With social distancing, companies are learning to get creative and adjust their hiring process. Because the length of time in quarantine has been longer than anticipated – virtual onboarding has become the new norm. If you’re new to this type of process, here are some tips to successfully onboard remote employees.

Mail Necessary Equipment Directly

Remote employees should have all equipment needed to complete their job responsibilities prior to their start date. Provide a computer/laptop, keyboard, mouse, a company cellphone (if needed) for each new hire, and any other necessary equipment. Be sure to send the equipment early on to gives your new hires time to get set up. Once all the equipment has bee received if applicable set up a meeting with the IT department to walk them through programs, processes, etc.

Send a Welcome Package

In addition to company equipment, you can also send a welcome package! The reason for this is to simply make the employee feel welcome, included and a part of the team. You can include items such as company apparel, a mouse pad or notepads, a drawstring bag to keep materials in, a coffee mug or any other company materials that you have. You should also consider including any other materials that may improve job efficiency such as headphones, a gift card, a personal development book, etc.

Discuss the Communication Process

Whether you use email, chat, phone calls, etc– share with your new hires all preferred ways to communicate for specific situations. Maybe you prefer project updates via email so the thread can be easily referred back to. Maybe you want daily tasks discussed over the phone. Regardless, be sure to cover each avenue of business and explain the process.

Discuss Expectations

Management and all new hires should have a clear understanding of what is expected, their responsibilities, and their goals. This can also be a good time to establish a timeline of training, calls, and any additional important dates.

Develop and Provide a Checklist

Consider composing a checklist for new hires to complete prior to their start date. This list should include tasks that are to be done pre-boarding. For example, reviewing the company handbook, setting up logins, review/saving important contact information, completing forms/paperwork/tax information, etc. Doing so will give the new hires a chance to be fully prepared, and aware of what is needed. Having everything in a checklist readily available keeps the process organized and simple. You can even have them send back the checklist once it’s completed so everyone is on the same page.

Send a List of Daily Tasks

It’s essential for your employees to understand the extent of their job duties so they have an idea of the tasks that will be completed on a daily/weekly basis. If they have any questions they can express them prior, allowing them to dive right into training feeling somewhat familiar with their tasks.

Schedule Meetings

Schedule meetings with supervisors, management, teams and anyone they will be working with frequently. These meetings should be scheduled either on their start date, or post-training. Share this schedule with your new hires as well to stay organized.

Implement a “Meet the Team” Thread

Your new hires will feel more comfortable “meeting” the team members via video chat, but if you want to take it a step further, create a “meet the team” thread. Whether it be through a chat program or an email chain – share a small blurb about each team member what their position entails and even a small fun personal detail as well. This allows your team and employees to develop a relationship right from the beginning.

Have a Set Date for the Onboarding Process

The training for new hires should be intricate, well explained and thorough. Whether it be prerecorded, or done live from a manager/team member -the training should also be interactive as well so questions can be asked throughout the process and be sure everyone stays on task and understands their duties.

Schedule Regular 1:1 Calls

While team calls and virtual conference meetings are essential, 1:1 supervisor/management and team calls should also be included. “72% of employees surveyed by Enboarder said one-on-one time with their direct manager is the most important aspect of any pre-boarding or onboarding process.” Whether these are virtual calls or regular phone meetings, carve out time for your new hires to communicate directly 1:1. This will improve job satisfaction, productivity, build trust and overall company culture.