How to provide online onboarding for new employees

In our last blog we shared 5 steps for a complete online application. As soon as you have hired a new employee, they must be trained. This can be a huge challenge given the current corona situation. In this blog post, we will give you some tips on how to manage and provide excellent online on-boarding for new employees.

Come up with a creative welcome

Normally, a new employee is welcomed with open arms, coffee (or tea), a chat to get to know everyone and the opportunity to personally arrange their workspace. Now, given the current situation, when a new employee joins the team, they will be starting from home. Not quite the welcome someone envisioned for their first day. You as the employer can still make this day special for starting employees.

It can help to organize an online welcome meeting and to schedule 1 on 1 meetings if necessary, so that the employee can meet his or her new colleagues. Be creative. For example, have all colleagues put on a party hat, have them draw a welcome message and hold it in front of their camera. It’s the little things that matter.

Another idea is to send something nice by post before the first work day. This way, the employee gets the feeling of a proper welcome.

Organize an online on-boarding day program when you are dealing with a group

Do you have a lot of new employees starting at the same time? Organize a full online day program on their first day. Below is an example of what such a day could look like:

08:30 – 09:00 Reception via an online tool
09:00 – 09.30 Welcome speech from the CEO
09:30 – 10:30 Presentation about the company
10:30 – 10:45 Coffee break (give the employees the chance to get coffee or something else to drink)
10:45 – 12:15 Explanation of the on-boarding process
12:15 – 13:00 Lunch break (have a nice lunch delivered to the new employees)
13:00 – 14:00 Online quiz (with, possibly, nice prizes that will be sent)
14:00 – 15:00 Online speed date (to allow employees to get to know each other 1 on 1)
15:00 – 15:15 Break
15:15 – 16:30 Continue online speed date
16:30 – 17:00 Joint day closing (via the same online tool)

Provide a good home workplace

Because the employee will initially mainly work from home, it is important that he has a good and healthy workplace. First, make sure he has the right equipment to work on, such as a laptop, mouse and keyboard. You can bring this to them (for that personal touch. Remember to keep the social distancing measures in mind), send it to their home address or have the employee collect it from the office (taking into account the measures). If you personally deliver the necessities, you can add a bunch of balloons or a nice card. This will certainly put a smile on your employees’ face!

Limit the number of activities in the first few weeks

Accept that the learning process in this situation may not be as fast as you are used to. According to research by Sapling, the average new hire on-boarding experience consists of 54 activities. A new job is an exciting time for everyone, but now more than ever. Too many (unnecessary) tasks can cause stress and have as a result lower productivity. Therefore, ensure a balanced work environment for your new hires.

Use modern technology to model 'togetherness'

Use the technological possibilities of today. Plan enough meetings to catch up and give the employee the opportunity to ask 'live' questions. During the training you can, for example, share your screen to explain certain software. And use a chat program to lower the threshold to ask questions. If you can ask a question at any time, it still feels a bit like your colleague is sitting next to you.

Despite these tips, online on-boarding will be different from what you are normally used to. See it as a nice challenge to discover new possibilities. Give yourself and the new employee time and space to get used to this situation and do not put too much pressure on it. If they have a good feeling, it is more likely that this will work out for both of you in the long run.

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