Like so many organisations in the past year, Qlearsite had to create a remote onboarding programme from scratch – and learnt a lot in the process.
So that’s traditional onboarding and virtual onboarding ticked off. But what happens when we’re trying to do both at the same time? How are the many, many hybrid-committed organisations going to welcome new starters who are here, there, and everywhere?
There’s been a 60% increase in job searches filtered to ‘remote only’ on some sites, and that reflects the reality that most businesses have accepted: people want to work remotely. For many organisations, the next step is striking a balance between the office and home – allowing the flexibility that employees crave, but benefiting from face-to-face collaboration when needed.
Onboarding employees might seem like a small part of getting it right, but it’s a crucial one. Two thirds of employers are already working to improve virtual collaboration and connection, but it all begins with those first few months in a new job.
It’s simple, and unsurprising: if someone’s first impression of you is positive, it’s easier to maintain that for the long-term. Snub them early on, and they’ll remember – shown by 88% of employees saying their manager didn’t get their onboarding right.
The administrative side of onboarding need not involve a shuddering printer, and leaky biro. Filling in forms, signing documents – all these things can be done online now You could even create a virtual onboarding programme, with your welcome book reformatted into a video or interactive walkthrough. A much more engaging introduction to the organisation!
Hybrid means some of the time is ‘office time’. In the first few weeks, schedule an afternoon in for their team – a chance to be welcomed in after the initial nerves have faded. Don’t forget some welcome gifts! Make sure your new starters meet their closest collaborators first, along with their manager, as that’s who they need to see face-to-face the most.
Start things off smoothly, and get them tech’d up ahead of time. Laptops, headsets, logins and security measures should be supplied in advance. And beyond the tech they’ll need to succeed, think about things like back supports and laptop stands – or even some logo merch like a mug or teatowel, to encourage brand advocacy early.
People are the most important part of an organisation. Help new joiners learn that: set up “buddy systems” between employees, consider an “org chart” of names, photos, roles, and responsibilities to set the scene, and encourage managers to stay in regular, casual conversation to encourage a connection early.
Many organisations are data and testing-led in their other operations – so apply that approach here. Ask for feedback through surveys, and look at responses both case-by-case and holistically – so you can understand if you’re getting better at onboarding, meaning that your initiatives are effective. If anything’s in your new employee checklist, it should be this.
52% of companies are going to improve their listening efforts post-pandemic, to adapt to the future of remote working – and you should join them. Our next-level employee surveys are your best bet here. With research-led question sets, and extremely powerful listening tech, you can understand how to improve onboarding.
Use our New Joiners Survey or Onboarding Survey – a follow up too, by deep diving into areas of concern. From there, you’ll have a clear path to change. Here are a few on offer: