The rise of remote work has posed new challenges in the onboarding process for new employees. Virtual introductions make it challenging for new staff to get to know their colleagues — which could cause them to feel excluded and hinder them from properly adjusting to the workplace.
These minor issues can lead to bigger problems in the future such as employee performance and retention. To prevent these concerns from arising, companies should ensure that new hires feel welcome and included from day one.
Here are a few suggestions for how organizations can enthusiastically greet new employees and make them feel welcome right away, even as everyone is working remotely.
Make Sure The New Hire Has Everything They Need
One way to make new staff members feel cared for is by ensuring they have all the things they need for their work. A disadvantage of remote work is that employees may not always have the tools they need to do their tasks, so it’s up to the companies to provide these resources to them.
Organizations should send out the required equipment a few days before the new hire’s official first day. Team leaders or someone from the IT department should also help recruits in setting up the equipment, installing the necessary software, and securing their work accounts so they can have a seamless and secure start in their new position.
Send a Welcome Kit
A thoughtful way to acknowledge new team members is by gifting them with a welcome kit. This package contains anything that could be useful for the recruit or something that will make them feel welcome.
Practical items such as mouse pads, pens, notepads, and planners are a few things companies can include in their welcome kits. They can also add random tokens such as snacks, a T-shirt or jacket with the company’s logo on it, or gift cards to add a fun personality to the package.
Looking to make the welcome kit more personal? Have each member of the team write a short message for the new hire, compile them into a card, and include it in the gift basket.
Let the Team Know
Working from anywhere means team members could be working in different time zones, which allows them to have a round-the-clock workflow and increase productivity.
On the downside, this time difference may cause delays in reading messages in the work chat. That means the arrival of a new employee may come as a surprise for some of the existing staff.
Ensuring that everyone is aware of a new staff member can help them properly welcome the recruit. Doing so is also part of upholding team transparency, which can improve communication and connection between employees.
Spreading the word about a new employee should be done a few days before the recruit’s first day. Timely notifying your team about it allows them to prepare how they will approach the new hire and welcome them to the project.
Introduce the Recruit at the Team Meeting
The ideal time to introduce a new employee to the whole team is during a meeting. Such an event makes the introduction easy for both the new and existing staff since everyone will likely be present and participate in the conversation.
Team leaders can make the introduction more engaging by starting the meeting with a quick icebreaker. This can lighten up the mood and make the recruit’s first interaction with the team more enjoyable.
Games like “Would You Rather?”, “This or That”, “Common Ground”, and “Two Truths and a Lie” are simple yet fun ways to familiarize the team with the recruit and each other. Learning things about one another can also strengthen the tie between employees.
Designate an Onboarding Buddy
The first few weeks of being a new employee can be challenging as they try to master their responsibilities while also learning the company’s culture. Make this period easy for them by pairing the recruit with an experienced team member.
This person should be knowledgeable about the role of the new hire and enthusiastic enough to help them get their bearings. Creating a buddy system like this provides the recruit with someone they can depend on when they stumble upon a work-related problem.
It also allows both the new and existing employees to bond, strengthen their connections, and improve overall teamwork.
Check-in With the New Hire
Getting new hires comfortable and well-assimilated in the company will not end on their first day. It’s an ongoing process that could take weeks, making it important for the team leader to check in on their new staff member during this period.
Scheduling a one-on-one meeting with the recruit every week for the first month allows leaders to know how they’re doing. Such a conversation also offers an excellent opportunity to get the new employee’s feedback on the onboarding process and their opinion about the team’s current work processes.
What’s more, these sessions allow the team leader to give recognition to the recruit’s early achievements — thereby making new employees feel valued and encouraging them to keep up the good job.
Onboarding is a delicate process that will leave a lasting impression on a new employee. Working remotely amplifies this sensitivity since team leaders won’t be able to interact with their recruits in person. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be successful in carrying out this process.
With the ideas listed above, companies can welcome their new employees in a fun and engaging way. Following these strategies can also help recruits feel comfortable as they start their journey in a new working environment.
Article by Chatty Garrate