News Article

THE NEW NORMAL-7 Steps to Creating a Virtual Onboarding Programme for New Employees

Posted 3rd April 2020 • Written by

Recruitment and the Onboarding of new staff does not have to stop just because people are working from home.

Here’s a really interesting article from that explains how they have continued to employ new team members remotely.

It has some good ideas for how you can continue to work with People First to fill the vacancies you have and get the new people you need into your company even though they will start their new job from home.

It was the first Wednesday of March and Kelly Chuck, who spearheads the curriculum for LinkedIn’s onboarding program, had just started noodling some ideas for a possible virtual orientation. Then she was told that the company was asking its Bay Area workforce to start working from home and she needed to have a virtual program in place for the new hires who would join LinkedIn — the following Monday.

Kelly understood what was at stake. An effective onboarding program boosts productivity, engagement, and retention. She had to figure out how to make sure new hires felt welcomed and excited in the absence of office tours, team meals, swag bags, and meet-and-greets with new teammates.

So, Kelly spent three days overhauling LinkedIn’s one-day onboarding program with input from her team and global colleagues who were dealing with the same challenge. By the end of Saturday, she had developed a weeklong virtual program that launched just two days later with 42 new hires from all over North America. And now that the program has launched, Kelly and her team make tweaks to it each week based on new-hire feedback.

If your company is struggling with how to create a virtual onboarding program, here are seven tactics that Kelly and her colleagues used that may be helpful:

1. Spread your program out over a number of days

One of the most pivotal decisions Kelly and her manager, Sara Dowling, made was to take what had been a one-day program and spread it out over a week. “We didn’t want to transition everything into a full day virtually,” Kelly says, “because we weren’t sure how new hires would respond after home life for so many people has changed so much. We felt we could best do that with shorter bursts spread over a week to allow flexibility with working from home, and then we could adapt as needed.”

Also, after a typical onsite onboarding, a company is sending new hires into an office where they will be embraced by new colleagues, eager to meet them and make them feel at home. The five-day program creates an intentional plan of regular check-ins and touchpoints to make sure no new hire feels forgotten or overlooked.

Instead, Kelly designed a five-day welcome that starts with a one-hour live session on Day 1 that covers the company culture, values, and products and concludes on Day 5 with an Ask Me Anything session with an expert from benefits who helps new hires finish enrollment. Other activities during the week include a Day 2 video from Kelly (see below), an hourlong Day 3 session with a LinkedIn executive, and a Day 4 scavenger hunt where all the “items” are found in the company’s online resources.

The five-day approach not only helps new hires stay more engaged but also reduces some of the stress for facilitators and their production help as they juggle speakers, videos, slide decks, breakout groups, and polls.

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