• Emily Miller

Remote Control: Virtual Onboarding in 2020

Onboarding is one of the most important steps in a new employee’s experience. After the initial recruiting and hiring process, onboarding is what welcomes colleagues to their new roles and acclimates them to a new company culture and day-to-day professional experience.

2020 has been a year of massive change, transition and confusion; onboarding a new hire shouldn’t be part of the chaos. Cheer Partners has been remote since its inception, here are some of the virtual onboarding tips and tricks we use and recommend!

  • Create a company & culture guide: Whether it’s Prezi, PowerPoint, videos or something distinctive to your culture, make sure your new colleagues have tangible resources about the organization that they can always refer back to. Let them know about the quirks of the company, routines and procedures in an engaging and unique way.

  • Get a welcoming committee: A leader or new hire buddy would have been the one to greet new employees in person on day one, and they should still do the same virtually! Set up video chats on the first day and during that first week to check-in, answer questions and offer guidance.

  • Catch them up: Consider sharing copies or access to recent company announcements and any pertinent COVID-19 policies or news. New colleagues should know what has been going on inside the organization, so sharing internal communications from the last month or two is a great way to get them up to speed.

  • Host an insider’s tour: If your company hasn’t always been remote, or may not be remote forever, consider giving new colleagues an Insider’s Tour. Let them know how the company worked while everyone was in the office and show them the changes made to make remote life easier. How do people stay connected? Do you have virtual lunch sessions? How do you all unwind together? Think of the elements of your work-life that have less to do with paperwork and deliverables.

  • Let them know who’s who: Set up a series of personal video chats for new hires to meet all of the important leaders and colleagues “around the office.” They should have a contact sheet for everyone in the organization who will help them get started and should connect with as many folks as possible to learn the ropes quickly and effectively.

  • Consider a remote mentor: Mentorship is arguably even more important now that everyone is getting less face-to-face contact. New hires might feel awkward or nosy when they message or email others too much during those first few days. So, mentorship and new hire buddies are critical to success. New colleagues need a resource they can go to at all times to ask the big, little and even mundane questions about their new role and company.

Some of your employees may remain remote, some of your employees may return to sites. Be flexible and communicate regularly so there is more clarity and less anxiety. Remote onboarding should be designed intentionally and supported in every step of the new hire process. If you or your team are considering heading back to the office, consider reaching out to our team about our Return to Work package or Onboarding Guidebooks to tackle every step of the transition.