Hiring a new employee is exciting! In the office, you’d typically get to know them with icebreakers or take them out for a team lunch. In a remote workplace, onboarding may look a little different, but you can still welcome and celebrate your new teammate.
As an employer, you want your employees to experience that first day of work feeling as if they were heading to an office and experiencing the culture in person.
Here are seven tips to successfully onboard your new employees in a remote or hybrid environment.
Welcome employees before their start date
When there is a new hire on the team, encourage their future teammates to reach out via email or LinkedIn to introduce themselves and welcome them to the team before their start date. If they didn’t get a chance to meet during the hiring process, encourage them to set up a quick coffee chat to connect. A simple hello can make your new hire feel welcomed before they enter the virtual team meeting on their first day.
Another way to do this is send a welcome card through an app like Airspeed. Teammates can sign the virtual welcome card before the new hire arrives.
Send a first day of work swag box
Everyone loves company swag. Sending company swag makes employees feel like they’re part of the team. During employee onboarding, get your new hire set up with the tech they’ll need, like a laptop, monitor, headset, and keyboard. When you send the new tech their way, add in some branded swag so that your employee can decorate their home office and rock their new logo at home.
Some examples to add into an onboarding swag box are:
- Company logo stickers
- Company t-shirts
- Branded hat
- Company water bottle
- Company coffee mug
- Branded notebook
When it comes to feeling like part of the team, company swag like stickers and t-shirts can make all the difference for the first day of work.
Organize onboarding cohorts
Starting a new job is more fun when there’s a group of new hires. Your hiring team or HR department can set a new hire schedule in which groups, or cohorts of new hires, start on the same day. That way, you can organize larger training sessions, onboarding activities, and have routine check-ins as time goes on.
Onboarding cohorts should be company-wide, not just team-based. Not only does it make onboarding and training more manageable because you’ll be able to conduct larger training sessions, but you’re also giving employees who might not typically interact a chance to get to know one another.
Give your new hires the spotlight
When onboarding new employees, it’s important to announce these new hires so everyone can meet. Although your new hires are meeting their direct teammates and building relationships with their onboarding cohort, you should also give the whole company a chance to get to know them.
If you’re at a small company, you can send an email, send a team message, or announce your latest hire in your company meeting. If you’re a larger company, you can highlight your new hires on your company intranet or Airspeed account. To make it more fun, you can send an Icebreaker to your new hire and incorporate their fun facts in their company-wide introduction.
Schedule formal training and networking events
No matter what your company does, your new hires need to be trained. Since you’ve organized onboarding cohorts, it will be much easier to conduct in-depth formal training sessions. Leverage internal experts and leaders to host training sessions on technology, your product or solution, and role-specific lessons. Training during onboarding is critical for success on the job.
Build an onboarding guide
From tech onboarding to meeting the team to learning about culture, your new hire should get a guide that shows them everything they need to know. Building a virtual one-stop shop for your new hire can help them quickly get up to speed. You can send this to them on their first da, or even prior so they’re prepared.
Here are the key elements to include in an onboarding guide:
- Key meetings to attend
- Onboarding and training schedule
- Employees to scheduling meetings with
- Websites, platforms, and tools that the company uses
- First projects and goals
- 30-60-90 plan
A good balance of technology, HR, goals, and team quirks will help your new hires learn how your business operates and what they can expect as a new member of the team. Plus, once you create one onboarding guide, you can make a template that can be repeated for each new hire. This will ensure that all of your new hires have positive onboarding experiences in our remote work environment!
Foster one on one relationships
Outside of the onboarding cohort, help your new hires build one on one relationships with other employees. There are two types of beneficial partnerships you can foster—an onboarding buddy and an onboarding mentor.
The onboarding buddy should be someone outside of your new hire’s direct team that they’ll still be crossing paths with frequently. This person can help them navigate their first few weeks of work, all while building a work friendship.
The onboarding mentor should be someone who is a senior leader within the team who can help them adjust to the workload, prepare for team meetings, and ask questions about job responsibilities.
Both the onboarding buddy and mentor are equally important for new hires. They should feel supported by their colleagues on a personal and professional level so that they can quickly feel like a part of the team.
Be sure that you schedule networking hours too so that your new hires can get a taste of company culture. You can also plan monthly fun events so everyone can get to know each other.
Starting a new job in a remote environment should feel just as exciting as it would if we were back in the office. Your plan to remotely onboard employees may look a little different, but with these remote onboarding tips, your new hires will feel welcomed and like part of the team on day one.