Remote onboarding – this is how it works!

<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >Remote onboarding – this is how it works!</span>

onboarding på distans The fact that an automated and elaborate onboarding process shortens the learning curve for new employees getting acquainted with the new workplace hardly comes as a surprise. But how does it work, in practical terms, when the entire organization or parts of it are working from home? We will provide you with some useful advice as to how to allow the company´s new talents to have the smoothest onboarding as possible – even in a remote process. When it´s time for the first job day at your new workplace, expectations are usually high. And as a matter of fact, those first couple of weeks tend to be crucial as to how your new colleague will feel about the job and the workplace – and if the employment will be long-lasting or not. In times of social distancing and work from home, this process may pose you some additional challenges to overcome.

  1. Complete your onboarding check list. Look over your current onboarding process and add information concerning how the different activities may be performed in the digital onboarding. With a modern HR system to support you you can use digital activity lists that tell you who is responsible for what and in which order the activities are supposed to be executed.
  2. Preboarding. Remember to avoid radio silence upon signing of the employment contract – keep the dialogue going between signing and start date. Call your future co-worker and ask if there are any questions or concerns and how he/she feels about the start. Why not send the employee a small welcome-to-the-team gift in the form of e.g. a box of chocolate, a coffee cup with the company´s logo and other profile material? Also encourage the staff to make contact with their new colleague on LinkedIn.
  3. Secure all technical issues. If the introduction is to be performed without any physical meetings, you have to make sure that your computer, phone and other hardware are shipped to your new employee in good time. All digital tools have to be available and prepared from day one. A quick reference available for both existing and new staff members may come in handy to guide them in using the technical platforms used for your digital cooperation. Also make sure to include information as to how and when you can get technical support in case you should stumble on some problem.
  4. Introduce the team. One of the tricky things in digital onboarding is the fact that the new employee doesn’t get to meet his/her colleagues, which may make it more difficult to find one´s place in the group. Therefore, it´s important to involve the entire team in the onboarding to make sure that the new employee can put faces and voices to the names of the team. Make sure to either have an informal online meeting with the entire team and the new employee, or encourage your staff members to schedule their own ”say hello” meetings with their new colleague. And why not arrange a digital after work or joint coffee break as soon as possible to speed up the process of getting acquainted. It often feels easier to contact people with questions or concerns if you have gotten to know them a bit a first.
  5. Pass on your company culture. To inform your new employees about the company standards and core values is probably especially important in the remote onboarding. What can the employee expect and what do we expect from our new employee? What does the company stand for, what attitudes and watchwords guide us, what are our joint ambitions? Such soft values may be hard, yet critical, to pinpoint and convey to your new talents.
  6. Offer a helping hand in the system jungle. How does the intranet work, how do I find agreements, what tool is used for what purpose, who do I turn to with questions and concerns, what do I need to know about the availability for managers and other key persons? Also remember to inform the employee concerning practical issues, such as rules for working time, breaks, flex time and overtime. This may also include guidelines and informal rules concerning email, document templates, Teams meeting etiquette, et cetera.
  7. ”Sit beside” remotely. Schedule sessions at which the tutor and the new employee share screens and go through working processes and tools together. Spending some one- on-one time with somebody who already knows the company and the job is often part of a “regular” onboarding and a good way to learn and get the chance to ask questions as they arise.

Digital coffee breaks, mentorship and a clear introduction plan – this is how we work with the onboarding at Flex

If one were to boil down all onboarding tips to one, what would that be? We contacted Frida Örtgård, Consultant Manager at Flex Applications, who has participated in the process of welcoming several new employees during the past months – more or less remotely. – Make sure to have a clear introduction plan with scheduled activities to make sure that the employee knows what to do and with whom. To me, that is the single most important thing. I also recommend assigning a mentor who has the same role as the new employee, to whom he or she can turn to with questions or concerns. Make sure to set up clear goals and follow them up at regular intervals. Update the new employee in your inhouse working tools and processes. Encourage other colleagues in the team to meet up digitally for conversations or joint coffee breaks to make sure that he/she fells welcome in the group. Which impact has remote work had on the onboarding here at Flex? – It hasn’t only affected the onboarding but the entire recruiting process as well, I would say. Among other things, it has called for the need of more debriefings with the new employees working from home, as there aren´t any colleagues nearby who can offer their guidance in the same direct way as when everyone shares the same physical workplace. Alan Gliszczynski started at Flex in November as one of our application consultants and describes his initial period like this: – I experienced the onboarding at Flex as something quite extraordinary. The whole thing went perfect from day one and it has been one of my best introductions this far, even though it was entirely remote. The introduction to the job went smoothly thanks to the fact that there is documentation available for all processes. A clear introduction plan and well-functioning ways to pass on knowledge within the team has made it easy to get started. But when it comes to becoming part of the group without meeting IRL, who did that go? em> – A day-to-day contact on Teams, when we also make sure to switch on the camera, has facilitated the process. Although I haven´t met my colleagues IRL, it already feels like I am part of a great team and that I ”go to” work with a smile on my face. To sum it all up – as a manager you have an important task in making new employees feel welcome and begin to find one´s feet in their new context. And there is a lot of tools on the market to help you along the way. With the HRM system HRM it is easy to put together an effective digital onboarding process.

You may also be interested in