What are the ins and outs of the job? Who will I work with, what are their strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes? What are the customs and traditions and the stories and the myths that are particular to this company and this group?
Finding answers to these questions is harder when working remotely, especially if you join during this lockdown period. But they will make the difference to how quickly the new hire becomes engaged and productive.
Meeting in person and getting an opportunity to build rapport give virtual working a head start. Without that, the negative aspects of remote working, such as being left out of discussions and planning, are more likely to happen to the new starter.
Here are some tips:
1. Managers: spend extra quality time with your new hire, especially during the first few days. Think through and impart what is important to you, what your priorities are, how you like things to be done, what has gone well in the past, what has not gone well and needs improving. Check in regularly.
2. Remote employees thrive on concrete goals. Create a 30/60/90 day plan with action items and goals for each milestone.
3. Provide proper ongoing support. Don’t let support end after the first week.
4. Mentoring is a great intervention for everyone but is especially helpful to avoid that the newly-hired remote worker feels isolated and disconnected. Mentors can be great at providing insights and snippets of information that create shared understanding.
5. Welcome new hires with some special video conference team events, and company-wide events so they are introduced to everyone and made to feel welcome. Always check that new hires are included, whenever appropriate.
Sign up now for our online courses on Leading Virtual Teams and Making Virtual Working Effective. For just £50 plus VAT per person and approximately six hours of guided exercises with tips and ideas.
©Janice Caplan 2020