When you begin a new job, there are many things to do. While you may not be familiar with the work environment, you will need to make an impression and get to know your coworkers. This is a lot. However, remote work environments may present additional challenges.
We spoke with social-impact professionals and have gathered some tips to assist you. Continue reading to learn how to make remote onboarding a success.
For your first 100 days, create a plan
A map makes it easier to navigate your journey. It’s essential to know what your expectations are and what you want to accomplish in your new job. It can be helpful to have a comprehensive plan for the first 100 days of your job. This will help you eliminate any guesswork and set measurable goals that will ensure you are moving in the right direction.
Some companies offer planning templates as part their onboarding process. If they don’t, you can create your own by following our First 100 Day guide. These are the basics to keep in mind when tailoring your plan for your needs:
- Divide your plan into three sections. Each section should take approximately one month.
- You should identify your areas of focus and set specific goals. Use metrics to measure and track your progress. These points should be aligned with any annual or quarterly goals that your employer requires you to achieve.
- To help you determine milestones, ask yourself the following questions: “What are my primary responsibilities?” What are my long-term goals for this project? How can I define success in this role?
Make sure you get feedback from your manager after you have prepared your plan. A map is only useful if you can get there. Your manager will be able to give you valuable information about your company’s goals and aspirations. Your plan sharing will make a lasting impression. It will foster camaraderie and show that you are committed to succeeding in your new role.
Preparing and checking in ahead of time will make your first day easier
Many of us have experienced the dreaded first day-of-school experience. We’re unfamiliar, lost and don’t know what to do. It is easy to forget that most of the time can find what we need if we just ask . You can even get ahead of the curve on certain topics before you start working. These are some ideas to help you get started and stay ahead of the game.
Before you start, request documents and materials. Ask your new employer if they can let you know about the team’s progress before you start your first day. Onboarding documents are usually sent in advance by most organizations. However, you can request reports and outlines from previous projects to help you get comfortable with your role. It’s easier to arrive on your first day with more information than you had before.
Before you dive in, check out other ways to get your toes wet. You could request to be CC’d in emails or listen in on important meetings depending on your situation. Although there may be reasons why your employer won’t allow you to do this, it’s not a bad idea to ask. This is a good example of how you might phrase such a request if you aren’t sure what to say.
I am eager to get started. If you are willing to listen to meetings or send me CC’s on any emails between now and the time I start, I would love it. This will allow me to get a sense of our team and how they interact, and also help me learn about projects that are coming up.
Although you might find it difficult or strange, if your message is written with enthusiasm and conscientiousness your employer will likely view it as proof of your work ethic, rather than as an intrusion. It’s important to understand that this is not meant to get you working before you actually begin working. Think of it as a way to get along with your team before you are handed the baton.
Take the time to get to know your coworkers
The most important part of starting a new job is building relationships. It can be difficult to do this in the virtual world, as we don’t have the benefit of informal conversation in the hallways or kitchen of shared offices. These are some ways to get things moving.
Do your research. Many organizations have a page for staff on their website that includes photos and brief bios. Review what’s available–especially about your own team–and try matching names to faces. Keep a few things in your head that you can refer to when you meet. It’s not homework. Instead, consider it an act of discovery. You want to make new friends and get to know your colleagues. Keep your eyes on what interests you. This will help you break the ice with your colleagues and foster a human connection that is missing from interactions via computers.
You can have one-on-one meetings or small group introductions. You will have better chances of making meaningful connections if you hold smaller meetings. Ask your supervisor to include this in your onboarding process. Keep your agenda loose and keep in mind that the purpose of these conversations is for you to connect with others. For more structure, you can prepare a brief introduction and then use your research to generate questions for your coworkers.
Last but not least, make sure you spread out your meetings over the first few weeks. This will help you to not feel overwhelmed and allow you to absorb what you have learned.
Remember that many of us, including your organization, are still learning the ropes as you work remotely through onboarding. Don’t feel guilty about asking for help, but don’t be afraid. You’ll soon be settled in and might even show another recruit how it works.