Remote Working: Building Company Cohesion for New EmployeesBy: Dimitris Semsis
One of the biggest changes that came along—within the professional world—with the rise of Covid-19 is the widespread need for remote working. Numerous companies have gone completely digital—as a required adaptation to maintain the well-being of their employees—and this has led to the rise of several problems along the way.
One such issue is the hiring of new employees that have never been in contact with their coworkers, superiors, or the company in general. Many such individuals were hired from March onwards—during a quarantine heavy period—never having the chance to physically interact with the people that make up their work-environment. As a result, new employees end up feeling like a foreign substance within the greater company structure—existing without any substantial social connection to the rest of their work environment.
Usually, such individuals would have a corresponding work “buddy” that would show them around and help them connect with the company’s social structure. Such relationships cannot be developed while working remotely, leading to “ghost” workers—officially hired individuals that have never interacted substantially with their peers, leaving them in a disconnected state.
Through practical experience with our own customer-base, we have developed a simple, yet effective, solution to remedy this—have an onboarding session for all newcomers. Such sessions can be typically done online, last anywhere from half an hour to an hour, and extend towards the entire company—as far as invitations are concerned. They can be used to welcome several new employees at a time, establishing a sense of belonging right off the bat.
As an example, an executive member (preferably the CEO) can kick off such an event by welcoming the new additions to the company, the new employees can continue by introducing themselves in a structured manner, and then the rest of the company can take turns welcoming the newcomers accordingly.
It is important to have a celebratory flair for all of this, as it inspires a sense of much needed “psychological safety”—something which is especially important for combating the chaotic nature of these last few months.
Simple, quick, and effective—granting a sense of “we-ness” that has been drained out of many professional workplaces due to the new digital standards that have become the norm.
- If you tend to hire new talent regularly, try to do an employee “introduction” event on an equally frequent basis.
- Setup the event digitally—invite every single member of the company.
- Get either a member of the SLT or the CEO to host the event.
- Set the proper tone and theme for the event—introducing new “family” members to the company
Follow a similar event structure to the one listed below:
- Get your HR department to facilitate the event.
- Get your CEO (or SLR member) to make a brief, “welcome” announcement.
- Introduce the newcomers.
- Have each new employee present a brief summary of themselves—these should be practised before the event to avoid mistakes.
- Have company executives welcome each newcomer by taking turns—this establishes a more personal connection.
- The new employees, the CEO and SLR members, and the executives mentioned above should be using a webcam and microphone—this is a must.
- Have the rest of the company welcome the new additions through a more general medium of communication—live text chat or a digital whiteboard.
- Wrap up the event with a few parting words.
- You’re all done!
What will this cost you? Absolutely nothing—but the gain is company comradery is invaluable.
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