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New Job, First Day, Same Kitchen Table: Tips for Successful Virtual Onboardings

It’s your first day at your new job. You have a new outfit on, leave early to get to work on time, walk in and start meeting everyo…..errrr wait. Times have changed! There is no commute, there is no meeting face-to-face, there is no one waiting at the office door to greet you. With no physical office to welcome and connect new employees, how do you adjust your onboarding process to make new employees feel welcomed?

Here are some tips to make sure your new employees succeed while working from home:

Be Prepared - Have at least the first 3 weeks planned out completely. You don’t want the employee getting bored and becoming unmotivated the first week because you have nothing for them to do. Send them swag, make sure they are set up online, give them a schedule, send links and videos on the culture and history of the company.

Personal Connections - Big group introductions via ZOOM or email aren’t going to make the new person feel connected. Have each individual on the team put 15 minutes on the new employee’s calendar, so they can start getting to know each other. They can understand how each other work, where they came from and start feeling comfortable with each other.

Turn Video On - During weekly meetings, suggest everyone turn their video on. It’s hard for a new person to learn faces when everyone just has their names over the video. It also helps keep people accountable from distractions.

Assign a Mentor or Orientation Buddy - You don’t want your new employee to feel isolated or like they don’t know where to turn with questions or concerns. If they know they have someone to go to with questions and can learn and grow together, they will feel more comfortable and have more of a sense of belonging.

Keep Culture Alive - If you usually take your new employees out to lunch on the first day, figure out a good replacement by sending each team member a $10 Grubhub certificate or play a virtual game together during lunch. Take culture even further by asking for feedback at the end of each day or valuing a team member's accomplishments at the beginning of each meeting. Find different ways to show new employees how you treat each other and what is expected of them.


We now provide virtual culture facilitation, leadership coaching, and DiSC communication techniques.

Email or call Margie Adams at 303-809-8093.

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