Onboarding a remote colleague

If you have recruited anyone since early 2020 it is likely that they have spent a good deal of that time working from home and have had little opportunity to spend time with their colleagues in person.

Starting a new job can be challenging enough so what are some of the additional things a remote starter may face?

Woman Working Remotely On Laptop by Jacob Lund Photography from NounProject.com

As a new starter it can be difficult to find information and understand how things are done and this can be even trickier if you are not physically together.

I recommend each new joiner having a buddy to help them through the initial few months. This person can help to find information, understand policies and ensure that they are being well supported. Having one person ideally with the same or a similar role will help the new joiner to gain confidence and can help them to build additional relationships. They might speak every day or every few days.

When starting any new role there will be things to do to get access to the resources and there may be people to get to know and other induction tasks. The new joiner will need to be able to accomplish some of this without constant support.

My best experience of induction used an online service called Trello which detailed all of the tasks I needed to complete in the first few weeks, people to speak to and what I should already have access to and what to do if that was not the case. It meant that I was able to get on with something useful every day and knew what to do if I needed help. Using a shared document or cloud based service also means that the template can be updated whenever necessary and the next person to join will get the updated version. The new starter's buddy and line manager could also have access to their board or shared document.

What happens when you begin to meet in person again? Give some thought to how your previously remote workers will feel when they are together with colleagues who know each other well.

The buddy system will help with this as the joiner will have someone they have spoken to quite a bit however, it is important for everyone to have time to speak, learn about each other and to build trust. Some easy ways to do this are randomised coffee trials (over camera if necessary), communities of practice, coffee time or shared (remote) lunch.

If you would have any additional questions or need help with your remote/hybrid ways of working please contact me via email or directly book a call. I look forward to hearing from you.