Stepping into a new role is always a blend of excitement, curiosity, and a touch of nervous anticipation. The experience takes on an entirely new dimension when this transition happens remotely. As founders and HR managers, the challenge lies in ensuring the virtual space becomes as welcoming and informative as a physical office. How can we transform pixels and digital communications into genuine connections and comprehensive introductions?
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What is an effective onboarding
- How to use ChatGPT for onboarding
- Tools you can use to improve your onboarding calls
What is Effective Onboarding?
Before we jump into how ChatGPT can revolutionize your onboarding, let's ensure we're on the same page about what makes onboarding work, especially for remote teams.
From the Employer's Perspective:
- Clear Goals: Set clear expectations for the first week, month, and beyond. This helps new hires understand what's expected and allows them to work towards tangible milestones.
- Organized Onboarding Plan: Especially in remote settings, having a well-structured plan ensures that new hires feel supported and not lost in the digital space.
- Regular Check-ins: With the lack of physical interactions, checking in frequently helps gauge how new hires settle in and if they need additional support.
- Team Interaction: Organize virtual team introductions and hangouts. Building relationships in a remote setting is vital to make new employees feel a part of the team.
- Share Company Values: Talk about your company's culture and values. When employees can't "feel" the office environment, it's crucial to communicate what the company stands for.
From the Employee's Perspective:
- Clear Communication Channels: New hires should know who to contact for any issues or questions. In a remote setup, defined communication paths like dedicated Slack channels or designated contacts can help.
- Easy Access to Tools: Ensure that new hires have all the digital tools they need on day one, whether it's software access or login details for project management tools.
- Ongoing Online Training: Provide access to virtual training sessions and workshops. This not only helps them get up to speed but also helps them feel more integrated.
- Feedback Platforms: Set up regular feedback sessions or use digital platforms where they can share their experiences, thoughts, and any potential improvements.
- Create a Virtual Welcome: Organize a warm virtual welcome, perhaps through a team video call or even a fun digital welcome card.
For remote teams, onboarding needs thorough planning and the right digital tools. The goal is to bridge the gap caused by physical distance and make new hires feel welcome and confident.
What are the 4 C's of effective onboarding?
The 4Cs of onboarding are compliance, clarification, culture, and connection. As defined by Talya Bauer, Ph.D., these critical components help break down the essence of onboarding, which is especially important for remote teams.
- Compliance: The basic legal and policy-related rules and regulations an employee needs to be aware of. Sharing and getting acknowledgment on the company's remote work policy, ensuring that data protection and confidentiality rules are clearly communicated and understood.
- Clarification: Ensuring the new hire understands their job role and responsibilities. A detailed virtual onboarding session with their direct supervisor, where tasks are clearly defined using tools like Trello or Asana, clarifying the goals and key deliverables for the coming months.
- Culture: Informing the new hire about the organizational culture, its values, and norms.
- Connection: Helping the new hire establish interpersonal relationships and networks.
Each of these C's serves as a pillar, holding up the structure of effective onboarding. When these are adapted for the remote work environment, they ensure that distance doesn't hamper the quality of the onboarding experience.
How to Use ChatGPT for Onboarding New Employees
If your company recently switched to a fully remote operation, you might consider updating your existing onboarding processes or creating new ones. Onboarding new employees can be quite stressful for managers and new employees. You want to give your employees ample time to settle in while trying to be productive in the first few weeks.
Luckily, ChatGPT can help you in updating and adding new onboarding processes.
Ask for Suggestions to Improve the Current Onboarding Process
The best way to get started with using ChatGPT is to ask it for suggestions on how to improve your current onboarding processes.
Here is a prompt to get you started:
- “I want you to act like an HR Manager who is an expert in onboarding new employees. Here is our current onboarding process [add your existing onboarding process]. Suggest ways on how we can improve this.”
Create a New Onboarding Process for a New Role
If you’re a new company and starting from scratch, ChatGPT is super helpful for creating a plan.
