Onboarding and retention in virtual teams

Tools and techniques for managers

When a new hire joins your organisation, the plan their manager has in place for integrating them into their team has a profound influence on how quickly they become productive contributors, how long they are likely to stay in their role, and their overall level of engagement with their work.

A well-planned onboarding process is especially important in virtual and hybrid teams where there are fewer chances to get to know colleagues informally and to learn about the organisation by ‘absorption’. New remote hires count on their managers to help them make the right contacts and to learn the information they need to become effective in their roles.

But excellent onboarding is about more than the first few days. As a new team member settles in, it should evolve into an ongoing process to support long-term engagement and retention.

Managers have a wide range of tools available to them at different stages of the virtual onboarding/retention process, starting even before the new hire joins the team, and moving through welcoming and introducing them to the organisation, helping them build the skills and relationships they need to thrive, and providing ongoing support and opportunities to grow.

This highly interactive two-hour virtual training course helps managers select the best approach to onboarding their new colleagues, as well as with the skills to prepare a clear plan to support long-term retention. Led by an experienced leadership coach, the course can be adapted to meet the specific needs of your organisation and managers.

What participants will learn

This intensive session is designed to have maximum practical impact in a short time. The topics covered include:

1. Onboarding


  • Understanding the business benefits of excellent onboarding
  • Planning the key phases of onboarding
  • Using checklists proven to support the most effective onboarding process
  • Getting the pre-boarding right
  • Being ready for the first day

Connecting to the company

  • Planning the first and second weeks intentionally
  • Integrating the new starter into the team and organisation
  • Supporting new starters to build their networks
  • Assigning a buddy / mentor

Connecting to the role

  • Getting the balance right between too much information and not enough
  • Building the new starter’s confidence and competence
  • Setting clear expectations for the first 30 days, 3 months, 6 months
  • Being intentional about 1:1s, training, coaching and development

2. Retention


  • Identifying the causes of higher employee turnover
  • Understanding the different expectations and requirements of different generations / career stages

Proven strategies to improve employee retention

  • Supporting employees in talent and career development
  • Recognising the role of flexibility in employee retention
  • Using 1:1:s and appraisals effectively
  • Building community within a hybrid workplace
  • Building psychological safety

Action planning

After the course every participant receives a PDF course handbook covering everything they’ve learnt on the course.

How is the training delivered?

This highly interactive programme can be delivered virtually or, if you are running two sessions on the same day, as traditional classroom training.

Virtual sessions last two hours and classroom sessions two to three hours, depending on the backgrounds of those attending and any specific learning aims. 

In either format, the training sessions are intensive, packed with tools and tips, and highly engaging, equipping participants with the knowledge and skills to make an immediate improvement to onboarding and retention in their teams.

If you have a group of staff who could benefit from the Onboarding and Retention in Virtual Teams course, we can deliver an in-company session at a time that suits you.

Participants can join a virtual session from the office or from home, or we can come to you to deliver the training in the classroom.

Fees depend on the number of participants and whether or not you would like the content adapted to address any specific issues relevant to your group.

Please contact us to find out more and to obtain a quote.

About us

Cambridge Exec is a boutique learning consultancy made up of a select team of specialists in workplace wellbeing, communications and people-oriented leadership and management. We deliver training and coaching, and conduct research and analysis that supports your people-centred workplace culture.

For over fifteen years we’ve been helping organisations ranging from small startups to international brands to build their people’s capacities, enhance wellbeing and boost engagement and productivity at work.

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