The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that remote work is adaptable—and it’s probably not going anywhere anytime soon. Consequently, organizations have had to adapt to recruiting and hiring remotely. While we like to think we’ve got the recruiting and hiring pieces nailed down, we still face the challenge of onboarding new hires.
When we say ‘onboarding,’ we’re not just talking about getting them their laptop and keyboard; we’re talking about how to remotely onboard new hires so they feel welcome, comfortable, and a part of your great company culture from the start. According to SHRM, 19% of employees said their biggest struggle with working remotely was “loneliness.” To help keep your new hires engaged from the start, we thought we’d draft up our top 10 (remote) onboarding activities for new hires.
‘First day of work’ lunches are classic—no need to say goodbye to them! While we don’t all love being on camera while we munch on a sandwich or crunch on some chips, it doesn’t hurt to share a meal with a new team member.
Not a fan of eating in front of a group? Consider a tea time or coffee hour where small groups of employees can get to know the new hire and the new hire can get to know them!
Embrace some competition and get your new employees on board with an epic game night (or day). From bingo to theme song trivia, there are countless virtual games that your team can play.
Super tip: Create a series of game nights (or days) and make it like the Olympics; track points for every game night and see which department or team wins!
One of the hardest things for a new hire can be meeting their team and feeling welcomed—not to mention how difficult it can be to remember everyone’s first names on the first day!
Give your new hires some help and send them on a virtual scavenger hunt. Give them a list of things to look for as they meet new people. Each item should relate to the person they’re meeting, giving them something to remember about their new teammate.
Cause nothing says ‘welcome to the team’ more than silly hats or pajama days! Show off your company culture to your new hire and host a virtual spirit week where employees wear something themed every day of the week. #TackyTuesday?
While we are major fans of movie nights, book clubs are a great way to start a conversation with a small group. Consider creating a few book clubs in your organization for a new hire to join from that get-go.
Paint & sip? Knitting club? Soap making? Whatever craft your new hire likes to do, tell them to bring it to a crafty hangout.
Zoom fatigue, screen fatigue—whatever you want to call it—is real. Help keep your new hires from any type of fatigue and get them walking. Go for a virtual walk to exercise more than just the brain.
Your new hire isn’t the only one joining the organization; consider your new hire’s family—spouse, children, furbabies, etc., and invite them to a virtual BBQ where they can meet other team members’ families as well. Plus, any excuse to fire up that grill is a #win.
While a lot of these activities are exciting and fun, the most important thing you can do when onboarding a new hire is to be there for them. Check-in on them after their first week, first month, and first quarter. You’ve got this!