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Remote Onboarding: 5 Things you Need to Know

Remote onboarding and the 5 things I’ve learned from it

I'm now in week 3 of onboarding for the first time remotely and I wanted to share my learnings from onboarding a recent Graduate to the Advertising Technology team, including the tech that's making it possible. 

1. Technology is awesome

We have transitioned to a completely remote model and this is the same for so many digital businesses globally. For the last 321 days, since the time of writing this, our reliance of technology to sustain our economy could not be more apparent.

The positive, all graduate and school lever starters are "Gen Z" and completely technically literate.

Onboarding Gen-Z's remotely - it’s a match made in heaven!


zoom meeting photo

Microsoft Teams

It’s been fantastic to fully utilise Microsoft Teams to connect both internally and externally. Onboarding someone remotely has been made all the easier by this technology at our fingertips which we didn’t even know we had this time last year!

I schedule 3 video meetings a day, use Teams to shadow client meetings and have made great use of the screen share facility - all of which has made things infinitely easier.


Ringover

My biggest concern of onboarding someone remotely to a trade that requires someone to use the phone regularly was not being able to listen in to calls to provide feedback. That, and the fact that the new starter would have no way of learning from others being on the phone through osmosis.

We have since introduced Ringover, a bit of tech that allows us to be able to listen in to calls remotely, both live and in recorded sessions (although I’m still not too sure about the creepy ‘Whisper’ feature allowing you to speak to only them on the live call…). 

illustration remote onboarding


2. Support is everything

Remember – you are not alone! At Sphere, we are lucky enough to have a fantastic internal trainer in Jamie Cox who provides structured training sessions and eases the workload on any manager.

As well as this, in the two weeks of having onboarded a new starter remotely, Courtney (the newest member of our team) has actually had training sessions from 9 different people internally.

The lesson here... use the help at your disposal!


3. Inclusion is key

Starting remotely has the difficulty of not allowing you to immerse yourself into the culture of a business.

By assigning a new starter with a buddy to check in on them for anything and everything, asking them to give a company-wide introduction on the end of week Zoom call and even for Thursday virtual ‘pub beers’ we’ve been doing our best to introduce them to the sociable side of life at Sphere.

remote onboarding illustration


4. Trust is Important

This goes both ways and is one of my biggest learnings being a bit of a self-confessed control freak… Not being sat next to your new starter you will need to have complete trust that they are just as serious about getting off to the best possible start as you are.

Everyone loves a welcome pack

Sending your new starter a welcome pack before they begin with plenty of reading material, a well set up laptop and work phone as well as a bit of stash of two goes a long way.

Everyone loves a Sphere branded mug and stress ball!


5. Feedback!

This is a learning curve both for you and the new starter. By asking for constant feedback and adapting to their working style as well as them to yours will ensure you give them the support they need in a really tough environment.

Asking for feedback and checking in will help you to be more aware of the mental health of your new starter given these stressful times.



I hope that you have found this a useful and interesting read! Although I am certainly not the expert here it’s been an amazing learning opportunity so far and I am sure will continue to be so. So please reach out to our amazing Courtney Gresty to see how he is doing!


Daniel Bolter
Principal Managing Consultant – Professional Services

Email me - danielb@spherelondon.co.uk


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