With the corporate world restructuring its day-to-day operations with a virtual touch, the human resources aren’t far behind. Although online interviewing and hiring processes were existing and practiced, especially for talents outside the city or overseas, virtual onboarding has been a completely new experience to explore for HR. The fundamental role of onboarding is to make the new hires feel comfortable and included in the new working space. First days tend to be overwhelming for new employees, and it’s up to the human resources to enrich these experiences to build long term relations with them.
During the pandemic, existing employees made successful switches to remote working, but what about new hires? Remember, they have to create synergy and work with individuals they have never met in person. Although the process of virtual onboarding is helping HR stay connected with the new hires, it isn’t as easy as it looks.
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What is virtual onboarding?
Unlike traditional onboarding, virtual onboarding involves interactions and introductions through video calls, webinars, and other online interactive sessions. Pre-pandemic employees would have to connect with existing employees to know more about the company and the leaders. However, in virtual onboarding, HR will have to take the responsibility to initiate conversations and interactive sessions to make onboarding a success for new hires. Here are 5 tactics HR can practice via virtual onboarding to build a robust and agile workforce in the remote working scenario.
Expand the onboarding process: Introduction about the company, the mission, the culture, and interactions with peers and leaders can be taxing to complete in a day. Stretch the schedule into a week’s process rather than limiting it to one or two days. Organize interactive sessions and coffee breaks to make the ambiance friendlier and less awkward between all teams.
Arrange setup for remote working: Connect with the new hires a few weeks before their first days to inquire about their work setup. These employees may not have efficient working desks, technologies, and softwares to fulfill their work duties. Loop in the IT teams and make these arrangements to get remote workstations up and ready to use on their first days. Trivial tasks like these can make a positive impact on new hires and employee turnover in the long run.
Communicate one-on-one frequently: To make employees feel included and comfortable, arrange more one-on-one meetings with their leaders and peers. These personalized meetings can help new hires open up and get a better understanding of the ongoing operations. Group managers can also organize coffee breaks where teams can socialize with the new hires casually than in zoom meetings.
Go beyond zoom meetings: At the beginning of the pandemic, zoom video calling was hailed as a savior to improve communications. But these meetings are now birthing new types of online fatigues and exhaustion that no fresher must experience on their first day or during the first week. Lighten up the process slightly and make their training sessions more engaging by going beyond zoom meetings. Set up one-on-chats, share PDFs about the company’s culture and successes, make on-demand and interactive videos that can make the process informative yet engaging for them.
Feedback: HR must strive to make their virtual onboarding process more prolific as they grow, and the best way to go about it is through feedback. Once your new hires are not new anymore, reconnect with them to understand how the onboarding process can be honed and made better in the future. Use past experiences to shape new ones and to reinforce the onboarding process.
Impactful first impressions can change the way how your employee thinks and feels about the company. Which is why, making a powerful impression and connection with the new hires is indispensable. With virtual onboarding processes being more personalized and employee-friendly, it wouldn’t be surprising if the corporate world decides to make it a permanent way to induct new hires in the future.
- 8 Steps to Creating a Virtual Employee Onboarding Program | LinkedIn | Bruce M Anderson | November 3, 2020
- Everything You Need To Know About Virtual Onboarding | Darwinbox |January 23, 2021
- 8 ways to build and improve virtual onboarding | HR Morning | Michele McGovern | January 26, 2021
- 5 Strategies for Onboarding New Hires Virtually | TalentCulture | Lucas Campbell | July 21, 2021
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