2020 has changed A LOT of things, to say the very least. With the switch to working in an office to working from home, naturally companies have adjusted how they onboard new employees. Virtual or not, successful onboarding remains one of the crucial pieces of employee retention.
According to recent onboarding and retention statistics, organizations with a standard onboarding process have seen a 54% increase in employee productivity and a 50% increase in retention rate of new hires.
I onboarded as a full-time remote employee to Seer in November 2020, and there were 6 things that made a world of difference:
1. Welcome Package
This was my first full-time remote position, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
But shortly before my start date, I received tracking for a package in the mail. This package contained my laptop, some computer accessories, Seer swag, and a nice card welcoming me to the team! It was integral to my start at Seer, not only because I needed that laptop to start working (hah), but because it showed they were eager to get me off on the right foot.
2. New Hire Support Group / Hire Buddy
In my first week of onboarding, myself and everyone who started at the same time as me were added to a “New Hire” chat and assigned a buddy/seasoned coworker from our department.
The chat was a place to bring any and all questions, then answers would follow almost immediately. My buddy was available in a similar way, but for more one-on-one help and guidance. It was clutch as I was getting used to a new company and new processes.
Research by Microsoft backs this as well, showcasing an increase in both productivity and employee satisfaction when new hires are paired with a buddy.
3. Engaged Leadership + Supportive Manager
The leadership at Seer has been welcoming and accessible from the beginning.
From thoughtful Google chats sent on my first day to a handful of “get to know you” meetings with leadership and my cohort, it’s been made very clear how much the leadership team cares about Seer and Seer employees. I’ve found this reflected not only in the executive team, but the directors and team leads as well.
My team lead has met with me from the beginning to help set expectations and has maintained a consistent connection with me to support and guide me in my growth. That visible and active commitment provides stability and motivation, both to a new employee and current employees.
4. Full Onboarding Calendar
My schedule was booked from day 1 with a variety of trainings. No need to twiddle my thumbs and wonder when work was going to come in!
This helped structure my days and set the stage for the processes and channels I would encounter in my role. It also provided valuable face time with current employees at Seer as well as my training cohort.
5. Coffee Roulette
Coffee Roulette has been a game-changer in the world of remote work.
If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a platform where you input your contact information as well as the days of the week you’re free. The platform’s algorithm will then match you up at random with people within your company that share those same days, and you schedule a virtual chat! You can also decide the cadence -- meeting weekly, every two weeks, or monthly.
Not sure what you’d talk about? Don’t worry, they provide questions as prompts if you need them.
I love Coffee Roulette because it feels as close to those in-office kitchen coffee chats as you can get while working remote. It’s been a great tool to connect with people I don’t work with directly!
6. Google Chats
A lot of chat platforms share similar features, but I will dedicate this blurb to Google Chat.
What at first seemed overwhelming when I started at Seer, soon became a lifeline and a way to easily connect to my coworkers. From sharing new recipes, craft projects, and beer recommendations to sharing industry news, innovative ideas, and tips and tricks -- there is a chat group for everything.
The more you participate, the more you get out of it.
With remote life as the new normal for the foreseeable future, companies need to invest in virtual onboarding programs and resources that will make employees feel welcome, connected and engaged.
We hope you found these suggestions about what works at Seer helpful! Feel free to leave a comment with any questions or thoughts.
Interested in experiencing this great virtual onboarding experience for yourself? Check out our open positions and learn more about what it's like to work at Seer.