Onboarding and Engaging New Employees – Remotely?!
Think about what makes your organization special. You might list your products or services, your processes, and most definitely your employees.
But what is it about your employees that makes your organization special? It probably isn’t that Bob is such a wonderful guy. More than likely, it’s the way that your employees work together that makes your organization successful. How your employees work together is what defines your culture.
We grow that culture by encouraging people to work together in teams, by providing workspaces that encourage interaction, and by scheduling events that provide social interactions. Cultivating an organization’s culture is an intentional process that takes time.
How do we create culture for remote employees? More difficult yet, how do we introduce new employees to our culture when they may be working remotely with minimal connectivity to their new team?
Here are some tips for acclimating new remote employees into your culture:
- Explain Your Culture: This goes beyond pointing to the plaque in the virtual lobby. Explain what the organization does to develop your unique culture and why it’s so important to get it right. Advise them on what to do if they see activities which are counter to the culture you want to build.
- Virtual Introductions: When we hire a new employee directly, we take them around and introduce them to their new co-workers. The same should happen virtually. Your new employee should leave that introduction with a basic understanding of the person’s role and their contact information.
- Train on Processes: They won’t be easily able to rely on the person sitting closest to them to help, so you’ll want to make certain that your new person knows where to find descriptions of your primary processes. Got a computer issue? Need office supplies? Request PTO? Don’t leave them to hunt on their own.
- Assign a Buddy: If we look lost at work, someone will offer assistance. In a remote environment, assign someone to look after the new employee for their first sixty days. A co-worker with similar responsibilities is best.
- Assign Projects to Teams: Few things bring people closer together than a shared objective. Assign employees to various teams so that they have the opportunity to work with a cross section of the organization. Building bonds across and between functional areas is critical to building a cohesive team.
- Schedule Time to Connect: Lastly, make certain that you make the time to personally connect with new employees. Checking in, especially early on, is critical to getting them off to a great start.
Interested in learning about more best practices for engaging remote employees into your culture? Join us on Wednesday, July 29th at 2:00 p.m. for a webinar discussion on this topic. We’ll be interviewing Stacey Hamlin, President and CEO of CTS Telecom as well as Sharon Brown, Director of Operations at Kalamazoo Defender about what their organizations are doing.
Looking forward to seeing you there!