When Onboarding Feels Off: Injecting Empathy into Your Remote New Hire Program

It’s funny how going to lunch seems to be a part of every single new employee’s first day on the job. Right? It’s always part of the process. Fill out your HR paperwork, setup your laptop, put knickknacks on your desk, go to lunch with your new colleagues.

When you think about it, it makes sense. Eating together is often the go-to activity for people who want to get to know each other. There’s something about sharing a meal that brings us closer together.

So what can you do as an HR professional to help bridge this gap? How can your onboarding process help create that positive experience that might be missing when everyone is remote? We’ve got a few ideas.

Go digital

If you’ve been waiting to make the leap to a fully-digitized onboarding and training program, NOW IS THE TIME. With a digital onboarding program, you can make all information accessible to every employee in any location, on any device, and at any time. You can also easily include help links or chat support so employees can get assistance whenever they need it.

Not only will a 100% online system help the employees you’re currently in the process of hiring, it will benefit every employee you hire in the future.

Build a cross-functional onboarding team

Onboarding is a team sport. The more teammates you have working together, the more coverage you’ve got. So when you’re onboarding a remote employee in Oslo, whose manager is in Ft. Lauderdale, it’s ok because you’ve got an onboarding team member in Berlin who can handle after-hours emergencies. If you’ve also digitized the process (as recommended above), making contact is as easy as clicking a button.

Keep in constant contact

When you can’t just pop into someone’s cube to say hello, the next best thing is a quick message in an app like Slack or Microsoft Teams. You can also carve out time for more formal periodic check ins to make sure your new hire is on track and answer any lingering questions they may have. When one of the most prevalent complaints about remote work is isolation and loneliness, every bit of personal contact makes a positive impact.

There you have it. Three tips for injecting empathy into your remote onboarding processes. As an HR professional, empathy is probably your strong suit. How are you and your team helping new hires navigate the onboarding process with a fully remote team?

To hear how an Akumina-built modern intranet can enhance your onboarding program, get in touch, and we’ll create a personalized demo for your team.

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