When the pandemic first hit, companies were forced to adapt to remote work on the fly. Odds are, you were so busy with the transition, updating policies fell by the wayside. But with a lot of remote work sticking around long-term, it’s past time to make the necessary changes to your policies.
And one area that may need a major overhaul is onboarding.
Update the process
With a scattered workforce, connection is more important than ever. It’s hard for co-workers to maintain relationships when they aren’t seeing each other every day.
It’s even harder for a new employee to make connections right now.
Here are some onboarding changes you’ll want to make ASAP to accommodate remote employees, according to employment law attorney Katie Palumbo of the firm Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC.
Communication is key to flawlessly integrating a new remote employee into your company – but that can be tricky to do virtually.
Your first step should be to examine the sequence of your onboarding, and make sure the meet and greets, and other social interactions come first. Once your new hire meets all their co-workers, then you can move on to their basic training and other standard information.
It’s also crucial that you have digital communication tools. Your employees can’t connect if you don’t have the right tech.
Make sure your new hire is shown how to use Teams, Zoom, Slack and whatever other platforms you use the most immediately. Inform them what channels are used for what tasks, too, to avoid miscommunications.
Other things to consider
Once you’ve got the very interactive first day down, it’s important to carry on that collaboration.
Assign several key team members to assist in the new hire’s onboarding – this isn’t just a task for HR.
You can also consider implementing a buddy program, where the new hire has an assigned peer who can show them the ropes and answer any questions they may have.
Variety in interactions during a new hire’s first week is key, too.
Maybe during week one, there can be a virtual welcome lunch with the employee’s team. Set one-on-one meetings with core co-workers and leaders, and then have a few spontaneous manager check-ins.