Since physically seeing people is complicated these days, my friends and I agreed to have at least one virtual hangout each month to keep in touch. At the last session, my friend Steve discussed his new remote job and said it was extremely weird to be starting at a new company without physically being in the office.

I’m sure Steve’s experience is not unique. Many employees are feeling uneasy about remotely starting a job remotely. Companies need to rethink their onboarding process to ensure employees feel welcome.

Here are three ways to welcome new employees in the new normal.

Use video to meet the team
Steve said that in the three weeks since he started, he hasn’t had a single video call with his supervisor—only phone calls. Hearing this surprised me since videos meetings are the only way to get face-to-face time with colleagues, which is crucial to feeling connected.

Schedule one-on-one video chats with everyone the new hire will be working with—essentially anyone who you’d normally schedule in-person meetings with. Be sure to space out the meetings so you don’t bombard your new hire on the first day.

Take it one step further and schedule a virtual welcome lunch to help your team’s newest addition feel connected to colleagues.

Connect new hires to the company culture using technology
Thanks to the great technology we have at our disposal, connecting new employees to the company culture is easier than you think.

Create personalized video recordings from senior leaders and your CEO sharing what they love most about the company and welcoming new hires to the team. You can also dedicate a section of your social tool or intranet for employees to write welcome messages and share fun facts about themselves.

Think outside the screen
Even if your new employee is working remotely, there are still ways to surprise and delight them in person.

Send a welcome package with company swag, treats, home-office décor or anything else you think of. Once you get to know your new hire, find out his/her favorite food and have lunch delivered to them from a nearby restaurant.

Onboarding is the one chance your organization has to make a first impression. Now that so many employees will be joining remotely, it’s important to make the necessary adjustments to make that first impression a great one.

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