Onboarding Checklist for Your New Hires… Ramp Up Successful Employees in Remote/Hybrid Work Settings

The Covid-19 outbreak forced many companies to allow employees to work remotely or through hybrid work models. However, not all employers were prepared to transfer their entire workflow to a virtual setting. As a result, many organizations have struggled with disengaged employees and reduced productivity.

This helpful 7-step onboarding checklist works for fully remote or hybrid working teams.

1. Early Engagement

Making your employees feel included early on before onboarding even starts is one of the best employee engagement strategies for those workers who work at least a part of their time remotely. Get creative with these possibilities:

  • Send them a welcome package
  • Invite them to the relevant group chat or communication channel
  • Organize an informal virtual get together
  • Explain the career path and reward system for top performance
  • Communicate and keep in touch regularly during early onboarding

2. Secure a Desk Setup In Advance

New employees need the right equipment to start working. These would be things like a PC or a laptop, a high-quality headset, webcam, phone, printer, desk supplies, keyboard, and mouse. Depending on job role and specialization, there might be other equipment and tools they need. If employees are audited and judged based on their performance, remote people need the same tools and working conditions as on-site employees.

3. Tools & Learning Materials

Once you’ve provided the necessary devices and tools, arrange a virtual meeting between your new employee and your IT department or other onboarding person/group. At this point, you have to provide your new hire with the following:

  • Login details for their new company email account
  • Credentials for any remote tools or software they will use
  • Company-wide communication channels and tools
  • Calendar access for client appointments or meetings
  • Proper training on cyber security
  • Digital employee handbooks and learning materials
  • Access to cloud storage and documentation

4. Assign a Buddy for Mentorship

New employees will often have many questions but can be too embarrassed or afraid to ask. To make them feel more comfortable, provide one-on-one mentorship with an existing employee who’s willing to show them all the ins and outs of the company. You’ll create a sense of unity and common goals by tying the mentor’s success to the new hire’s performance.

5. Be Transparent

Be clear about work and performance expectations. Provide your new hire with details on how you plan to measure their performance and a list of short and long-term goals of their job role. After going through virtual training, give your new employee straightforward tasks to start with. Always set clear expectations and give reasonable deadlines. At the end of each successful project, schedule some time for re-evaluation and feedback.

6. Don’t Stop Communicating

Making a first impression and establishing personal connections with teammates so that an employee feels included is more challenging to achieve virtually. Since the employees aren’t always there to read your facial cues, you have to open a constant communication line. In remote settings, over-communicating is better than under-communicating. Onboarding shouldn’t be one-way communication, rather a process, where you socialize and engage the new hire. And this is especially vital for workers with a hybrid schedule.

7. Train Managers to Lead Their Hybrid Teams with Flexibility

There is no one-fits-all solution when it comes to flexible schedules, so your managers and leaders need to learn what type of hybrid schedules work best for your business needs and different job roles within an organization. A great manager will differentiate between essential staff that has to be on-site or on a minimally hybrid schedule, and those that can work fully remote. From that point on, the manager needs to be able to rotate and schedule staff shifts accordingly, with employees’ well-being always in mind.

Personalize to give your hybrid onboarding a boost

Tailoring your onboarding process to each job role and allowing your new hires to progress at their own pace can improve their integration and assimilation to the company culture, regardless of how many days they work on- or off-site.

TCI has technology solutions that can support remote and hybrid work arrangements. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or


Boosting Employee Engagement in Your Evolving Hybrid Workplace

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most of us to try out new working arrangements. For many, work-from-home and remote working became real alternatives. However, some jobs require fieldwork and cannot support the work-from-home setup. In such a scenario, a hybrid workplace can strike a balance between the two.

The hybrid working model has enormous advantages. It gives employees a sense of freedom and fulfillment at work. But there are some challenges that employers and employees are facing for the first time. At the top of this priority list are employee engagement and employee well-being. But let’s first reflect on the definition and advantages of a hybrid workplace…

The Hybrid Workplace

The hybrid workplace, which includes both in-office and remote workers, can have many advantages:

  • It is more productive, promotes holistic well-being, and thus more economical.
  • It attracts employees of all ages and retains them by enhancing job satisfaction.
  • The company saves money on operating expenses; employees save time and money by minimizing commutes to work.
  • By reducing the number of people in the office during a pandemic, a hybrid workplace promotes health and safety.

