Virtual Induction & Training during COVID-19 – Natalie Hooper

To think that back in March 2020 we were all so excited to be welcoming our new recruits to the team, little did we know how different that experience was going to be.
One colleague who started with us on their first day was welcomed into the office for their meet and greets of his co workers was then politely given a laptop and sent home with procedure notes and links to files. It felt cold and I was starting to worry about how we could actually help our new friends become part of the Mersey Care family.

Overall we had two new starters join us whilst we worked on ensuring our team had all the equipment & tools necessary to work from home. It was a big challenge and needed lots of planning. We needed a plan not just for them but for our team as a whole.

We set up daily catch ups which consisted of the follows:-
My direct reports met daily to discuss connectivity issues, staff and anything else that we needed to share.The accounts payable & receivable team met once a week for our main BAU talks which I attend too and then 15 min chats every other day of the week so they could try to form relationships virtually. The team felt more settled after a few weeks and chose to do these twice a week instead of daily.

We set up a buddy system so each of our new starters had their go-to person which worked really well and from the skills that they have now achieved we can see that method of training worked really well. Procedure notes were refreshed to suit our new working practices with COVID-19 & working from home. These were all communicated to the team and sent out to everyone.

We also met socially to do a quiz night, great fun

Being present & visible on Skype meetings helped too.

Our WhatsApp group kept everyone in the loop when systems were down or we just wanted to say good morning.

Virtual induction and training during this difficult time was made easy as I have a really great team who supported the process, and we all worked together to  successfully welcome our new starters to the family.