Employee onboarding refers to bringing a new staff member into a workplace and ensuring they have everything they need to acclimate. While this process has been a factor in workplace success for years, it's slightly altered by the recent shift to virtual workplaces.
Virtual workplaces are highly convenient, especially for people with small children in the home. They also benefit business owners greatly, allowing you to widen your pool of potential candidates. However, switching to a virtual workplace requires an adjustment, especially regarding staff onboarding.
As a result, managers must develop a comprehensive process designed with the virtual work landscape in mind. Here are a few smart strategies to ensure a successful onboarding process for all new staff members.
Develop An Onboarding Guide
New employees receive a lot of information in a relatively short period. For instance, you'll need to communicate to new staff members the process for logging on to virtual workspaces, the items they'll need to accomplish each task, and what they're responsible for daily, along with many other forms of information.
As a result, it's best to accompany any information conveyed directly with an onboarding guide. A digital document provided in the form of a PDF ensures that staff members can retain and access it whenever needed. That way, they can get answers to important questions without constantly seeking out other employees to assist.
Plan Virtual Sessions Out Beforehand
The best virtual work sessions occur with a bit of warning. If you'd like a new employee to join a session for onboarding activities, make them aware of the appointment days before it occurs. This ensures the person has the time necessary to join the session, especially if they're already busy with work tasks and other responsibilities.
Prior notice regarding virtual sessions also allows the worker to be fully prepared. Being hired by a new company can be stressful for many people who naturally want to do the best job possible. By planning your sessions, you can give the employee time to prepare, putting them in a much better position to meet your expectations.
Keep Communication Lines Open
While an onboarding guide is crucial to success after hiring a new worker, you'll also need to be available to address more complicated queries. In this case, ensure new staff members are fully aware of your availability. You should also encourage them to reach out to you whenever they can't find an answer to a question about proper workplace practices.
Additionally, ensure another person at your business can step in if you're unavailable. This will serve two critical purposes. First, it will relieve pressure on you if you're generally considered the point of contact for new staff members coming into your office. Second, it will assure new staff members that someone will always assist them.
Weekly Team Bonding
Along with practical concerns, you should also communicate your workplace's culture to new staff members. One way to do so is by holding weekly team bonding sessions, which allows virtual staff to get to know each other deeper, even if they're not in the same office (or state).
If you want to keep things simple, you can hold a virtual lunch hour and invite your staff to join in while enjoying their meal. You can also develop a game or exercise that requires your team to participate in unison. Don't be afraid to get creative. You can also contact your team for ideas if you have difficulty developing a game or exercise.
Provide Easy to Use Resources
While virtual workplaces are great when it comes to convenience, virtual resources are just as crucial. Onboarding resources provide essential information to new employees, allowing them to participate actively in the training and onboarding.
For the best results, make sure all essential resources are highly accessible. For instance, consider sending a digital copy of the resource and a link to a specific place on your network where they're stored. That way, workers will have multiple methods of accessing them. You should also be certain to update resources as needed to make sure everyone has the most current information at their disposal.
These tips can help improve the onboarding process for all virtual working environments. Additionally, you can use specifics from your place of work to create a customized experience for new staff members. The more in-depth your office's onboarding process is, the better the experience will be for employees, including new and existing staff members.