31 Jul Virtual inductions: Who? How? What? When?
The technology to virtually induct has long been around but, it has taken a global pandemic and the subsequent lockdown to make us realise how amazing it is.
COVID-19 has transformed the way we do business in the modern era. No longer are employees attached to their desks. Remote working has become the accepted norm and organisations are reporting up to 4.4% increase in productivity in established teams.
However, this brings a new challenge: how do you induct a new team member remotely and ensure they’re productive and engaged?
Preparation and organisation are essential. A well-thought-out plan that covers the first month of the new starter employment, not only communicates that you are on top of things as a company, but it also highlights to the new employee that you have put in the time and effort to prepare for them starting.
Hayley Murfitt explains in our recent webinar on virtual inductions that “overcommunication” during the induction process can really prepare your new colleague for what to expect, especially if they’re working remotely.
You want to ensure they feel welcome and ready for their first day so they must have the right tools and resources available to them. What equipment and devices will they need? You should order a laptop and any other hardware well ahead of their start date and have this sent to their home.
All tools and systems must be set-up to facilitate their remote work. This means ensuring that your new hire is provided with a login, email address, passwords as required.
Decide within your team who will be responsible for sharing information with them regarding their first day. This should include:
- Links to join into any video conferences taking place
- A clear plan of what they should expect for their first few days
- What time their onboarding sessions will begin and end
- How they can prepare (ensure they have a WiFi connection, a quiet space to work, webcam etc.)
This may be the first time the new hire is working remotely, so be as explicit and instructional as possible.
Set clear expectations
Inducting employees with a clear picture of their duties and what you expect of them, will build the foundation for success. But this is more difficult when the new employee is remote.
Ensure clarity around company values, team objectives and individual goals. You must also establish time frames for training, reviews and milestones.
Consider the following:
- Develop and share a task calendar after your new hire’s training and onboarding sessions
- Define long and short-term goals
- Schedule weekly one-on-one meetings and daily team sessions to discuss upcoming projects, progress and resolve potential issues.
It can be easy to overlook company culture when inducting a remote hire, but be careful not to. When employees feel connected to the culture, they work harder and feel as though they are making an impact from the start. Your company culture can be the difference between whether your new hire stays or leaves.
The induction process for virtual team members should do everything it can to promote the organisation’s culture, mission and values.
Sharon Jones, Head of People and HR at GRC International Group explains in our recent webinar on virtual inductions that “it is the people that make a business and you need to know how to get that across during the virtual induction and onboarding process”
Virtual employees should have a good understanding of what sort of company they’re working for and how the work they’re doing contributes to its goals. Providing people with a sense of purpose is essential to keep them inspired and engaged.
A successful induction ensures a clear path for employees as they join a new company. Even in these unprecedented times, the shift to remote working shouldn’t prevent new employees from having a positive experience when starting a new role. Indeed, a good induction experience will eliminate many of the ambiguities and confusion surrounding virtual work, allowing new team members to settle into their new role quickly and begin to build the relationships and trust they need to deliver results.