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Using *The Force* to Help New Employees Succeed

by Addie Linn | Apr 27, 2020

Turns out living through what feels like a sci-fi movie isn’t the intergalactic journey through space and time we thought it would be...


However, it has proven that business leaders, and especially our favorite protagonist, the human resource hero, can pivot and adjust to keep the starship moving. 

Transitioning settled employees to an all-virtual format is a tough challenge, one that many HR pros have already conquered. However, what might serve as the next hurdle in an unpredictable plot is the onboarding of brand new employees. 

According to a recent article in Fast Company, a new hire has approximately 54 activities to complete during the onboarding process. Even under normal circumstances, a new employee can feel overwhelmed. In fact, 20 percent of new hires resign within their first 45 days of employment. 

Chalk it up to a number of factors but one critical component is one-on-one meeting time between recent hires and their manager. Actually, 72 percent of employees said this one-on-one time with their manager is the most important part of the onboarding process.

On TeamKC’s Virtual Coffee Chat “Virtual Onboarding & Orientations,” professionals in the HR space convened to brainstorm the best ways to get new hires up and running. Here’s what we learned: 

Think Through Logistics

Success is more achievable if things run smoothly from day one. 

Consider dedicating the employee’s entire first day to getting set up with the proper technology. Some employers have even pushed back orientations to accommodate for potential issues with technology onboarding. 

Deploying the equipment can hold up the process. Be sure to communicate directly with your IT department to make sure laptops, etc. are getting shipped out on time. Another precaution - double check the address your employee provides is the residence in which he/she is actually staying during lockdown. 

It’s also essential to equip your managers with the tools needed to help their new employees succeed. Consider creating an onboarding guide that outlines the necessary steps, making sure to include regular one-on-one check-ins with the employee. Consistent mentorship could be the difference between losing and retaining new hires.


Keep Culture Alive
Maintaining a certain level of company culture during this time is challenging but not impossible. 

Are you accustomed to gifting each new hire a welcome kit? It’s still doable! Arrange contactless pickup at the office or ship them out via snail mail. Want to avoid shipping costs and probable delays? Consider a virtual gift like Uber Eats credit or an electronic gift card to a local restaurant. 

Place an extra emphasis on health and wellness. For most, working from home is a brand-new concept and juggling the challenges of working, parenting and homeschooling all at once is no easy feat. Allow flexibility within the work day and encourage employees to set personal boundaries, adjust work schedules and take breaks. Activities like yoga and meditation dispersed throughout the day can break up a long day of sitting at home. Look at the possibility of creating a wellness newsletter, providing resources that focus on mental and physical wellbeing. Check out KCADC’s Wellness Wednesday, here.


Perpetuate company morale with interactive programming. Mix up your virtual happy hours with structured networking games, utilizing features like Zoom’s breakout rooms to make it happen. A few ideas are two truths and a lie, bingo, Kahoot and Heads Up. If your staff has seen enough of each other, try partnering with another company for cross-organizational mingling!  

Do you have employees with special skill sets outside of their day-to-day? Could a home chef, artist or musician host a virtual class? The possibilities here are endless. Spirit weeks with themed dress-up days are another popular way to virtually connect. 

Inserting some comradery into the day can help ease new employees into the organization, allowing them to meet their co-workers in a less-formal space. 

Make the Most of It
Yes, times are uncertain but there’s always a lightsaber at the end of the tunnel. If your company culture hasn’t transitioned well to a virtual setting, use this time to make positive changes. You’ve now experienced what it’s like to hire and retain employees in the midst of a global pandemic, use that to your advantage! 

As always, TeamKC is here to walk alongside you in your talent acquisition efforts. May the Force be with you! 


Connect with TeamKC to learn more about tools and programs accessible to our members.

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