How to effectively and remotely onboard your latest employees

Securing new staff within the accountancy profession can be difficult, so ensuring that your latest employees are at ease with their new position is vital. This links closely to the onboarding process as effective company practices can increase retention and productivity significantly as it facilitates staff members to feel valued from the outset.

Onboarding is a process concentrated on the long-term; carried out correctly, it enables new staff to become accustomed to their new colleagues, comprehend their role and recognise what value they provide to the organisation.

Nonetheless, as the onboarding experience is now encompassed by online aspects as the “stay at home” message in response to COVID-19 continues, this means processes must be adjusted through virtual means.

To support you with adjusting to the complex nature of remote onboarding, we have created an up-to-date and comprehensive 6 step guide:

  1. Pre-boarding
    The time between job offer acceptance and commencement of the new role is important and should include actions such as an introductory email including welcome pack resources, details of software that will be used and ensuring any questions are answered. A virtual coffee meeting is a useful way of building rapport before the first day.
  2. Ensure touchpoints remain the same, virtually
    Despite not being physically in the office, replacing all in-person experiences with virtual equivalents will allow employees to feel valued and up to date. Fun aspects such as team icebreakers and quizzes can also be made virtual and will boost social connection. Aspects of job shadowing can be replicated by co-workers sharing their screen and allowing new employees to watch and learn. Deliver the same offerings you would in person to show your appreciation of new members.
  3. Communication is key
    One-to-one video calls can help with asking how new recruits are feeling, set objectives and get their feedback. Also, as they can’t meet others in the organisation, help them network by showing them the organisational chart and introduce them to others over emails and group chats. Utilising digital apps such as Trello and Slack can assist with improving communication and task organisation. Guaranteeing new staff members are kept in the loop through strong virtual communication ensures reassurance and connectedness.
  4. Small wins
    Remember that your new employee may experience imposter syndrome so setting targets which are achievable to build confidence will reduce this feeling. The level of responsibility of tasks can then be increased and reduces the chances of employees becoming overwhelmed and worrying if they are skilled enough. Praise, whether in-person or virtual, will be just as appreciated by employees and boost their morale.
  5. Remain consistent
    Whilst the term “onboarding” appears to refer to the initial introduction, the process is not a case of being completed after a swift welcome. The onboarding experience must be viewed as long-term; employees may feel left in the dark if the process lasts a week and they are expected to be acclimatised. Guaranteeing that employees feel completely supported requires a continuous process involving regular check-ins to ensure engagement and satisfaction.
  6. Allocate a mentor
    Matching new hires with an experienced and helpful member of the team through implementing a mentor scheme provides additional support; questions which new starters might not feel comfortable asking more senior members can be asked and answered. Ensure the mentor checks in with their new mentee at least once a week and this provides another means of communication, welcoming, feedback and rapport.

We hope this assists you in providing your latest team members with a fulfilling remote onboarding experience. Our expertise extends to helping deliver successful onboarding practices, so if you require additional guidance then simply contact Justin Barber on 0114 279 2843 or e-mail