As you’ve no doubt heard us mention, our team works virtually—and has since EPI was founded (nearly 19 years ago!)! Before March 2020, however, when we’d mention our 100% virtual team, people often reacted with surprised faces or curiosity about how we made it work.
Because our team members are spread across the country, we’ve adapted through the usual technology. But we’ve certainly had to get creative to feel connected as a team—especially with onboarding. Through our unique approach, we work hard to make sure new employees feel welcomed, connected, prepared, and set up for success in their roles!
I believe some form of virtual teamwork is here to stay—whether that means a few or all employees working remotely. Therefore, some form of virtual onboarding is also here for good. Now is a great time to think about how to adjust your onboarding to ensure minimal turnover, better collaboration, and guarantee your new employees feel like an integral part of the team.
We recently welcomed two new members to our virtual team, and it got me thinking about how we onboard. If there is one tool we’re passionate about at EPI, it’s Everything DiSC® on Catalyst™!
Why DiSC Catalyst is a huge asset:
I have found DiSC Catalyst, an online tool, to be a great asset in connecting our virtual team.
Designed to engage everyone in building more effective relationships at work, Catalyst helps people adapt to others in real time. Through this online experience, participants discover their DiSC styles and deepen their understanding of themselves and others. The DiSC Catalyst platform:
- Assesses and measures a person’s preferences and behavioral tendencies
- Allows individuals and colleagues to view profiles and immediately gain some insight into the similarities and differences among others on their team and within the larger organization
- Reveals effective strategies for maximizing team and individual communication efforts
- Provides videos, podcasts, comparison information, and downloadable reports at each employee’s fingertips
How DiSC Catalyst works for EPI:
But it’s important to thoughtfully consider how to build DiSC Catalyst into your onboarding experience. Here are a few of EPI’s tried-and-true onboarding tips:
1. Create a “Get to Know Us!” document.
Encourage your current team members to contribute to a document that contains personal stories, pictures, and funny anecdotes about them. New employees get to know more about you and your team right away—and they have fun doing it!
2. Have new team members take the Everything DiSC® assessment.
To participate in the DiSC Catalyst program, every team member must take the Everything DiSC behavior assessment. The assessment helps determine a person’s work preferences and tendencies and aligns them with four major behavioral styles: Dominance, Influence, Conscientiousness, and Steadiness. Learn more about the value of having all DiSC styles represented on your team!
3. Schedule one-on-one video meetings.
Our team makes it a priority to schedule one-on-one video meetings with the new employee over the course of the first week or weeks. It gives us a chance not only to talk about their role and ours, but we can also share projects we’re proud of. Spread out the meetings to keep from overwhelming new team members!
4. Assign a mentor and have them follow up consistently.
Having a mentor encourages a reciprocal flow of information and insights, thus preventing workplace loneliness.
5. Schedule a virtual team meeting to utilize DiSC Catalyst.
Finally, we use Zoom or Teams to meet as a large group. Our leadership development experts review the Catalyst tool and showcase the advantages of our team dynamic before moving us into breakout rooms. As a result, we have fun getting to know each other and learning our differences and commonalities. Moreover, DiSC Catalyst is a resource we can frequently use to determine how to best work together as a team or with one other person on a specific project!
Are you interested in a taking a free tour of the DiSC Catalyst tool?
Set up a free 15-minute conversation with our Director of Leadership, Jamie Cornell. The DiSC Catalyst tool has elevated our virtual onboarding experience and we want to help you do the same!
P.S. Want to learn more onboarding tips? Check out our other blogs on creating a successful onboarding experience: