When working remotely during this time, recruiting, interviewing and finding the perfect candidate that fits your job description is hard enough. Having to figure out how to onboard your new team member from different locations can make it even harder - so what can be done to make it easier? One of the most popular questions we get asked by our clients after they land a rockstar as part of their team is What do I do now? - especially now that we are all remote. Here’s how we coach our clients to be successful in onboarding their new team members.
So what exactly is onboarding, and why is it important for the newest addition to your team?
Onboarding is your new team member’s first two weeks at the company and getting them adjusted to the culture, work load, and training them to be successful. Without onboarding, they might feel lost in the beginning and not truly feel like they are a part of the team - especially when working remotely. It is important to have a fully developed onboarding plan to ensure that the transition is seamless for a new superstar and the team as a whole.
The first week of the onboarding process should be aimed at adjusting the new member of your team and is all about absorbing new information. The second week should be focused on actually doing the job and a plan for the beginning of their employment. Onboarding is all about protecting your investment in a new member of your team and making sure they are the perfect fit for your team.
Set clear expectations and communicate constantly.
The worst thing that you can do for the new member of the team is expect them to figure it out on their own. They are entering a new environment, whether it be digital or not, and it is important for them to get adjusted and understand what is expected of them. Let them know that you or someone else on your team will be able to answer questions as they pop up and if they aren’t doing something correctly, communicate that with them so they know for next time.
If it’s possible, match your new team member with an experienced coworker as an onboarding mentor. This way they know that they can go to a specific person for help and ask any questions to make them feel more comfortable with what they’re doing.
Make sure they are prepared for their first day - and week, on the job.
If you plan on giving them any equipment, like a laptop for example, ship it with enough time in advance so it will arrive at least two days before their first day. This gives them the opportunity to set up the computer and have it completely ready to get started. Check in and see to it that they have everything they need to get started. Set up any accounts that they will be using in the future like their email, their HubSpot account, and what you use to communicate during the day through video calls or instant messaging.
Another helpful tip is to set up the first week of their calendar and put any events on it that they need to attend - various trainings, company meetings, one-on-one meetings, and more. This will leave them feeling like they have a plan for their first week and not feeling lost or overwhelmed by not knowing what to do.
Set up a video conference training for them.
If they don't know how to use video conferencing tools like Zoom or the platform that you are using, then there is a pretty big chance they will struggle their first week because they will be so focused on trying to figure it out instead of focusing on getting adjusted to the new role. By setting up a training session on how to use those tools, they will be able to become an expert and get right into it. This may seem like a simple task, but video conferencing can create a lot of anxiety for those who don’t know how to use it and training can ease a large amount of their worries! This is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Welcome them to the company with open arms!
Do anything you can to make your new team member feel comfortable and excited to get started! They are never going to be more excited than they are on the day before their first day. Send them some company swag or an official welcome basket with goodies that show you are just excited to have them joining the team as you are. Encourage them to connect with their coworkers on LinkedIn to help them get to know them. You could also set up a company-wide meeting to introduce them to their coworkers, or set up one-on-one meetings with the people who they will be collaborating with the most often. Social engineering in the first couple of weeks of working is incredibly important in learning the dynamics of the company. Being mindful of how your new team member interacts with their new coworkers through social engineering is a big part of onboarding.
Create a 30-60-90 day plan in the second week of onboarding.
Feedback is extremely important when it comes to bringing on a new team member. In this plan, create manageable goals for them to evaluate their performance and assess where they will be going from there in the coming weeks. To help with this, check out our blog post on creating an effective 30-60-90 day plan.
To wrap things up, here are top mistakes to avoid making when onboarding a new rockstar.
Don’t be afraid to be a micromanager! Oftentimes, the new member of your team needs someone checking in with them to see how they are doing or telling them what to do. This will help them feel supported in their first couple of weeks and by the time they are out of the onboarding process, they will feel empowered to do their work on their own.
Don’t push them right into completing tasks within their job role right on the first day. Make sure they feel like they are part of the team in order to be successful as a worker and feel ready to complete those tasks.
Don’t assume that they know how to use tools like video conferencing. Be patient with them the first week and answer any clarifying questions they might have.
Don’t give them a completely open schedule. Giving your new member structure and organization during the first week will help them feel like they have things to do and aren’t just sitting and wondering what is coming next.
Don’t let them feel like they are a company of one. Introduce them to their coworkers and let them get a feel for what the company is like. Allow them time to get to know the people they will be working with because some of the best ideas come from collaboration.
Don’t leave them wondering how they are performing. Answer questions and give them tips and comments after they complete a task. Creating the 30-60-90 day plan during the second week of onboarding is key to bringing in a successful new member.