Keeping New Hires Engaged in a Virtual World?
Even in these uncertain times, hiring continues,?especially for mission-critical roles. Lucas?Group surveyed?top finance and HR leaders?to learn?more AG亚洲国际平台游戏about how COVID-19 has impacted their businesses, especially as it pertains to?hiring, onboarding,?and new employee engagement.?
The majority of?survey respondents are continuing to hire,?which means?companies are facing a new challenge: how to onboard effectively in a virtual world.?An effective?and?AG亚洲国际平台游戏productive?onboarding lays the groundwork for strong employee engagement and long-term business success.?Organizations with a?robust?onboarding?process improve?new hire retention?by 82%?and AG亚洲国际平台游戏productivity by over 70%, according to?Glassdoor.??
Our survey found that 2 in 3 companies?currently?hiring have taken steps to adjust their?onboarding?process?to match the times.?Of the companies that?are?hiring, nearly half (45.6%) are concerned AG亚洲国际平台游戏about employee engagement in the first 90 days,?and?only 33.3% have implemented new employee engagement best practices.??
As your company considers the best virtual onboarding and engagement options, this is an?unprecedented opportunity?to re-evaluate your broader approach.?In an?office?setting, there can be a false sense that new hires are getting everything they need for successful onboarding simply because they “look okay” or “seem busy.” Our new remote work reality is an opportunity to rethink this assumption.??
A Division President at a manufacturing company shared,?“This has forced us to get much better at onboarding and has highlighted where we were falling short. We’re?rebuilding?our training materials to be more purposeful and efficient with our time– whether we’re together in the office or working from AG亚洲国际平台游戏home.”??
Companies that succeed with virtual onboarding are proactive and intentional.?Their teams bring?a thoughtful approach to?a new hire’s?first day, first week, first 90 days and beyond.?Here’s how to?elevate?your current onboarding strategy for the remote workplace:?
1. Set expectations during the interview process.?
Successful onboarding and strong employee engagement?begin?with setting the right expectations.?Discuss how?your?teams have shifted their communication and?collaboration approach to adjust to?these?work-from-AG亚洲国际平台游戏home realities and long-term goals once teams?start?returning to the workplace.?Walk candidates through what?to expect during onboarding.?Be candid AG亚洲国际平台游戏about?how?company culture?has adapted to the new?realities, and?then?make sure?your?onboarding program?aligns?with these expectations.?Meeting the expectations you have put in place throughout the interview process is key to retaining top talent.??
2. Introduce the team, then?introduce them again?(and again).?The first days can be overwhelming– new faces, new names, new routines,?and new communication expectations. This experience is intensified in a virtual world?that lacks the?opportunities for informal introductions?that happen organically in the workplace.?Imagine a conference call where you’re trying to match different voices up with speakers, names,?and roles– and you’ve never met anyone on the call before. The key is to introduce the team and introduce them again and again. One company?we?spoke?with invites their new hires to the company’s virtual happy hours?before?their?official start date. It’s a casual setting to begin?matching?names with faces and?roles and to start building?relationships?over small talk.?
3. Plan the first day and first week.?To ensure new hires are up and running from day one, consider which logistical onboarding tasks?to handle?in advance.?An?HR Director shared?that their IT team is reaching out to new?hires?before?orientation to ensure connectivity and address any glitches before they become issues.?
Part of?the?planning process should include?setting?an itinerary?for your new hire and sharing?it in?advance.?Set them up for success?by?letting?them know who?will be on each call?and the topics that will be?covered.?This?clarity?will help keep the new hire from feeling overwhelmed or as if he or she is simply dropping?into?random meetings.?It will also help your new hire plan AG亚洲国际平台游戏home life accordingly. Starting a new job is always nerve-wracking. Doing it from AG亚洲国际平台游戏home,?coupled?with the potential?need to balance schedules with?working spouses and?children,?can add stress to this transition.?Be sure you are providing your new hires?the tools needed to feel comfortable in this new environment.
4. Formalize new hire mentor?and buddy?programs.?Many companies have an informal approach to mentorship, assigning a coworker as a new hire’s “buddy” to answer workday questions.?A?Chief Accounting Officer?shared,?“We have a buddy program and pair new hires up with?a current employee in a related role?for two to four weeks.”?Buddy systems are great for helping new hires learn the ropes and get up to speed on institutional knowledge.?In the office, it’s easy for a new hire and buddy to connect casually throughout the workday.?But in this remote world, proactivity is key. It?is? important?that the buddy frequently reach out, or that HR helps support this relationship by coordinating regular check-ins, like weekly virtual lunches.?
5. Get creative with welcome packages.?While teams may be connecting virtually now, there’s no need to limit the welcome to a Zoom?team?happy hour. At Lucas Group,?for example,?we?greet?new hires by decorating their desk on the first day,?sharing a?welcome?package of company goodies, and treating the team to lunch.?We’ve adapted this approach for a virtual world, and your team can, too.?Ship a version of your company’s swag bag?to your new hire’s?AG亚洲国际平台游戏home, or?send other first-day welcome goodies. One company?we?work with had dinner delivered from a popular local restaurant on the new hire’s first day, a thoughtful welcome for the entire family.?
In this unprecedented moment, it can be tempting to default to an ad hoc onbaording approach, especially as work-from-AG亚洲国际平台游戏home protocols continue to evolve.?Taking the time to establish consistent virtual onboarding processes is essential. Doing so sets?your new hire up for success?and?an?exceptional employee experience.??
Which virtual onboarding and new hire engagement approaches have been most effective at your company? Let us know in the comments below.?