You’ve hired your new employee during lockdown, but how can you onboard virtual employees as you would in the ‘real world’? In this blog post we share some ideas, pointers and advice for onboarding virtual employees and ensuring they feel at home in your business, even when they’re at their home working for your business.

Just as you would have a computer, email, phone and more set up for your new employee in the office, you need to do the same for your virtual employee. Send them a laptop and phone to their home address. Get your IT department to have the laptop set up ready with all the email accounts and access they require.

Why not send an email round the team to tell them the new employee is starting. Have them send a welcome email to the new person. This way, when your virtual employee opens their emails, they have lots of friendly welcomes awaiting them. It’s just the same as their new colleagues saying ‘Hello’ on their first day in the office.

How about arranging a welcome pack of goodies for them? This could include a branded company mug with their name on and some tea bags? Maybe a branded notepad and pen, or a packet of biscuits? A little package of some branded and thoughtful goodies could go really far in onboarding virtual employees and making them feel special.

The week before your new employee starts, check in with them. Do they have any concerns or worries? Do they have all their equipment that they need? Make sure you keep this conversation positive. You may want to give them an update on the business and how it is doing. This will reassure the new employee that you are coping through the pandemic and their job is permanent for the future.

On their first day arrange a video meeting to meet with their colleagues and the rest of the team. Make it fun and engaging. Also take the time to share your screen with them and show your new recruit the different systems, how to use them and answer any questions they may have. Remind them that they can always contact you or their colleagues to ask any questions, just as they would in an office environment.

Set up a buddy support system. Give your new recruit an employee that they can go to whatever their worry. They could have a virtual coffee morning each day just to check in and see how they’re getting on. Also schedule a weekly catch-up with yourself and your new recruit. This could be first thing Monday or 3pm every Friday for example. This will make your new employee feel more comfortable about asking any questions.

After a few weeks run an online event for the whole team. This could be a quiz night, comedy night, magic show, online bingo or something similar. It’s like a team outing, but online. It gives your employees a chance to get to know each other and boosts the team morale too.

If you need help recruiting online, employing online or onboarding virtual employees – call us now. We will happily share any ideas and tips with you.