recruitment, remote working, supporting team
Ollie Heath – Head of Client Services (Author)
In 2020, the way of working changed dramatically overnight with the arrival of Covid19 triggering all employers to make significant changes to internal processes including onboarding, which was unchartered waters for us here at Hurren & Hope. We luckily had the infrastructure in place to operate at the same level from the comfort of our living room or home office. The next hurdle we faced was onboarding remotely!
For all companies, the onboarding process is vital for both employers and employees to establish a long-term working relationship and research shows that the first three months of employment is a key time frame for employees to get acquainted with management, and colleagues whilst starting to make sense of the day-to-day tasks. Like most companies, our onboarding process happens in person so the first question we asked ourselves was how do we make new members of staff feel welcome without the introductory breakfast to meet the team and office tour? It sounds simple, move it online!
At first, virtually onboarding seemed a daunting task, however, this hurdle was cleared by implementing the following practices and support from the team.
Communication is key!
We schedule regular catchups with new members at the start and end of the day to ensure the onboarding process was going to plan and address any concerns or questions they might have. It’s also an opportunity to gain useful feedback to help improve our onboarding process and more importunately creates a sense of openness for the new employee. Working at home can sometimes become isolating, especially for new people so management and the team have adopted an open-door policy that allows new members to contact anyone within the business for support.
Set clear expectations.
Day one, we present the new members with a document that details their responsibilities and talk through our expectations for the first 2-4 weeks whilst talking them through the company values and objectives.
Break up the working week.
Daily team meetings are vital for a business to structure the day, but they can become very repetitive, so we explored different online events such as virtual escape rooms or quiz… we have some very clever individuals in our business!
Make sure you have strong Wi-Fi!
All jokes aside, it is important as we have all been part of a conference call with one person that has poor WiFi and it results in them ducking in and out of the meeting like a rabbit in a hole. We also ensure every new starter has the right equipment in place before starting and access to online tools to keep the company working efficiently during these treacherous times.
Last and most importantly, if nothing else, it’s so important to show your appreciation. Working from home has now become the norm and we’ve learned that a simple “thank you” or “well done” goes a long way to boost someone’s morale.