Fostering Employee Engagement

But a hybrid work arrangement has its own set of complexities, particularly when it comes to fostering employee engagement because two distinct cultures emerge – one in the office and one online. As a result, managers can find it difficult to supervise and engage their distributed teams. Here are 4 ways to keep employees engaged in the hybrid workplace:

1. Encourage Creativity – Managers can check on employees to learn about their interests, hobbies, or how they spent their weekends. Contests and activities like a fun MiTeams icebreaker session can help employees feel more connected and stimulate team bonding. Doing these is especially crucial for younger generations who look for meaning, purpose, and connection in their work.

2. Provide the Right Equipment – Even if employees work from home, organizations must be conscious of their remote environment. Simple things like their desk setup, availability of a high-end microphone or speaker, and adequate lighting can enhance the employee experience in terms of comfort and health. So, leaders should provide employees with the necessary equipment ahead of time.

3. Minimize Burnout – Advise employees to turn off email and work notifications after working hours and encourage them to take breaks during the day. Encouraging them to participate in some wellness activities can help them feel and perform better. Minimize burnout by having well-defined meeting agendas with specific goals. Identify the people who need to attend a meeting, for example. It can make the most efficient use of everyone’s time while also making each employee feel valued and productive.

4. Prioritize Employee Recognition – Workplace incentives and perks must be well-structured to engage employees. It would help if you recognized extraordinary effort, new ideas, team contributions, and leadership.

As new technologies emerge, the hybrid workplace will continue to evolve. However, proper attention to employee engagement practices will determine the success of these arrangements.

TCI is ready to support your changing workplace arrangements with technology and services that will keep your business in the fast lane. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or


Moving Beyond Band-Aid Collaboration Tools

The impacts of the coronavirus on business culture have forced a critical need for unified business communication technology that goes well beyond commonly used band-aid solutions.

As we all continue to grapple with social distancing and lockdown protocols, everyone is searching for innovative ways to get back to “normal life.”

This has prompted business leaders to rethink customer interaction and strengthen remote collaboration in their B2B and B2C environments – while making it all work seamlessly.

  • Incorporate everything your team uses to connect and be productive in one system.
  • Choose technology that supports all of your collaboration needs with these three features – Dedicated Workspaces, Task Management, and Shared Files for each project.
  • Create an ideal environment that allows for quick responses with features such as Messaging, Telephony, and Video – no matter what your system includes, it’s important to keep it Unified.

Ready to make the switch from your emergency solution to a long-term solution? We’re here to help. Contact TCI today: (703) 321-3030 or


Strengthening Collaboration in the Evolving Workplace

Today’s pandemic has changed the way small and medium businesses perceive the workplace. Responding to stay-at-home mandates, SMBs with existing remote work programs have expanded them, and those that lacked work-from-home options prior to the pandemic started implementing them.

The Hybrid Workplace

Some employees will eventually go back to the office full-time when the pandemic subsides. Many will continue to work at home full-time, while others divide their work between home and office. The workplace is also likely to remain fluid, accommodating changing business and employee situations on the fly.

People who had turned off their cameras for online meetings started turning them on. In the process, everyone has become accustomed to the occasional technical glitches and security breaches, or scenes of family life playing out in the background. But video conferencing is not the only online tool that has helped sustain businesses…

Cloud to the Rescue

Cloud applications – remote IT and access, real-time collaboration, file sharing, backup, security, and identity management – have proven their value in supporting remote work and keeping businesses operational.

Integrating a mix of old phone systems, web and video conferencing, SMS, file-sharing and other tools often cost more – in terms of both time and money – than it does to move to a unified solution where the applications work together.

Unified, cloud collaboration solutions pull all of the things you need to do every day into one place. Many cloud solutions offer integration with key business applications, such as email, CRM, human resources, and other solutions to help streamline business workflows and help remote workers thrive. For example, your communications can be arranged to integrate with G Suite, Salesforce, SugarCRM, Microsoft Office or Microsoft Dynamics. Unified collaboration solutions also offer enterprise-grade security and reliability safeguards that businesses need.

Making the Transition

As your business transitions from meeting immediate needs to long-term planning, taking a more holistic approach can help you bring people and processes together, and put your business on the path to sustainability and growth as the workplace continues to evolve.

Collaboration in the evolving workplace can be a big challenge. TCI can help make it happen. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or