Canada Association of Tourism Employees

Distant New Rent Onboarding Greatest Practices

Best practices for remotely onboarding new hires for fun training on the go

When COVID hit, companies had to figure out how to remotely onboard overnight (like so many other areas of the business that needed to be moved to a virtual environment). Now is the time for your HR managers to take a proactive approach to a remote onboarding experience.

How can you create a Day 1 experience as remarkable as walking into the office for the first time? It’s not easy, but it is possible to create this feeling so that your new hire feels confident that they made the right decision to join your team.

First impressions are everything, especially in a virtual world. The energy must be there as if you were actually onboarding a new employee in person.

Let’s discuss how you can provide a remarkable experience for your new hires, including:

  • Revising your new hire checklist, taking into account that everyone works from home
  • What you can send directly to a new employee to get started and spark enthusiasm
  • Potential pitfalls that could make a remote onboarding experience boring or miserable

eBook publication

How to Make Training Great: Your Checklist for Onboarding New Employees

Find out insider tips to banish boredom and increase the engagement of new employees!

Your remote onboarding checklist for new hire

In our new employee checklist, we’ve talked about the essential elements of getting your new employee up and running, such as the tools for internal communication (a top priority to remember, especially when everyone is online). In our checklist for onboarding new employees, we’ve broken this down into five phases, including:

  1. Plan the essentials in advance before you start
  2. Day 1 and start
  3. Explain ‘Why you are here …’
  4. Job-specific training
  5. The first 30, 60, 90 days

This checklist is important and should be shared with new hires as it provides them with a roadmap for their onboarding. If you expect them to be online for hours at a time, they should have a schedule – at least on a high level – of when they can take breaks or do actual work instead of being in a virtual meeting.

Getting back to the storytelling in the onboarding experience, this checklist works almost like an adventure guide to spark excitement for reaching milestones and achieving goals along the way.

How do you create a remarkable experience for your new hires in a remote world?

It is possible to build a corporate culture even when everyone is working from home. Sending gear, swags, and essentials straight to a new employee in the week leading up to the actual start is a great way to add excitement to Day 1.

Here are some ideas to consider for your remote new hire onboarding process:

  • Send a swag pack with a company t-shirt, coffee mug, koozie or diary
  • Take a short video of some of your current employees talking about your company’s core values ​​and what they mean to them
    • Gives new employees a taste of the culture in a non-dictatorial way
  • Meet and greet virtually on Zoom, Slack, or email
    • Virtual company happy hour or virtual coffee with your new team. Even if it’s not with the entire team, at least meet the colleagues with whom the new employee will work directly. Consider eating before day 1 or at least during week 1
  • Create a quiz game based on the week’s insights
  • Send a delivery voucher to a new employee to order a meal at the company as you won’t be able to take them with you for lunch
  • Open coffee hour every day online to get in touch with team members
  • Personality test for the new hires like to see how their strengths match the rest of the team
  • Fun ideas for onboarding new employees
    • Social media post for new hires to share on company LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc, depending on the size of your company
      • Share internally in your Slack or via email to build the community outside of your physical office.
      • The manager sends an email to the new hire’s team or department to welcome the new hire

If you don’t have a new hire welcome pack, create one now. Send your new hires a welcome pack with their laptop (other than BYOD) and loot (t-shirt, mug, whatever) and a handwritten note goes a long way in creating a personal connection and making your new hires feel welcome to be when you cannot be together physically.

Potential errors in onboarding remote workers

Here are a few things to look out for that could make a remote onboarding experience boring or miserable:

  • No laptop arrives on time
  • No plan for day 1 / week 1 / onboarding
  • Zoom fatigue of sitting in a meeting for 5 hours
  • No account set up (e.g. email or other access does not work)
  • Manager not available for training or meet and greet
  • Nobody announces the arrival of the new employee
  • Welcome pack is delayed or does not arrive

Most importantly, when it comes to remote onboarding, managers need to devote time to employees. They need to allow time 1-1 to properly train their new hires and time to get to know them outside of the interview. Managers should also check in daily to see how a new direct report will behave upon arrival.

The central theses

  • Even if not everyone works remotely and cannot be in the same office together, onboarding a new employee can still be a lot of fun
  • Think about ways to build up excitement before the first day, e.g.
  • Sitting in an online meeting for hours can be painfully boring. Create a checklist for the first week, share it with your new employees and make sure that your line manager also takes part in the training of your new employees.

This has to be a fun and memorable experience, so if someone asks, “How was your first day, even from a distance?” Then they have a great story to share. It is possible for a new employee to say, “This was the best onboarding experience I’ve ever had!” Even if they work from home.

We wrote the How To Make Great Training Awesome: Your New Employee Onboarding Checklist eBook. Each chapter ends with important insights, and you can also repeat our webinar where we discuss how you can incorporate storytelling into your staff training.

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