Due to economies and world events, companies are fast turning to virtual employees and virtual teams for the successful running of businesses. However, this presents a peculiar challenge to managers – virtual onboarding of new employees. What happens to orientation and integration in a virtual work environment? How can a company ensure a smooth virtual onboarding process?
What is virtual onboarding?
In virtual onboarding, you welcome your new employees and introduce them with their respective teams remotely via video calls, emails etc. You need to make your employee comfortable in this virtual scenario through interactive conversations among the new and old employees. What is included in the onboarding process? Read on for some valuable tips and solutions.
Leverage Tech Tools
When you need a new employee who maybe thousands of miles away to absorb a lot of information during a short orientation process, details may get overlooked. For a hassle-free virtual onboarding process, managers can leverage tech tools such as Asana boards to create detailed guidance. Asana boards can help managers keep track of items, set up prioritization, and monitor progress.
Provide Witten Documentation
One valuable virtual onboarding tip is to provide the new employee with written documentation of important items such as job-specific processes, protocols, and procedures. This will make the onboarding process easier for an employee in another location or virtual teams that are dispersed across different locations.
Facilitate Webcam Interaction
While onboarding virtual teams, it’s important that everyone becomes familiar with one another at the earliest. A great way to do this is by scheduling a face-to-face webcam interaction between core members of your team.
Encourage Team Bonding Initiatives
Managers can encourage setting some time aside for new employees and team members to talk to each other. Team members can use this time to share tips, insights, and strategies. This virtual onboarding tip is a great way to encourage connections so that virtual employees see each other as valuable resources for each other.
Facilitate Interactions with Crucial Non-Team Members
Interactions with critical figures who work outside specific teams are easy when all employees are placed in the same office. In the virtual work environment where everyone works in silos, this needs extra effort. A good move is to hand over a list of non-team people a new employee will be working with and set up virtual meetings with these colleagues to break the ice and kick off conversations.
Provide Learning Resources
In the virtual work environment, there may be schedule gaps where employees find themselves with free time. A good idea is to provide new employees with a list of learning resources such as websites, blogs, articles, and documents that they can study on their own, at their own pace. Not only do such learning resources help in better utilization of time but they also help break the monotony of regular work.
Schedule Frequent Meetings
Supervision becomes difficult when a new employee is at a different location. One simple solution to facilitate ongoing communication is to schedule frequent online meetings with a virtual employee. Frequent communication can make the virtual onboarding process easier and add value in the long run.
Identify a Mentor
If the virtual employee is working in a different time zone, supervision becomes even more challenging. It’s not possible for a manager to be available 24/7 to address employee concerns. One solution for this particular challenge is to identify a mentor who is close to the remote employee’s specific time zone. The employee can communicate with this mentor for any concerns, clarifications, or worries during the hours you may be offline.
Make Meetings Lively
Remote meetings may become monotonous if only two individuals are participating in them every time. Managers take break the monotony by including different people and different voices during remote meetings. Further, this may also help obtain better outcomes. However, if the employee needs onboarding for an internal system, it’s best to have one of your team’s leading professionals handle onboarding.
Initiate Virtual Team Lunches
Team lunches and team dinners are endeavors of modern-day offices that help employees bond, de-stress, and feel rewarded. In the virtual working environment, managers may consider allocating a certain amount of money for each employee to buy lunch and then arrange for a video conference where everyone can enjoy a meal together. Moreover, you should also know the ways to check whether your virtual team is working or not.
For more valuable tips on the onboarding of virtual teams, get in touch with an experienced virtual staffing agency!