Remote induction of a new member of staff during the lockdown?

Here are some tips on what to consider when inducting new staff now we’re all working remotely due to the impact of the coronavirus (Covid19). It’s vital to get new employees up to speed as quickly as possible so they can start to feel comfortable and confident in their new role. The main points of doing a remote induction will involve:

  1. Introducing employees to their new job and their main responsibilities
  2. What is expected of them and how their work will be assessed
  3. How they will carry out their duties and who/how they will be supported to do it

In advance of the 1st day ensure you have communicated regularly with your future employee to reassure them that their job is safe and inform them on how the remote induction is going to work. Make sure you have shared contact info so you can set up a Zoom/Skype/etc video call on the 1st day.

Things to include

  • Logistics for home working
    It’s a good idea to have a Work from home Policy or Checklist. This will ensure employees can work in a safe environment. Allow enough time to send any equipment (computer, phone, etc.)
  • Company history and Organisation structure
    Give an overview of the company history including strategy, culture and vision. Outline the structure and give the names of key people in the company.
  • Job role 
    Give a copy of the Job Description and Person Specification so it’s really clear what they will be doing. Explain how they fit into the department, any probation period and monitoring. The remote induction might imply doing more of certain duties whilst they are waiting to be trained in person on other tasks. Make sure the employee understands it is temporary.
  • Equipment / training
    Explain any new equipment / software to be used and outline how training can be done eg using a company intranet / online learning modules. Create a 3 or 6 month plan for them to follow.
  • Introducing them to colleagues / key staff
    Organise a group video call over lunch to introduce them to colleagues and people they’ll be working directly with.
    Assign them a work buddy they can liaise with to show them the ropes.
  • Company terms and benefits
    Give a copy of the employment contract and outline basics eg core hours, holiday allowance, pension, life assurance, pay dates, share company policies etc and any benefits eg gym memberships, social activities etc.

What not to do

  • Try not to overload on day 1 (or week 1)
  • Pitch the information you’re sharing at the right level for the role the person has been taken on to do
  • Make sure they get plenty of opportunity to ask questions and keep in regular contact

Revisit daily in the 1st week and have regular follow up meetings to ensure questions are answered clearly.

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