What is virtual onboarding?
Before we talk about virtual onboarding ideas, let’s all get on the same page. You’re probably wondering what exactly is virtual onboarding? Well, it is the process of introducing and training a new team member from home. There are many aspects to virtually adding a new team member, but integrating them with your team is the most important.
Now that a lot of companies have moved to virtual or hybrid offices, virtual onboarding is more important than ever. Of course, pre-pandemic virtual training was gaining popularity too. But since a lot of companies were forced to move online, remote working has skyrocketed. With the increase of people working from home, we’ve also seen an improvement in virtual event platforms. New features and improvements have helped us stay connected with our team from home.
But, as the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. If you continue to deliver every virtual onboarding in the same way your team will suffer from "screen fatigue". We need to put our thinking caps on to come up with some exciting virtual onboarding ideas. If you can’t think of anything, don’t worry. We’re here to save the day with our top 5 virtual onboarding ideas.
Our top 5 virtual onboarding ideas:
An introduction video
Even before your virtual onboarding begins it is a good idea to ask your new employees to send in an introductory video. Ask them to take a short video with some of the following points:
- Personal background: A brief synopsis of their name, age, and where they come from
- Professional background: Where they have worked and the top three skills they have achieved in their experience.
- Educational background: What they have studied and if they did any travel during their studies.
- A fun fact: Sometimes introductions can be a little boring. Try to encourage your team to make them interesting with a fun fact or funny story.
Show the videos to your team before the newbies start. Then you can set up a meeting with the new and old team. That way they can start a conversation about something they’ve seen in their introduction video.
A remote team welcome lunch
It is a good idea for all the team to get to know each other at your virtual onboarding. Invite all the team to a virtual call to welcome the new members. You should send out some food or vouchers to your team to encourage them to attend the lunch. Even something as simple as a coffee and a pastry will be a nice gesture to welcome your new employees.Of course, things can always be a little awkward with new people who don’t know each other. To avoid awkwardness at your virtual meeting here are some icebreaker ideas:
- Two truths and a lie: say two true things and one lie. Your colleagues then try to guess what is true and what is not.
- Never have I ever: Say something you have never done and whoever has done it must raise their hand.
- Fun fact: everyone says a fun fact about them.
If you have a large team make sure you put them in breakout rooms for these games. Smaller numbers will be better to help people get to know each other. You can change the teams when you change games.
A buddy system
The best advice comes from someone who has experienced onboarding before. It’s a good idea to integrate your team into your virtual onboarding plan. You can ask colleagues who have been at your company for a while to chat with new people and share experiences with them.In a physical office, new employees would naturally get to know the team through time. Unfortunately, this cannot happen online without a scheduled meeting. Studies reflect this, showing that remote workers feel shunned and left out. You need to make sure that your team feels comfortable around each other by organizing regular video calls. A buddy system will help boost your team morale and create a collective team spirit.
New hire survival kits
Usually, when new team members start in the physical office they receive some company goods. Often when we use virtual onboarding we forget about this. It’s a nice idea to give your new hires a care package for their virtual training. Here are some ideas of items you can gift to the new hires:
- A stress ball for the days that get too much.
- Reading material about the company so they know what to expect.
- A company-branded sweater so they can be matching for their first day.
- Earbuds, we all know remote working can be a bit noisy.
- A company water bottle- hydration is key!
Your new hires will appreciate that you thought of a care package for them. And of course, who doesn’t like free goods?
Digital lunch lounge
It is a good onboarding idea to gather the new hires together in a casual way. Sometimes it can be intimidating to ask a question in front of a trainer or a large crowd. You should leave a video call open for the new team members during lunch so they can log on and chat with each other. That way, if they have any casual questions they can ask each other. It will also give the new hires a chance to bond and share experiences as they would in person.
What’s next for your virtual onboarding?
Now that you know our top 5 ideas to run a successful virtual onboarding session, you’re ready for virtual training. These ideas are great for spicing up your remote meetings and for team building.Of course, you need a virtual events platform to host your virtual onboarding meetings. Not all virtual event platforms are the same so make sure you pick one with interactive features. At Remo, we have an engaging platform that will allow you to use these ideas. You can take a look at the product yourself with our guided tours. We also have a free 14-day trial so you can try our product before making a commitment.