How to create unforgettable onboarding journeys remote

April 06, 2020 | Rune Kallehauge

Say hi to our happy and always smiling People Manager, Steinunn! She’s the Icelandic power woman who strives to build our strong Nordic API Gateway team. In this article, she shares how we’re creating unforgettable onboarding journeys for new colleagues while working remotely. So lean back, relax and get her top three tips on how to not just hire, but to welcome new recruits during COVID-19.

Take it away, Steinunn!

A warm welcome matters

Onboarding has always been my favourite process. It’s a fresh start; our team of awesome employees is growing and it’s filled with curiosity and new learnings.

...I’ve revisited the process multiple times. I gather feedback every time a new employee joins us and tweak it monthly.

Why? Because it’s crucial that our employees get a great start and that we set them up for success.

The coronavirus has hit us with a curveball that we’ve managed to successfully work around. We’ve always trusted our employees to work from home, but having the entire company working from home over weeks is a new scenario for us.

The virus still hasn’t influenced our growth plan, we’re still hiring great employees and the virus hasn’t changed the importance of onboarding. I still needed to figure out how to create an unforgettable experience for our fresh faces while working completely remote.

I thought that sharing our way of onboarding and how we did it remotely would give you some inspiration. 

Tip 1 - Prepare, prepare, prepare.

Our onboarding goal remains the same. We want the process to be as smooth and as fun as possible. It should be filled with learnings and insights, so the new employees grasp the vision and goals of our company from their first day.  

I revisited our onboarding process, improved it and pinpointed the areas that needed to be adjusted to the remote setup.

Our new employees should be able to open their computers, sign in to their email and everything should just work. If we can make them sign up and get up and running as soon as possible, we’ve succeeded. This is pretty easy to achieve remotely if you just stay prepared.

Their computer is set up, they get their email logins and when they log into their emails for the first time, a list is waiting for them. The list is a step-by-step intro into all our systems, and how our employees can log in and join the fun.

In the first week, our employees meet key figures in the company and get insights into their responsibilities and way of working. This was also easy to set up remotely.

The biggest hurdle in this process was to get the physical elements to our employees, which brings us to the next step. 


Tip 2 - Stay flexible

Our employees can’t work remotely without computers. Without computers, the logins and preparation would be worthless.

We usually set the desks up for the employees when they start, with a welcome note and merchandise. The first day always starts with a welcome breakfast with the team. I clearly needed to revisit this part.

My solution: Create small care packages for all our new employees - computers, chargers and the more fun part, stickers and welcome notes. I stopped by at a local bakery and bought croissants, so they could join the team breakfast. Then I jumped on the good old bike and delivered everything to the homes of the employees Copenhagen style.

The first remote breakfast turned out to be great; we’ve never had a bigger first day breakfast before, so our new employees got to meet most of the team. This remote setup might be something we will just implement into all our first day breakfasts. The more the merrier. 

Tip 3 - Over communicate

This has been a principle we’ve been using a lot to help us work together remotely. I knew this would be a crucial aspect of the process.

Before the employees started, they had gotten plans for their first week, with an overview of their meetings. I’ve stayed in touch with all of them and gave them my phone number just in case they got stuck.

I made sure that they got to spend time with their leaders from their first day and got coupled up with a mentor from Day 1 - just to ensure that they had the support net around them that can help them succeed.

I also set up a meeting with them to introduce them to our new remote setup, as well as the SWAT list we’ve implemented, our remote lunches and Friday Bars.

This has been a week filled with learnings. I’ve mostly learned that remote onboarding can be humane, fun and effective.

Do you want to join our next onboarding breakfast? Have a look at our open positions and join our fintech family.