How to Integrate a Junior Employee into Your Remote Team
Productive freedom is here to stay.
Remote work is becoming a reality, and quite fast. Are you prepared to embrace it?
One of the main reasons against remote work relates to the fact that it’s more difficult to welcome a new team member, especially a person who is at the beginning of his or her career. It may be easier for much more experienced employees, but in the current situation, there may be some concerns about how to train the new recruit while giving him / her a warm welcome. And, let’s not forget, you need to do this without interacting directly with him / her.
No matter what your role is in your company, you will find below a list of recommendations that will make your work easier when you have to integrate a junior into a team that has adopted the remote model.
1. Send the key information in writing
Of course, each company has its own set of rules, both on interpersonal relationships and technical norms. If issues like the time off and working hours are easier to remember, when it comes to the practical aspects of a job, things are getting a little more complicated. In fact, any job involves a large amount of information at the beginning, which you must get to know soon enough.
Organizing an online meeting can be helpful, but not always the right option. When it comes to virtual meetings, unpleasant situations can occur: when scheduled too early, people don’t feel comfortable because they haven’t drunk their coffee yet, the Internet connection is not so good, the working conditions aren’t ideal (there is noise or the delivery company interrupts you right in the middle of your discussion) etc.
Based on the principle “Verba volant, scripta manent”, spoken words fly away, but written ones remain. Thus, written communication is the safest option.
As long as the specifics of the job allow it, prepare a briefing where the new hire can find all the specifics regarding his / her tasks. This will help him / her to rapidly learn about the allocated job and return to the document when necessary.
2. Use task management applications
In the age of speed, with all kinds of tasks that we have to handle at work or in our private lives, a notebook is not enough for writing what you have to do. “To Do” lists have become so diverse that you often don’t know from where to start.
Task management applications can run on both phones and computers and, with their help, you can organize your agenda, set deadlines or priorities.
These software solutions are all the more suitable when it comes to newcomers because they allow you to visualize the tasks of each employee. In other words, a person could not claim to have forgotten what he/she has to do.
Moreover, some of them offer us the possibility to follow the projects in real-time, which is good if you need to come up with suggestions or make changes.
Among the most common application: Any.do, Evernote, ToDoist, Google Keep, Asana, Notion, Trello.
3. Engage other colleagues in the ondboarding process of the newcomer
Naturally, a management position involves a more complex, sometimes even chaotic program. Therefore, it’s easy to understand why you can’t always support the new employees as you would like.
In order to optimize the process, you can assign this task to other colleagues. They don’t necessarily have to be senior employees in the traditional sense (ᐩ5 years on the job), but have the level of experience that allows them to understand the new role and offer the right advice.
4. Don’t leave room for interpretations
While having a face-to-face conversation, we can anticipate certain actions only by analyzing the body language of our dialogue partner. On the other hand, when communicating online, direct interaction between participants may be missing, especially when the communication is written.
To avoid possible misunderstandings in this case, make it clear to your new employee what you expect from him or her.
5. Create a welcoming atmosphere
For most people, a new job brings many challenges, especially adapting to a new environment. New colleagues, new rules, new tasks… which is why the idea of “comfort” is certainly missing. Therefore, the last thing you want for the new team member is to feel like an “intruder”.
This doesn’t mean that you have to organize a welcome flash mob on Zoom but you can use instead a number of properly written messages.
My name is … . I’m glad to meet you, at least online for the time being.
Welcome to the team and we hope to have together a long collaboration.
These are some of your taks to begin with:
Task 3 etc.
For any other questions, do not hesitate to contact me. If I’m not available, you can ask our colleague, .…., on anything related to your job or the company.
Have a nice day!
X (not recommended):
Today you have to do the following:
Task 3 etc.
Let me know when you finish.
6. Be patient
When it comes to an environment characterized by the achievement of immediate goals, competitiveness, and deadlines, patience becomes an ingredient of endurance that increases the level of happiness in the professional field.
Let’s not forget that every manager was a newbie at one point, who also needed time and understanding to get accustomed to his / her new job.
Like the recruitment phase, the integration of a newcomer into the team is an important step. It is also essential for the development of future employment relationships. The process can be successfully implemented in the context of remote work by drawing up clear guidelines.