7 things you can do to improve your remote/virtual/digital onboarding
Personal welcome videos 📹
When someone joins your organization, remote or not, you want them to feel welcome. According to Mehrabian’s communication theory:
- 7% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in the words that are spoken.
- 38% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is paralinguistic (the way that the words are said).
- 55% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in facial expression.
With that knowledge, we can assume that videos are a much better way to express a warm welcome than just plain text. It's very powerful to capture short, personal welcome videos and send them to your new hires. We love sending new hires a welcome video from their manager and/or CEO through our welcome page as a way to make new employees feel sincerely welcomed.
Create a People Finder👷🏽♂️
Joining a company remote makes it harder for new hires to find their ways to the right people. Pointing your hires in the right direction prevents them from getting lost, and overwhelmed. We love a team glossary, describing everyone who works at Appical, what they do, and how to reach them. This way, our new employees can easily get to know their colleagues before they even start working.
In the People Finder, next to the faces, new hires will find critical information like role description, department, contact information and a bio with fun facts. We noticed that the fun facts can be great ice breakers.
Are you ready to take your onboarding program to the next level? Appical proudly presents the Virtual Onboarding Conference 2020. Thursday the 7th and 14th of May we have companies like HP, OPCW and Amazon that will share insights on how they have crafted an industry leading onboarding program. Interested? Sign up for free!
Send a “Welcome to … ” goodie bag 🧳
Who doesn’t like gifts? When new hires start we love to hand out company goodies, therefore we provide every new employee with a goodie bag, and so should you! It’s a small gesture, but it gives a positive boost and the welcoming feeling your new hire will remember is priceless. They will likely share their vibes with friends and family, and if you’re lucky they might even post it on social media. At Appical, a “Welcome to Appical” goodie bag includes branded company goodies such as a pen, a notebook, fortune cookies (with some nice messages from our company), a customized Tony's Chocolonely Seasalt Caramel bar, a reusable water bottle and a mini bottle of champagne, to celebrate this milestone. You can go the extra mile and send them bucket flowers to make colleagues feel extra special when they start at your company.
Here is the IBM branded ‘goodie backpack’ that shows the creative possibilities to make an employee feel part of the team – regardless of where they’re located.
Schedule virtual coffee dates ☕️
Starting a new job can be very overwhelming, especially if you’re joining during a global crisis such as Covid-19. That’s why it is tremendously important for the manager to give enough structure and basis to ensure the first weeks run smoothly. At Appical we start with planning virtual coffee dates with the key people that she or he will need to work with within the organization. So every new hire can start their first week with a pre-filled agenda.
These virtual coffee dates can be one-on-one and/or group calls. We recommend new hires to meet:
- Their direct team members
- Their manager and direct reports
- Employees from other departments they’ll work closely with
- A few key people in the organization like the CEO
TIP: Frequently used tools are Google Hangout, Skype or Zoom. When sending an invite through Google Calendar you can select to attach a link in the invitation.
Use an online onboarding Platform 🖥
Using an online onboarding platform can be helpful and time-saving when teaching new hires about work procedures, rules & regulations, tools, vision, mission, company terms etc. We found that new hires really enjoy getting to know the company at their own pace. Especially in 2020, anytime, anywhere learning is crucial! Once new hires are familiar with the basics, they can jump into the specifics of their role and how they can contribute to the company. A big bonus is that you’ll be able to fill them in on what your company culture is all about, as well as the organizational values that drive company success.
Assign a Digital Buddy 🤝
A buddy is someone who partners with a new employee during the first few months of employment. Providing a digital buddy ensures that your new hire has a dedicated go-to person.
A buddy at Appical provides insight into the day-to-day activities of our company and is there to help the new employee fit in more quickly. This is especially important whenever your new hire is inexperienced in remote working. The buddy should make him- or herself available to go over procedures and policies, and generally help the new hire become familiar with the company’s inner workings and culture. Ask the buddy to check in with the new hire frequently through Slack, WhatsApp, Google Hangout…so your new hire feels connected with the company and team.
Schedule Virtual Team Meetings 🏆
Working remote can be lonely and disengaging if you don’t know how to frequently engage with others. To keep up the team spirit and make sure new hires feel part of the team it’s important to schedule frequent virtual team meetings with all team members.
At Appical we love daily stand-ups. You don’t need to be a scrum team to start the day with a stand-up, we found it is a great way to share challenges, milestones and achievements while keeping everyone in the loop. Besides the stand-ups we have knowledge sharing sessions where we ask team members to take a turn and teach each other something new. This can be a recent best practice or just a great customer story!
Onboarding your new hires doesn’t stop after the first week. In fact, the upcoming weeks will be crucial for your new hires success.
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