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How to effectively onboard new starters remotely

Across the world, Managers are now welcoming new starters to their teams remotely. As a result, the onboarding process is now entirely done from home, which is unfamiliar ground for most leaders. As we transition into our ‘new normal’ way of life post Covid, it’s important to recognise the new starters you have selected have probably been through emotional disturbance, as they experienced uncertainty around job security as well as the usual  mix of excitement and nerves. This makes it even more important to ensure the onboarding process is a positive one.

Whether you are leading a team that’s always in the office, a totally remote team or a hybrid team, the onboarding goals are the same – create a sense of belonging and new starters contributing to the rest of the team.


Here are some of our top tips to successfully onboard new starters:


1. Get to know them


Ask them what they want out of their onboarding experience, what they think will be more challenging due to the current working arrangements and how you can work together to solve these challenges. Share your experiences as well, so you can build a strong working relationship.


2. Make introductions


Help them build relationships within the team/organisation by scheduling calls to introduce new team members and involve them immediately in team activities such as quizzes. Try and prioritise introducing the people they need to work with most often.


3. Conduct a formal induction


Usually the first half day of an inductions is dedicated to helping the new starter understand some of the business fundamentals such as how the email works, who the key customer are, organisational structure, processes and compliance, etc.


4. Pair new starters with experienced employees


When starting a new job, one of the difficult things is that you don’t know how things are done. In many cases, there are many little things that only come up as we get stuck in to our new roles. The easiest way to find these things out is to ask other people in your team. When working remotely, it helps to pair your new starters with a more experienced employee, so they have a specific person to contact with any questions they have, no matter how basic it seems.


5. Nail the basics

Now more than ever, Managers need to be setting clear expectations, engaging with team members, and giving feedback. These become even more important for new employees, as they settle in, you can work with them to develop a plan of goals to achieve and make sure that they have the tools and resources to succeed.