Here are a few prompts to help you:
- "What initial training modules would benefit a [specific role, e.g., 'data analyst']?"
- "What challenges do you foresee for a new [specific role] working remotely, and how can we address them?"
- "What milestones should we set for a [specific role] during their first 30 days?"
- "How can we best integrate a new [specific role] into our current team dynamics?"
- "What are the top resources a new [specific role] might need for a smooth start?"
List Tools Needed for Onboarding
ChatGPT can also help you optimize your existing tools for onboarding. Personally, as a project manager, I use Notion for onboarding checklists. But yours might be more complicated with more tools.
Here are a few prompts that you can use to help optimize your tools:
- “Here are the tools we currently use for onboarding [list tools]. Suggest ways to optimize these tools. Remove redundant tools and add something we need but don’t have yet.”
- “We are onboarding a [role]. What are the new tools that should be included in their onboarding?”
Remember that ChatGPT doesn’t have access to real-time data. The tools it will suggest won’t go beyond 2021. Make sure to use ChatGPT as a starting point, but you also need to ask peers and do more research on the latest tools that can help you.
Suggest a Schedule for Onboarding
Once you have the optimizations, you can also ask ChatGPT to create an actual daily, weekly, and monthly schedule.
Here are a few prompts for inspiration:
- "What should the first week's focus be for a new remote hire?"
- "How frequently should initial check-ins be scheduled?"
- "When should a new hire be introduced to team-wide projects?"
- "What's an optimal timeline for introducing company culture and values?"
- "Can you display a two-week onboarding schedule table, balancing training, introductions, and hands-on tasks?"
More Onboarding Tips
Getting onboarding right is a blend of practical tools, human touch, and a dash of foresight. Beyond the insights and strategies we've discussed, here are some more tips that can make a significant difference.
Ace the Onboarding Call
The initial onboarding call sets the tone for a new hire's entire journey with the company. It's not just about conveying information but also about making them feel welcomed and valued.
- Be Prepared: Know the agenda inside out. It sounds basic, but being organized conveys professionalism.
- Warm Welcome: Begin with a personal touch. Share a bit about the team, company traditions, and lighter moments.
- Active Listening: It’s their first day. They might have tons of questions or concerns. Give them space to voice them.
- Feedback: Before ending the call, ask for their initial impressions. This shows you value their opinion right from day one.
Use Tactiq to Take Notes
Joining a new company can be overwhelming, and details can get lost. Make sure to equip your team and new employees with a tool like Tactiq. Tactiq is a real-time transcription tool that captures every detail of the meeting automatically.
- Real-time Capture: Use Tactiq during onboarding sessions to transcribe conversations. It's excellent for referencing later.
- Organize and Highlight: Easily categorize and highlight key points. From role-specific details to company policies, keep everything in check.
- Share and Collaborate: Share the notes with new hires so they can revisit any part of the discussion.
You can install the free Tactiq Chrome extension, so you can start using it on your next onboarding call.
Use Notes to Improve Future Onboarding
The notes you take aren’t just for the present. They're a goldmine of insights for the future. With the right permissions and documentation, the onboarding meeting can be used to improve future onboarding. You’ll get real data about your company’s processes, and you can eventually use this data to make the changes you need.
For example, you can:
- Gather the most frequently asked questions when joining your company
- Spot trends about certain roles
- Understand the initial feedback from new hires
Having this data allows you to update your onboarding process. For example, you can create an FAQ page for new hires. This way, they have the answers right off the bat. With Tactiq, you’ll be able to curate all the onboarding transcripts on Notion and Google Docs.
Wrapping Up the Onboarding Journey
Onboarding, especially in a remote setting, is more than just ticking boxes and getting through a checklist. It’s about building bridges, fostering connections, and laying a solid foundation for a long-lasting professional relationship. With tools like ChatGPT and Tactiq in your arsenal, paired with a human-centric approach, you're set to create an onboarding experience that informs and inspires.