How to Navigate the Onboarding of New Staff

Flexible working has been a hot topic for a while now, before lockdown happened and we were
forced to work from home, but there is no doubt that the current pandemic has had, and will
continue to have, a dramatic effect on the way we work.

Having a remote workforce can have massive benefits if it’s done right, such as reducing employee
turnover, lower organisation costs and increasing productivity of staff. But with all the benefits of
working from home, effectively onboarding new staff also needs to be prioritised. Implementing
an onboarding program cements the relationship between the employee and the employer from the
beginning and opens lines of communication that can keep the employee engaged in the long term.

The on boarding process in every organisation needs to be adapted to suit the times and allow new
staff to establish real connections with other members of the team, stakeholders, and management.

The benefit of having a successful onboarding process means that it is easier than ever for a new
employee to connect and collaborate with people across the org and not just those sitting in the
same corner of the building as them.

Here are some points to consider when onboarding new employees:

Make sure they’re set up

First impressions are just as important for the onboarding experience as they are during the
interview process, a disorganised or unplanned first day could leave a negative impression of the
organisation. It’s vital at this stage to supply the tools and internal connections required to allow the
new start to succeed in the role. It is important to make sure that your employee is set up to
integrate right away into the company culture, as well as having the facilities to participate in any
training on processes and procedures.

There has been a lot of pressure over the last few months for employers to find new and inventive
ways to engage with employees. When looking at setting a new hire up, they’ll need to be clued up
on company history, HR information and mission, vision and values, but more importantly what
you’d want them to do with the information and who they can speak to with questions or queries.

Getting creative with personalised videos, quizzes and interaction with peers will help people engage
with material in the same way that they would real life.

The most effective and seamless onboarding processes that I’ve seen have been where employees
had a clear plan of action, email/ system log ins, and even laptops etc ahead of their start date. It’s
important to consider what tools they’ll need and get them to them ahead of their start date.

Communicate as often as possible

One thing that continues to be missed from working in the office is the lack of daily chit chat that
not only improved wellbeing, but also brought about innovation and the chance to socialise and
share ideas. The expression “two heads are better than one” is so vital here, and ultimately,
nothing can replace face to face communication, but having regular contact with your employees
is vital to embedding them successfully into the business.

Encourage them to switch off

It can be difficult to manage your work and home life from one space, especially if you’re new in an
organisation and looking to get off to a good start. With no clear division between the end of the
working day and home life, bosses should be encouraging people to shut their laptops, emails or
get involved in an activity before or after work to create some sense or routine.

Make use of technology and Implement digital training

Many people are completely new to working from home, so it can be seen as a great opportunity to
enhance already existing training, and to transform and increase engagement and education within
the team.

It is important when considering options here to look at the team and set out learning objectives
beforehand. Initially, many teams opt for video conferencing as their training solution, which is great
for short information-sharing sessions, or meetings. However, most companies are looking for a rich
learning experience to train employees on deeper, high impact skills that they were previously doing
in onsite workshops, and a video call in comparison does not always compare.

The most effective training structures I’ve seen have been on online platforms that incorporate
virtual instructor-led workshops, content such as articles and videos, group projects, and mentoring
and coaching – all designed to make it engaging and educational.


Categories: Employee, Employer, HR

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