A robust on-boarding plan not only prepares new employees for the work but prepares them for the workplace too.
We are facing a unique situation in the workplace. It is critical that we support and manage all new hires as normally and consistently as possible as they join a new organization.
Here are 4 things to keep in mind while onboarding new hires virtually. I call them the 4As of effective on-boarding and it will facilitate you to better manage the onboarding process as the new hires assimilate to their new roles at your organization and start working remotely.
1. Accessibility to Information
Ensure new hires have the systems (desktop, laptop, software’s, etc.) needed.
Out of college or professionals changing jobs, working from home to this degree is new for everyone. The first concern for anyone joining a new organization is office facility, which is now our home.
Most of the new hires I interacted with shared their concern about the system setup as they were unaware of what all they will need and how will everything be managed.
It will be a good idea to share a list of all the necessary hardware, software, and office supplies that will be essential to your employee’s success on the job.
Here are a few things to take into account when creating your list:
- If your organization plans to provide these resources for the employee, make sure everything is ordered ahead of their start date (date of joining) and confirm the employee received and has properly set up all necessary equipment.
- If it is the employee’s responsibility to provide their own resources, please refer them to the SPOC to ensure everything is set up correctly.
You do not want the new hires to have a bad first impression if everything isn’t set up properly.
2. Availability of quick and easy learning tools
Ensure new hires understand how to use essential communication tools, online meeting solutions, and file-sharing applications.
It is important that new employees understand how to share information, access documents, and keep information safe between them and their co-workers. Employees also need to understand whom to go to with questions, and how to best contact those individuals, while working remotely.
Here is a list of communication tools to consider sharing with new hires:
- Phone (Share important contact numbers e.g. SPOC, Transition Manager, IT Helpdesk, etc.)
- E-Mail addresses (For Helpdesk, HR Team, etc.)
- Group messaging tools (Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, etc.)
- Video conferencing software (Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, Go-To-Meeting, Zoom, etc.)
- File-Sharing (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.)
3. Alignment through structured communication
Help new hires understand your Organisations culture
Many employees hired during this time will be starting their careers working remotely, which in itself, is a challenge. Most of the employees I have spoken with in my sessions had questions about what is the best way to adapt to the organization’s culture; what if they are a misfit? How different is college with office etc.?
For me, the onus is on the organization to ensure these employees feel included like they are part of our culture, even if they are away from the office
Here are a few things that might help:
- Provide your new employee with the Employee Handbook or COC webpage Links.
- Share your organization’s values and expectations during the orientation session.
- Clearly define what is expected of them in this position by providing them a copy of their Job Description and reviewing their job responsibilities.
- Discuss how the provisional and appraisal periods are conducted.
- Allow time for each new employee to complete the required training that is covered during new hire orientation.
- Inform employees whom they can reach out to in case of any questions for policies.
4. Affiliation through frequent team engagement
Arrange and encourage regular meetings with your team members and other key employees
Most of the new employees mentioned how important communication will be to help them start their journey with the new organization. Understanding who they will be working with on a daily basis and how to develop those relationships will be critical to building affiliation.
Here is a list of people the new employee should be introduced to, either before or on their first day:
- Manager and/or direct reports
- Employees from other departments they’ll work closely with
Schedule regular calls to check in with them
These calls will keep you informed of any problems your new hire may be facing, and how they are settling into their new position. During these calls, get a feel for what they need to succeed in their new role; whether that’s support, resources, or additional work – and create a schedule to meet virtually every day, once a week, twice a week, or more.
Each employee will have different needs, and being attentive to these needs will help them transition successfully.
This is a challenging and unique time for new employees joining your organization. Using these points as guidelines could help your new employees get acclimatized and thrive in their new work environment.
As we move forward during the COVID-19 pandemic, if you face any situation where you would like us to share helpful tips or share our perspective, feel free to write to us.
Author: Vishal Punetha
Corporate Training Consultant
I Train Consultants India Pvt. Ltd.
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