How to succeed when remote onboarding employees: a lesson from our new Global VP of Sales

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By Tal Shtainman

When I was announced as Gett’s new Global VP of Sales, I was so excited to get started. But there was one small thing in my way – COVID. Because of COVID, the offices were closed, and the entire onboarding process had shifted to remote mode. In this post, I’m sharing my top learnings from my remote onboarding experience – hopefully, you’ll glean some useful tips and tricks for your own onboarding experience – whether you’re an employee or an employer!

We’ve all learnt lessons from the pandemic, and one of them is the importance of digital connectivity and communication. A thorough onboarding process is vital to employee success – 58% of employees are more likely to be at the company three years later if they complete a structured onboarding process. So by investing in your onboarding experience means better employee engagement in the short and long term – and just because many of us are working remotely – this process shouldn’t dwindle. If anything, it needs to be better thought through.

What have I learned through my remote onboarding experience?

Learn from your new teammates

Having a professional team is always the key to success in my book. And in a remote onboarding situation, you need their support even more. What’s excellent about remote onboarding is that you can set up a meeting in an instant – as many as you like. Try to use these team meetings to your advantage as much as possible – get as much from your colleague’s vast knowledge and experiences.

People have a tendency to help, and the people I’ve met at Gett have been extremely helpful – which has been great! I’ve received a really warm welcome and a lot of support from everyone around.

Work with a mentor

This really should have been my first tip because it’s such a fantastic idea. I am lucky enough to have great mentoring sessions with a charming EVP of Global Sales. I feel comfortable enough to consult with them freely, exchange ideas and my mentor is someone who can help me objectively by shining the spotlight on the most important issues.

Global Talent Acquisition and Advisory Firm GQR say a structured mentoring program can create a culture of learning in an organisation. We can all grow by learning from each other – sharing knowledge can help support company growth. 

It’s not just you who benefits from having a mentor – the mentor can practise their staff management skills, coaching skills and obtain personal satisfaction (to name a few).

Make time for personal learning

I’m not going to lie to you – the first couple of weeks are busy. I had a packed schedule of back-to-back meetings and, although informative, it’s essential to make time for learning on your own. Even if it’s giving yourself time to look over your notes – give yourself space to breathe and take it all in.

Take time to understand company priorities

Every organisation has its priorities, and when you join a new company, you should take time to understand their priorities. Taking the time to do this means you get a sense of purpose – you belong to something bigger than your team. This is why I think it’s a must. This one is relatively straightforward as I am part of the management team that discusses those topics on a regular basis. 

Understanding the culture takes time

You can’t be on top of everything straight away, and that’s OK. Some things take time, like understanding the company culture. When you’re working remotely, there are no shortcuts to understanding an organisation’s culture. Culture is easier to identify through small talks, breaks, reading non-verbal cues and looking into someone’s eyes; this is something that will take some getting used to – but I’m sure I’ll get there!

Still dress for the outside world!

Basically, don’t sit in your PJs all day! To feel productive, motivated and part of an organisation, you should get dressed just like you would if you were commuting to the office. If you don’t get changed, your mindset isn’t focused on working. I think this is something the rest of the world can probably easily relate to right now! 

When you’re working from the comfort of your home, the distinction between work-life and personal-life isn’t as clear-cut as it once was. It would help if you created that distinction, and getting dressed for work can help you with that. Treat it as though a client or a member of your team could Zoom call you at any moment.

Don’t get me wrong, remote onboarding isn’t easy, but it’s possible – and it’s possible to do it well. We all need to get our heads around our new reality and take an adaptive approach to our workplaces right now – and the sooner we all embrace this attitude, the quicker we can get back on track.

Read next: Has COVID changed the way you travel?