With the pandemic ushering in new workplace dynamics, a comprehensive onboarding strategy tailored to virtual environments is critical. It's a chance to lay the groundwork for the knowledge, connections and sense of belonging that will set an employee up for success throughout their tenure.In our recent issue of Compass, Judy Busby, senior vice president of executive search and corporate strategy, and Jack Walsh, managing director, share insights into creating an onboarding experience that not only engages new hires, but also supports their continued productivity and loyalty. Here are just a few of the key takeaways from their feature article, "Onboarding for Long-Term Success."
Acknowledge the impact of "preboarding."
Successful onboarding begins even before a new employee's first day. Maintaining the momentum built up in the interview process can be as simple as having team members send welcome notes through email or LinkedIn. Depending on your budget, you may also consider sending a welcome gift such as company swag or specialty foods. Additionally, it's essential to plan ahead for your new hire’s first week, sharing an initial schedule and making sure they are equipped with the necessary technology to hit the ground running. For remote employees, consider asking them to come into the office at least once during their initial weeks, bridging the virtual gap with face-to-face interactions.
Cultivate connections from day one.
A sense of connection is essential for engaging new hires; however, these interactions must be much more intentional in remote environments. Determine how to begin creating connections from day one. For instance, start with a brief team meeting on the new employee's first or second day to help names become faces and provide initial introductions. Throughout the first few weeks, schedule 20-minute “coffee chats” for one-on-one time with their team members and other colleagues they’ll regularly collaborate with. Assigning a mentor or buddy can also provide valuable guidance and support as they navigate their new role. Ensure your onboarding schedule carves out time for conversations and relationship-building sessions – both formal and informal.
Offer ongoing support.
Continually aligning on expectations and promoting two-way feedback are vital components of a successful onboarding journey. Dedicate time each week in the employee's first months to gauge progress and identify areas where you can offer enhanced support. As the initial onboarding phase concludes, continue with monthly check-ins to explore their evolving experience, alleviate any pain points and adapt onboarding strategies for future hires.
Thorough onboarding is pivotal in positively shaping an employee’s overall journey with your organization. For more insights on creating a thoughtful and comprehensive onboarding strategy, view the full article.
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