This lockdown period has meant that we have needed to get creative in lots of areas of our business and onboarding new recruits is just one of those areas. So how do you make sure an employee feels welcome and useful when their first day is at home, away from the office? We would suggest the following:
- Keep in regular contact before the first day. Any new employee is likely to be nervous and there may be additional anxiety when working from home;
- Regular communication before the start date will more likely result in a smooth settling in and is good for your business brand;
- Make sure IT systems are set up and ready for the first day. Test them before the first day if you can;
- Consider couriering your new employee some stationery and perhaps some branded goods to get them going;
- Establish what your expectation of your new employee will be on the first day and for the first few weeks.
On the First day:
- Create structure for the first week or so, as you would if you were in the office. This will likely need to be more structured in a remote onboarding situation than in an office situation where ad-hoc conversations are easy;
- Re-iterate what the expectations, targets and priorities are for the first few days and establish
- Arrange a video call between the line manager and the employee on the first morning to introduce themselves and the systems the employee will be using
- Set up a team video meeting on the first day to welcome your new employee into the group;
- Invite your new employee to team and company social groups and make sure they know when (virtual) social events are happening.
In the first few days:
- Set up regular video meetings and catch up’s with both you and the team
- Arrange for your employee to complete any mandatory training required of them
- Avoid the temptation to micro-manage. There can be too much of a good thing
- Arrange for the employee to video meet key people within the business to allow them to gain an understanding of who’s who and what the business does
- Monitor workloads and the meeting of targets so that you can quickly intervene if there are problems with completing or accessing the work. This could be because there are issues with the equipment, with their understanding or knowledge or could be because they are not used to working remotely and are struggling with motivation. However, once you know the root cause of any issues, you can begin to address them.
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