Over the course of the past year or so I've been fortunate enough to get involved in employee onboarding at Coda. I always like to say that while I love recruiting, onboarding is near and dear to my heart. It's not just about finding awesome new Codans to join the team, but helping them ramp up in a hopefully fun way!
Now that we're all working remotely, there's some special considerations in helping folks become successful. In this doc you'll find my top 5 tips for remote onboarding. Hopefully these help you too!
5 Tips for Remote Onboarding
1. Continually communicate from the beginning.
One thing I learned with onboarding in general but especially with remote onboarding is to be in constant communication. Whether it's keeping the new hire updated on when their laptop will be shipped (and checking in on that again later), making sure they're able to log into everything from the get-go, or helping them learn your product, communication is vital.
2. Have clear goals and and expectations for the first few weeks.
While setting expectations is important in general, having structure while working from home is really helpful. Working from home can be a difficult experience all around, especially when someone's not sure what they should be doing throughout the day. Finding specific projects to work on can help new hires get set up for success in their role as well as foster a sense of accomplishment.
3. Encourage the team to spend lots of time getting to know them.
As new hires starting remotely won't be able to connect with the team over lunch or coffee breaks, it's vital that the team set aside extra time to get to know their new teammate. Encourage each team member to set up 1:1s with the new hire, even if it's just a few 15min check-ins. Email/messaging apps can be great for quick communication or checking in on how things are going, but video calling is extremely helpful in building team bonds.
4. Set aside lots of time to answer questions and work through challenges.
In the office new hires have the opportunity to tap folks on the shoulder and ask questions. While working remotely, however, asking questions can become a lot more difficult. At Coda we have 'Coda Concierges' who are in charge of checking in with new hires and answering questions. We encourage our Concierges to not just wait for someone to tap them on the shoulder but to actively encourage questions as well as set aside dedicated time for this. Setting aside 'office hours' can be a way of encouraging questions!
5. Get them set up with an onboarding guide.
At Coda, we use an onboarding guide to help our new hires navigate their first few weeks. This guide contains information around topics ranging from what to expect on their first day, our cadence, and who to meet with in their first few weeks. For a simple onboarding guide, check out this