In recent months many workers have abandoned their offices for the comfort of their home when the coronavirus began taking hold. They have adapted to Zoom conference calls and a greater reliance on emails and Slack.
Most businesses and organizations suspended hiring until they got a sense of what economic conditions they might face in the future.
Now some companies are beginning to hire staff as needed. That means that some new hires will be introduced to their new colleagues via teleconference, and it may be some time until everyone returns to the office.
You want to make sure that every new employee enjoys their first day.
On boarding a new staff member, while everyone works remotely prevents its own series of challenges for the new hire as well as managers and new colleagues. You still want them to have a terrific first day.
If you are faced with this situation, this is the time to make sure your new employee handbook is up to date, plus schedule a regular teleconference, so people get a chance to meet.
You or someone from your Human Resources department should help them fill out all of the necessary paperwork to get them on the payroll.
Have a “welcome package” sent to their home. Include a selection of company notepads, T-shirts, and other items that will make them feel more connected and appreciated.
Make sure that your IT department gets the new person online with all the hardware, software, passwords, and training they might need.
Understand that it will likely take new staff members a little longer than average to get up to speed on the usual way things get done or understand the organization’s culture.
Make sure the person knows who the person will work for and work with.
Introduce them to their first projects, what success looks like, and deadlines.
Even when workers begin working in the office, they need a mentor. It is even more critical while working from home.
If you are the person’s supervisor, check in with them frequently. You want to be available to answer the big questions as well as the small ones that they might be able to ask colleagues around the water cooler.
Once a new staff member begins working on their new projects, set up regular review periods as well as short term and long-term goals. All employees deserve to know how their work will be assessed.
Plan to bring the person to the office to meet others as soon as possible. Plan a lunch outing where you can begin building personal relationships.
As difficult as it may seem to onboard a news staff person remotely, remember that a growing number of companies only have remote employees. It is possible but takes planning and special care.