While employers may be looking at a gradual return to the office, many interns and graduates have still indicated their preference for the flexibility of remote and hybrid working – 69.6% of students said they preferred a hybrid model in a recent survey we ran with our users! What then are the best ways to support your new starters in a remote environment? Read on for all of our top tips.
Minimising Technology Woes
We all know the struggles of technology all too well. Make sure you plan in advance and get in touch with your IT department so that your intern/grad has access to:
- Adequate hardware e.g. laptop, monitors, headphones
- Any required software e.g. company email address and any key communication/payroll systems
Even if the intern is only scheduled to be there for a short time, it’s worth going to the effort to set these up to make the remote working experience easier for everyone!
Focus On The Training
Spend the time adapting your usual training and onboarding processes to virtual. You may need to rethink how you approach bringing your new hires up to speed if your current program doesn't easily translate. Grads and interns shouldn’t be expected to know everything, so make the most of on their eagerness to learn by using resources like online courses or demonstrating tasks through screen share.
First Impressions Matter
Not knowing anyone in a new company can be intimidating, especially when you miss out on the opportunity to network and make small talk in person. For both grads and interns, the goal is to help them gain as much exposure to the company as possible. Some steps you could take include:
- Setting up times for them to meet and introduce themselves to different people in the company - even if they’re in a completely different team!
- Ask your new starter to fill out short profile or Q&A so you can get to know them better
- Notify your team beforehand that a new intern/grad is onboarding
- Assigning a dedicated buddy – it's a great idea to connect your intern/grad with someone other than their manager/supervisor who they may feel more comfortable talking to. This can be a former grad or intern and a great opportunity for them to exercise their leadership and mentoring skills!
Communication and Check-Ins
Decide on a preferred form of communication – whether it be email, Microsoft Teams or Slack, it’s important that you let your new starter know that you’re accessible for them to ask any questions. A good idea is to have a set check-in times throughout the week to make communication more efficient. Once you’ve established that initial level of trust, you can also loosen the reigns a tad to let them show their full potential!
Scheduling and Goals
For interns, setting a more detailed day-to-day schedule might be the way to go - this way they know exactly what their tasks are, instead of sitting around and waiting for ad hoc tasks to be assigned.
If the program is project-based, look at breaking down the different components that need to be completed. Set clear outcomes and achievable long-term goals to a timeline over the course of the program to keep your intern/grad motivated. Be sure to also ask if there’s anything in particular they’re excited to learn more about or work towards.
Warm Welcomes and Team Bonding
Working remotely can make it more difficult for your new starter to feel like they’re truly a part of the team. Some simple bonus perks are a great way to send a warm hello and boost morale:
- Send across a welcome kit – branded merchandise like tote bags, mugs or t-shirts can make all the difference!
- Arrange team bonding experiences:
- Virtual Trivia/Boardgames
- Virtual Lunches – send through UberEats vouchers so you can all enjoy free food delivery together!