opportunity to listen in on calls with clients. This is particularly important with customer service or helpdesk roles.
- Record calls and listen back together (via video conference) to provide feedback
Tip #4: Have Fun – everyone wants to work somewhere they enjoy
- Be sure to maintain a strong workplace culture during this time. This is what will help keep not only your new employee, but your entire team connected.
- Create opportunities to connect: We created a culture channel through Teams, allowing our team to post funny memes, WFH pics, and WFH tips that have been shared from our teammates-it has been a positive outlet and can show your new teammate that your team can remain strong no matter what
- Stay positive and share laughs along the way
The goals and outcomes of onboarding are the same, whether on-site or remote – a happy and productive new employee that feels ready to do their job and part of a team. Communication, empowerment, shadowing, training, and having fun are all instrumental to a successful on-boarding.