Work has changed a lot since the beginning of 2020, many employers found themselves shifting to remote work at a scale that they never thought possible. Some employers are still working through a hybrid of on-site and remote work. While other employers have seen that out of this difficulty has come a great opportunity to offer permanent remote opportunities for their employees.
Wherever you are on this remote spectrum, it’s clear it has modified the way that we work together, and nowhere is that more apparent than with onboarding new employees. It’s always stressful to start a new position, and in this environment, it’s gotten more so as you might be starting new employees who you have interviewed over video and will be working remotely. How do you help them feel like part of the team and take care of your required onboarding activities? We’ve got a full list of things to consider, but here are a few key areas.
Understand Compliance Needs
In this day and age just about everything can be done digitally, but make sure you understand your compliance requirements. For example, the I9 can be filled out, signed, and stored electronically, but the employer still needs to see the supporting documents. There has been some compliance relief around this in 2020, but make sure you know what your current requirements are.
Buddies Are Even More Important
I’ve always been a big advocate of “work buddies” for new hires. It’s important for new employees to have someone available to them who isn’t their supervisor, is on the same level as them, and can ask those random questions to without fear. In a remote working setting it’s even more difficult to know who to go to and a new employee can easily feel lost when they can’t simply talk to the person the next cubicle over about who call for questions. Assign your new hire a peer and make sure that they have regular time scheduled to get acquainted.
Think about how your company manages virtual introductions. Gone are the days of walking the new hire around the office and introducing them to everyone they’ll need to know. In larger organizations this might not have been possible before if employees were spread across multiple offices. Use the first few minutes of staff meetings for introductions. Where appropriate, bring new hires into other department meetings for a quick introduction. Consider scheduling 30-minute “day in the life” meetings with people that your new hire might interact with to help them understand how the various business functions fit together.
Supervisor Face Time
Ensuring that your new hires get quality time with their supervisor is always critical. If that time is going to be virtual, make sure that the expectation of scheduled video calls is set from the beginning so that they can build that relationship even if they are separated by distance.
Use Your Technology
Take advantage of all the technology you have. If you have an integration Human Capital Management (HCM) platform like BerganKDV’s K-Pay, you can complete all your onboarding electronically. If you don’t, take some time to look at what options you already have that make an electronic onboarding process easier, from Google forms, Outlook, or other available programs.
Many businesses have struggled in 2020 and lost valuable employees. But there are many other businesses that have grown throughout, and those that are starting to rebound. Whatever your situation is, you will eventually need to hire again, even if you aren’t now. Think about how your onboarding needs to look in today’s virtual environment and what you can do to make the process seamless for both you and your new hires. If you aren’t sure where to begin with evaluating your onboarding procedures, we at BerganKDV are here to assist you. We encourage you to review this checklist that outlines best practices to successfully onboard a new employee in a remote setting.