Onboarding Remote Colleagues – Guiding the New Colleague

Maaike Dokter

Congratulations, you have hired a new colleague! Chances are that their first day will be spend from their own home. For many companies, and new colleagues, this will be a completely new and challenging experience. In our previous blogpost, we discussed how difficult it can be to really get to know the team, but it needs to be a top priority since it defines the company culture. Today, we will highlight the importance of guidance.  

A new employee is always eager to start working, but it can be a challenge to provide a proper introduction of the company, its values and goals, when you do not meet in person. Also, a physical company environment like an office can also help understand what the company stands for. This means it takes a little bit more time to really understand the core of the company. And that is okay.  

But there are also proactive steps you can take to bring your company’s goals and values across: while a well-stated document can provide clarity and is easy to consult in later week, assigning a buddy can communicate ways of working on a more personal note.

An Awesome Buddy is Everything

As a new member in a team, you have a lot of questions. However, it can feel awkward to approach different people through a digital platform to ask those questions. What can help in this situation is to assign a buddy, someone who has been asked to reserve time to answer all the questions of the new team member and who can guide them through the ways of working. The buddy can also have virtual lunch with them to get to know them more on a personal level. 

While the company should provide a statement with the goals and vision of the company, a buddy can talk about the company from their own perspective, providing much more insights and body to the words expressed on paper.  

A buddy can be chosen from different perspectives: you can choose a buddy based on work-tasks or based on personal interests. For example, a direct colleague working on similar tasks can be assigned, since they can really show the ins and outs of the work that needs to be done and they can provide the proper guidance for any work-related issues. However, you can also choose to assign a buddy based on personal interests, with whom they can really express any personal concerns and with whom they feel comfortable having open conversations about the company, or personal matters. If possible, you can also assign two buddies: one as an expert for anything work-related, and another buddy who is there for general discussions. 

As colleagues are everything and it is important to get to know them, a buddy system can enhance this even more whilst also providing more personal guidance to the new colleague. This can help them understand the company’s goals and vision, as well as have guidance for work-related tasks and personal matters that might arise. It’s also a great way for current colleagues to really get to know their new team mate!  

<- Read our previous blogpost about Onboarding Remote Colleagues: Getting to Know the Team! 
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