Due to the emergence of the COVID-19 virus, the number of people working from home has skyrocketed. Organizations that have recently hired new employees face a serious challenge - how can new colleagues be successfully logged in and ‘remote-controlled’ while working from home? How can this process be improved?
Effective onboarding is a difficult task, especially for companies where telecommuting was not part of everyday life before and switched to a home office system urgently during the weeks of the crisis without any special preparation.
However, if the company has previously had home office as part of their daily operation, they will certainly be able to effectively introduce a new employee in such circumstances, at a forced pace. For the process to be successful, decisions need to be made quickly and unusual tasks to be done - for example, they can send a binder by courier or take a business laptop by taxi to the new employee’s address. What additional measures need to be taken to effectively implement online work?
1. The key to success is an action plan
Introducing a new colleague into the organization is a challenging task even under traditional circumstances, not least for companies working remotely due to the coronavirus. However, nothing is impossible! To avoid chaos, it is worth adopting a unique action strategy that allows the newly hired person to get to know their new job without stress. It is important for the new colleague to get enough information and someone to support them during onboarding. The better the new employee adapts to their workplace, the more efficiently they will perform their future tasks.
Recent weeks have been a challenge for many businesses, so employers need to switch to a new way of thinking and take unusual measures. Many companies continue to actively recruit and this requires effective communication with employees. “Only’ ”circumstances have changed.
The current situation requires a number of rapid, operational actions. These include mapping out appropriate technological solutions or providing managers with the necessary training on how to use different communication tools in times of crisis. These types of activities promote the efficiency of telecommuting, which helps make the whole team more flexible and efficient.
2. Online knowledge base
How can the integration of a new employee be carried out as planned? Above all, create an online knowledge base for new employees that includes information that will make your job easier in the first few weeks and months! For example, include process details, guides, detailed information about the tools used by the team, document templates and specifications, product information, and services provided by the company.
3. Wide range of online tools
Depending on the specifics of the company, the onboarding process can be supported in many ways. You may want to use tools such as webinars and video conferencing. There are many apps and software available online to help companies digitize. Technology solutions for telecommuting are becoming increasingly popular. Microsoft Teams is a corporate communication platform that provides all the necessary features (video conferencing, project-related chat, etc.) Effective organizational communication during telecommuting can be aided by a number of apps, including Slack. Task management apps can improve employee efficiency with Todoist, Trello, or Asana.
Integrating the new worker into the organization is always essential, but it can become increasingly important in everyday life based on telecommuting. New colleagues are full of questions and doubts - in the traditional office environment, there is always someone to turn to, but working remotely can easily make them feel alone. You may want to connect them with one or more colleagues who can accompany you through the process as mentors. This way, the new colleague knows who to turn to with questions related to the execution of tasks, as well as the habits prevailing at the company.
5. Trust - one of the most important conditions for employee involvement
Some companies ask telecommuting colleagues to send a summary of their activities to their supervisor every half hour to show them what they are doing and what stage their tasks are at. Companies need to consider whether such close oversight is really needed. Dedicated employees can be even more efficient in the home office. Therefore, the first step to the success of online onboarding and telecommuting should be to properly prepare teams and leaders: proper communication, setting clear rules for telecommuting, and ensuring that this too is just a normal working day - just in other circumstances. .
It’s important for managers to have more flexibility in managing employees and less control over their tasks - focusing more on the end result, which is the team’s common goal. So instead of asking, "How are you?" we recommend more effective use of project management tools such as Trello, Asana or Clickup. Scheduling activities and team meetings twice a week can be helpful: in this case, all team members attend an online team meeting and report on the status of current projects, any problems, and have the opportunity to ask questions. It is important that the colleagues needed to implement the project are in direct contact with each other. The new team member should be informed that you can contact your professional leader for support at any time in case of a problem.
Managers need to pay special attention to colleagues who need more time to adapt to new circumstances. It is not easy for all people to structure their time efficiently and perform their tasks effectively. For these colleagues, it can be a great help to draw up an action plan that we can regularly monitor together and measure their progress.
It is very important to monitor onboarding processes. In the form of feedback from a conversation or a short online survey, it is important to find out which elements of onboarding your new colleague liked and which ones need to be improved. This way we can optimize the process, which can lead to greater team involvement and efficiency. Changes are an integral part of the evolution required by today’s job market. Teleworking has now become indispensable - this flexible form of cooperation is also positively appreciated by employees and companies. The coronavirus epidemic can start many companies move down this path - so let’s try to make the most of these difficult times.