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10 Tips for a Virtual Orientation with New Team Members

Veronica Brundle - Feb 2 2022, 3:10:00 PM

working in glass conference room on computers

If you have a hybrid or remote workforce, chances are you have planned countless virtual orientations so new hires can learn more about your company. From employee handbooks to insurance policies, there is a lot to discuss in a short amount of time. On top of that, it can sometimes be an overwhelming experience for a new hire. With so many new faces and people, it can be challenging to keep track of what’s what and who’s who.

We want to make your life easier. That’s why we put together a list of 10 tips to help you successfully revamp your workplace virtual orientations, add engaging activities, and provide your new hires with the best onboarding experience possible.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Before your remote team member’s first day, you’ll want to send them everything they need to succeed. Try to send out their company computer, technology, and other resources a few days before the virtual orientation. Also, if you plan on scheduling any virtual experiences that have items that need to be delivered, we recommend making sure it arrives on time or the day before.

Taking these extra steps will ensure everything runs smoothly throughout the day and you can get right into the virtual orientation on time.

You’ll want to make sure your new hires or remote employees have an agenda. This will give them a better idea of when they can take a break, eat lunch, and do everything in between.

We recommend sending out the schedule a few days in advance and going over it at the start of the virtual orientation to make sure everyone is on the same page.

No matter the size of the group, they can all benefit from a few icebreakers before getting started! Icebreakers are easy-to-plan activities that help lighten the mood and get everyone familiar with each other.

Whether it’s quick and easy games to learn everyone’s name or even our Workplace Variety Hour, icebreakers are essential to ensure everyone feels happy and comfortable during a virtual orientation.

Who said virtual orientations need to be all business and no entertainment? To add a bit of fun to your schedule, consider planning a Team Trivia challenge! Invite your team, old or new, to join in and meet the new hires. This will give everyone a chance to socialize, connect, and build a relationship with each other. Team Trivia is a 30-minute activity that can accommodate up to 200 individuals.

Don’t forget to schedule breaks! Sitting in front of a computer for hours on end can be tolling on our bodies. Breaks are essential to avoid any unwanted fatigue and allow everyone to move their legs, get some fresh air, or grab a drink of water before jumping into the next activity.

You might not be able to provide pizza in the break room anymore, but you can teach your employees how to make Pizza. This virtual experience will satisfy everyone’s hunger and provide them with a new skill they can use in the future. Plus, they’ll get time to connect and bond with their coworkers over a delicious pizza they made themselves.

Engagement is key to retaining employees and keeping them happy in the virtual workplace. Set aside some times throughout the orientations to allow them to build a relationship with one another. We recommend setting aside 10 to 15 minutes here and there for icebreakers and socialization opportunities. You can decide to be as structured as you want with these breaks.

Don’t be afraid to let activities run over the given time. If everyone is laughing and having a good time, that’s what we call a successful virtual orientation!

Our Basic Bingo virtual experience is a crowd favorite for virtual orientations. Your team members can come together with their new coworkers to play this tried-and-true game in a fun and laid-back atmosphere. It also provides optimal time in between each question so your employees can get comfortable and learn more about each other.

Starting a new job can be daunting, especially when you don’t know any of the people you’re working with. If your virtual orientation is only half a day, consider pairing them with a work buddy for the rest of the day or workweek. This will allow them to have someone they can go to with any questions or concerns without all the pressure. Plus, they’ll get to build a new friendship and connection right at the start.

After the virtual orientation is over, the real fun can begin. What better way to welcome new employees than with their first virtual happy hour with team members? Our Curated Craft Beer & Cheese Happy Hour is our favorite way to end a long day. This virtual experience will bring the luxuries of craft beer, cheese, and chocolate directly to your team members’ homes. Together, they can taste and snack, learn about their new coworkers, and connect on a more personable level.

Whether you plan virtual orientations once a quarter or once a month, there is always room to enhance the experience. We challenge you to look for new ways to keep employees engaged and create inviting experiences for them.

From virtual games to happy hours, as a company, you have the opportunity to improve engagement among your employees and encourage them to connect with their coworkers. After all, studies show a highly engaged workplace has the power to increase profitability by 21%! If you encourage engagement during virtual orientations, you’ll be more likely to retain top talent and create a company culture built on the foundation of communication.

As you plan your virtual experience and virtual orientation, we want to remind you that we’re always here to help. We have several easy-to-schedule virtual experiences that you can utilize for your virtual orientation agenda. As you focus on the logistics and paperwork for new hires, let Elevent take care of everything else.

Originally published at Feb 2 2022, 3:10:00 PM. Updated on Apr 14 2023.

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