A solid onboarding process is a company essential, especially among distributed teams (i.e. any company with team members spread across the world). Strengthening your onboarding process can foster a better, more efficient, long-term cooperation and encourage the people on your team to stick around longer. Despite prominent advantages, 40% of organizations lack a settled onboarding process. Here are 18 basic onboarding tips you can do for your newcomer, to help organize time and order :

The week before

1. Software.

If you have to make the tough call and choose one single thing that’s important when working in IT, you’d probably be hard pressed not to pick software. All tech and app requirements have to be considered early to avoid bottlenecks down the line. Pre-install and make sure it’s all working before the newcomer’s first day.

2. Working space.

Seeing newcomers ambling around restlessly or nesting at a kitchen table is probably one of the most heartbreaking pictures in the office. Prepare a comfortable working space for your newcomer well in advance. If your office is temporarily overcrowded, think of sitting them at a coworking space. Just make sure they have a place to rest their legs and concentrate.

3. Papers.

Very few people wake up in the morning, butter their bread and get excited about signing dozens of papers. Yet, paperwork is an essential part of any working process. In fact, many enjoy the process of signing papers as it signifies a new beginning. Set up a preliminary meeting, to deal with documentation or send your newcomer their papers for e-signing – saving you precious time for other pressing matters.

4. Explain the company’s culture.

Successful recruitment usually boils down to finding a person who shares the same company values. Ideally, you should talk about it during the recruitment process. Yet preparing a more in-depth conversation concerning your office culture as they cross over the threshold of their new home is also key.

5. Get them an office buddy.

When we get older making friends gets harder. To help newcomers fit into the team, you can “assign” them a friend. Find out who will be free for the week your newcomer begins work. It can be an HR manager, their desk neighbor or even the CEO. Office buddies will show newcomers around, be their company at lunch, share office news and maybe become real-life friends, who knows?

On the first day

6. Stationery.

Pens and hole punches are losing ground in the age of smartphones, but welcoming newcomers with an empty desk would be disconcerting. Get them some useful yet basic, branded stationery or maybe a cup for their morning coffee. It’s like receiving a huge, warm, branded hug.

Strengthening your onboarding process can foster a better, more efficient, long-term cooperation and encourage the people on your team to stick around longer.

7. Gadgets.

Equip newcomers with laptops or computers and make sure they have a top-tier Internet connection. For remote employees, sitting in front of a laptop without Internet access is like sitting on a deserted island with a Campbell’s soup can and no way of opening it. Very frustrating.

8. E-mail account.

Set up an e-mail account for your newcomers straight off the bat. Also, introduce them to e-mail writing guidelines to make sure their mails won’t upset the spam gods.

9. Access.

Newcomers arrive to a new place filled with excitement and an urge to dive headfirst into something new. But their motivation can easily develop cracks if they keep getting “no access” pop-ups. Provide them with access to all necessary files and encourage them in their strive for self-development.

10. Walk around with them.

Even if you have two square meters of office, walking newcomers around is something they’d expect you to do. The majority of companies, though, have complex labyrinths of rooms, so help them to get to know the blueprint, it can save them from awkward situations in the long-run.

11. Welcome letter.

Send an email to the whole office announcing that you have a new team member. By doing so you’ll kill two birds with one stone. Firstly, you let your newbies know that their arrival is welcomed, appreciated and official. Secondly, you let your team know that there’s a new person in the office and there is no need to sound the alarm when they see someone eating their cookies.

12. Introduce them to the team.

After sending an e-mail, you should introduce newcomers to the team either by Skype or in person. Of course, the latest is more efficient in terms of creating solid emotional bonds, but within a distributed team, an online meetup is also a good start.

During the first week

13. Important contacts.

An office is a place where amazing things happen to newcomers. They can get stuck in an elevator, lock themselves down in a bathroom or forget their passwords. To help them deal with the challenging first days, make sure they have phone numbers of those who can help. Generally, these are office managers, HR managers, financial and system administrators.

Get the newcomers some useful yet basic, branded stationery or maybe a cup for their morning coffee. It’s like receiving a huge, warm, branded hug.

14. Set up a meeting with their future team.

When hiring top-notch talent, you would want them to dive into the working process immediately. This is quite understandable and so you should prepare the scene for your future cooperation. Set up a meeting and spend some time discussing the schedules, plans and regularity of future check-ins.

15. Internal communication.

Internal chats, such as Skype or Slack, are the lifelines of distributed teams. They stand closely to personal communication, or at least to what personal communication has become in the digital age. Add new employees to all office channels and don’t let them miss a second of meme sharing and lunchtime discussions.

16. Guidelines.

Without a doubt, you’ll talk the newcomers through the nuts and bolts of the company’s working process. But they may be perplexed with information on their initial days, so it is better to hand them a copy of office guidelines.

17. Set up goals for the trial period.

The ultimate goal for any trial period is to accomplish it successfully. But if you’re aiming to build a long-term and productive cooperation with new employees, you should think of some long-term objectives you will want them to achieve.

18. Bake them a cake.

Or make them some comforting borsch. Or present them with slippers and blankets. Or encourage them to bring their favorite rocking chair from home. Whatever tips you use to create home-like vibes and make people feel warm and welcomed—do it.

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