Starting a new job isn’t easy. It requires us to step outside the comfort zone as we must take in a lot of new information, remember new names and faces, and get familiar with new tasks. After two years of juggling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, some businesses still fear that working from home could negatively impact the employee’s ability to work, especially when it comes to onboarding new staff.
But remote or hybrid work models are here to stay, so we must adapt traditional onboarding models to the challenges of this changed environment. How will new personnel stay motivated, identify with the company, and learn all new relevant information, if a face-to-face exchange isn’t always possible? Is a remote onboarding concept as rock-solid as its traditional face-to-face alternative? In this blog post, we will give you valuable tips on how to implement an efficient onboarding model for new remote workers, so they can be successfully included into the team and don’t feel left out.
Veronika Kirchner is an HR Business Partner at AnyDesk and involved in the first steps of the onboarding process. “At AnyDesk, onboarding starts before new employees are having their first official day. It’s important to plan ahead and prepare a proper onboarding program in liaison with the responsible line manager, especially when you integrate someone into a remote team.”
Having an onboarding road map in place that is individually tailored to the position of the new staff member is key to successful onboarding, in the traditional office and remote. As a business, ask yourself the following questions:
Keeping these points in mind will help you create a plan that reflects all relevant topics.
Translating this into a remote onboarding model doesn’t require a degree in rocket science. If you are already using an online collaboration and conferencing tool to connect your remote workers with the office, leverage it. We recommend you reserve different time slots in the new employee’s calendar for the various onboarding blocks ahead of time.
This will give remote onboarding some structure and ensure that instructions are not thrown around randomly, as it is often the case in the office where things tend to happen rather spontaneously. In a digital meeting, your new remote employee and the instructor will be able to introduce each other while sipping on a steaming cup of coffee together before talking business.
Every once in a while, new staff might need a little assistance, may it be technical problems with devices or content-related questions. In the office, a little cry for help usually attracts the attention of team members. They roll over with their office chairs and gladly assist in demonstrating how to solve a certain problem or help guide to the next step.
But what happens if the entire team is working from home? A Remote Desktop Software that allows you to access other devices can, indeed, make quite a difference. At home, new personnel might feel lost and unsure about how to solve an issue on their own. So having the right software tools in place is key to assisting new employees in their remote workplace.
Remote Desktop Software comes with a Screen Sharing possibility, for instance, that allows colleagues to demonstrate on their own device how tasks are being executed correctly. A flexible solution will also bring a variety of customization options, such as session permission profiles to grant or restrict the level of Remote Access to a device. Employees can decide whether to allow full access to a team member, which makes sense in case of IT issues, or allow only certain permissions.
A flexible tool will allow staff to share files between different devices. For new employees, this could mean sending files for review directly to the device of a more experienced colleague. Especially for IT departments this kind of software is a valuable asset in giving quick and easy Remote Support to new employees from anywhere at any time.
The good news, a flexible software solution can be integrated into a company’s existing IT easily and quickly. Reconsider the collaboration tools you are currently using to enable Remote Work in your company. Could a Remote Desktop Software complement your IT infrastructure and facilitate virtual onboarding processes in your business?
Keeping new staff motivated when they do not actively come into the office seems to be a challenge for some businesses. But it doesn’t have to be! Mixing different kinds of virtual onboarding modules will keep the onboarding process exciting. Include virtual product trainings, provide sources for self-study, and leave some room in the newbie’s calendar for self-learning.
Ever thought about creating virtual networking opportunities which not only include the new team members but all your employees, such as virtual coffee breaks, lunch breaks or a virtual after-work get together? That way, existing departments will stay connected and get the chance to include new employees, even if the event is only taking place in a digital environment.
Always remember, onboarding is more than simply getting the most important points across. Ensuring that new staff feels included is as important as teaching the professional know-how of a position and will contribute to a healthy work life balance. When planning a new person’s onboarding agenda, try to think outside the box. Imagine how welcome new personnel will feel if your existing employees already know their names on the first day.
“At AnyDesk, we want to introduce new colleagues ahead of time, so that the rest of the company will get to know a little bit about them,” Veronika explains. “In a little questionnaire about their hobbies and future goals new employees introduce themselves – all on a voluntary basis of course – before their first official day. In accordance with the new employee, we share the answers as announcements in a safe, internal office communication channel so others can discover possible connecting points, for example mutual hobbies.”
In a virtual work environment this can be quite the ice breaker. If new employees feel welcomed, guided, supported, and actively included into the team, they will identify with the new position and the department. And most importantly, they will stay in your company.
I have started with AnyDesk in early November and was mostly onboarded remotely. To tell the truth, at the beginning I was unsure whether this could work. I came from a very traditional work environment in which coming to the office daily (in pre-pandemic times) was the norm. Learning a completely new job, doing tasks I wasn’t yet familiar with, working with a team I didn’t know, and all of that remotely? I had quite a few panic attacks at this thought. But very quickly I learned that all my worries were completely unfounded.
I was given a detailed onboarding plan which contained a mixture of 1-on-1 meetings with colleagues giving me instructions on new tasks, time slots for self-study, and virtual product trainings. On my first day, my new team already knew about my hobbies, which proved to be a great ice breaker for conversation.
My notebook was equipped with a variety of tools that helped me stay connected with my colleagues. When I struggled with IT issues at the beginning (my number one panic scenario beforehand) the IT department provided quick Remote Support by accessing my device, solving problems within minutes. I was baffled to see how smooth everything was going.
It doesn’t always require face-to-face interaction to get familiar with someone or something. If a company is open-minded, provides the right tools, and offers networking opportunities to include new staff, remote onboarding can be as rock-solid as instructing new employees in the traditional office environment. Remote work and onboarding concepts also create new opportunities on the job market for both, businesses and employees, as companies don’t have to strictly limit their search for new staff to a local region.
When implementing a remote onboarding plan, employers should always think outside the box. Remember that including new personnel on a social level is as important as teaching them the technical know-how of their position. To keep things interesting, we recommend a mix of different meeting models. New employees will only stay with you if they are happy long-term – and a structured, versatile onboarding program can help you achieve just that.
Interested in a software solution that understands new work concepts? Are you looking to implement flexible home office options and the technological framework to enable remote onboarding in your business? We are happy to help you realize these goals.
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