Virtual Onboarding at Zühlke
Insights

Can virtual onboarding work? We say yes!

Antonia Pförtner

Due to the current circumstances, Zühlke has fully switched to working from home – and this includes the onboarding process for our new colleagues. Even though we are already used to having daily virtual meetings with widely dispersed teams, this is still a new situation and a challenge for us.

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Our new colleague Yannick Mehl started on April 1st as Senior Business Consultant in Hanover. Due to the current situation with Covid-19 we had to switch his onboarding to a remote process. Even though it was a new experience for all of us, he has found very encouraging words to describe his onboarding time. 

Virtual Onboarding at Zühlke
Despite the unusual circumstances, I am extremely pleased with how my time at Zühlke has started. My contacts had already been in touch beforehand to inform me about my induction period and to explain how it would be handled in the current conditions. I received a warm welcome on my first day at the Hanover office – obviously with everyone observing the current recommendations for social distancing – and I was given the computer hardware I needed to set about facing my first challenges on the job. Since then, I have been working from home. Even so, I still feel perfectly integrated into the company.

Zühlke is set up perfectly for working across multiple locations and it offers numerous options for interacting and collaborating with others. These have enabled me to get to know lots of colleagues, albeit only virtually to begin with. There are plenty of helpful and knowledgeable people I can contact to answer any questions I have. My line manager and my mentor also make a lot of time to support me and are involving me in relevant issues as much as possible. I have never before experienced such a smooth start at any other company!
The good feeling I had during the interviews has been confirmed so far in every regard and I am still as convinced as ever that it was the right decision for me to join Zühlke.
Yannick Mehl, Zühlke
Lead Business Consultant
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Tips for a virtual onboarding process

A virtual onboarding process still needs to ensure that new employees feel welcome and are successfully integrated into the company. Here are our seven tips for successful virtual onboarding:

  1. Make hardware available for collection or deliver it to new colleagues
  2. Provide onboarding materials right at the start, so they can be studied independently
  3. Set up suitable channels for collaboration and interaction, e.g. Teams and Zoom
  4. Schedule virtual coffee breaks with your team, so that new colleagues also get to experience the culture within the company
  5. Ensure that contacts/mentors are easily accessible
  6. Use screen sharing in real time as a simple way to familiarise new colleagues with work content and to give them an opportunity to ask questions
  7. Have a daily check-in

Obviously, it is also important that all members of the team help new colleagues to integrate – onboarding is a shared responsibility!

We are happy to welcome our new colleagues in this time of uncertainty and welcome Yannick and all our new employees to the team! We are delighted that our virtual onboarding process is working out and that you all are able to settle in so well.