Build on the 4 Pillars of Onboarding – 3. Team

Feeling confident and fitting in at a new job means building friendships and networking with peers. But how will your new employees find their next “work wife” if everyone is remote?

We recently released The Virtual Onboarding Handbook, a guide to the essential parts of a successful virtual onboarding program, including how to build a strong team culture despite having a distributed team. 

The eBook includes a sample template of a virtual onboarding program, loosely based around a 30-60-90 day structure.

On the blog, we’ve been highlighting the 4 pillars of onboarding:

  1. My Company
  2. My Career
  3. My Team
  4. My Self

Check out the first two blogs, and to get all the details and the sample onboarding template, download the eBook.

Today, we’ll talk about how team building and company culture can make a huge impact on new employee retention and success at your organization.


Your virtual onboarding needs to include ways for existing team members to welcome and get to know your new hire. Consider having everyone send short video greetings or schedule a few virtual happy hours. These get-togethers encourage networking and help build a team culture.

Team Building

According to the American Psychological Association, communication and shared identity within a team can mediate the effects of physical separation. By delivering a structured, strategic onboarding plan, your new hire will mesh into your team and start building a bond right away, no matter where everyone is located.

Schedule time for the new hire to meet one-on-one with their manager, as well as virtual team meet-and-greets and cross-department job shadowing, so the new hire is introduced to the whole company. These scheduled meetings should include a mix of purely social icebreaker calls and specific project-related meetings. 

In the eBook, we share a few popular icebreaker activities for virtual teams, like playing people trivia, sharing memes, or expressing highs and lows from the week.

Getting to know each other better creates more open lines of communication and collaboration on projects! 

Team building is an ongoing process that will continue long after the formal onboarding is over. 

Things you can do to keep it going:

  • Schedule periodic manager check-ins to touch base 
  • Include time for social chat at the beginning of video calls

According to Gallup, managers account for at least 70% of employee engagement scores.


Onboarding is an opportunity to emphasize and immerse your new employees in the aspects of your company culture you want to promote and cultivate. 

Here are some activities you’ll want to consider including: 

  • Virtual office tour (if you have a physical headquarters)
  • Info sessions on the company history and values
  • Cross-department introductions

Some companies assign every new hire a buddy or coach to answer questions and help them understand the lay of the land. 

A LinkedIn survey of over 3,000 U.S. professionals found that 70% said they would leave a leading company if it had a bad culture.

Download The Virtual Onboarding Handbook now to get all our tips and sample virtual onboarding activities.