Tips and tricks to onboard new joiners virtually

Working from home whilst starting a new job is a slightly different experience, but it can be effective for both the employer and employee. At the beginning of this year, no one would have expected companies would solely rely on virtual onboarding programmes. White Marble Marketing had to adapt quickly and showed their resilience and flexible nature as a business, enabling me to have a positive experience as their first new starter in a lockdown environment.

The team ensured I had a smooth transition into my new role as a Marketing Executive. They were conscious of my virtual onboarding experience and cautious of assigning me to several projects right away.

I was able to spend time to get to know the firm, the team and learn more about the investment industry. As the industry is new to me, reading is particularly important to understand the dynamic in meetings, gain confidence and knowledge to participate in conversations.

On the cultural side, a recent virtual offsite helped me get a clearer picture of the internal values and team dynamics. The offsite was a good mix of presentations, breakout sessions and games. I had lots of laughs during various games and could get a better insight into the nice group of people who work here. On top of that, the leadership team posted packages with specially selected goodies to all team members, to sustain us during the virtual brainstorming sessions. I felt that all this created a sense of belonging and showed that White Marble truly values their people.

In this pandemic, we miss the face-to-face aspects from the office and meeting colleagues in person, yet that does not mean working remotely cuts into social activities. Catch-ups with line managers and colleagues are key. In digital catch-ups and team meetings, I had the opportunity to get to know my team members, ask questions and understand the firm’s culture. I found these quick sessions can be the equivalent of an informal chat at the coffee machine or a drink after work. 

Employers should be mindful to give starters a valuable resource; time to settle into a new role. Time is needed to understand the firm, its culture and learn additional skills. Starting a new job is never easy, but allow starters to settle in their role gradually and employers will reap the benefits in the long term. New team members will grasp matters quickly, feel genuinely valued and understood.

The new way of onboarding can have a positive effect on people. When employers focus on a warm and carefully considered welcome, it will translate onto new joiners and allow for them to have an excellent start. Trust me, I am speaking from experience.

A few tips:

  • Schedule 1-to-1 catch ups with the team to ask questions and get to know people, even those who you won’t be working with on a day-to-day basis. This helps to understand the company culture and working style
  • Check in daily with your line manager, allowing both the employer and employee to share what is expected from each other. I found this valuable to raise any questions
  • Structure your days – block time for meetings, catch-ups, learning additional skills, and leave the house during your lunch break
  • Block Focus Time – a really good initiative from White Marble Marketing to use this dedicated time for research, ideas and work
  • Structure your learning – OneNote is great to keep notes together and organise them
  • And finally, enjoy, albeit virtual!