Virtual Onboarding

Enabling leadership success with virtual onboarding

As restrictions and work-from-home continue, global development organisations who have hired a new executive before the COVID-19 crisis, or proceeded with an appointment despite it, are grappling with how to bring a new leader up to speed virtually. Executives themselves are concerned about how they will understand their organisational culture, build relationships, set priorities and articulate their vision while working remotely. At times like these, quality, meticulously-planned virtual onboarding is critical to quickly bring new leaders up to speed and enable a strong start.

Get up to speed before day one

Using the time period before the agreed starting date, we guide the appointee through operations and logistics of working remotely, manage communications, review structure and organisational dynamics, and establish KPIs and priorities to support the creation of a 100-day plan.

Establish trusting relationships

Virtual communication calls for extra considerations to foster understanding and make up for the nonverbal cues that are lost over video calls. During virtual onboarding, we take extra care to support leaders in setting the foundation for key internal and external stakeholder relationships.

Validate plans and priorities to position the leader for success

As an objective third-party, we can facilitate an explicit conversation to ensure there is no ambiguity about a new leader’s priorities, plans and expectations, as well as how communication will work for teams and stakeholders.


Strong leadership performance is critical in the face of a global crisis and uncertainty. Organisations can adapt and make extra considerations for virtual onboarding including:

  • In the period before a new leader starts, document and share how the organisation has adapted to current circumstances
  • Ensure preparation and agendas ahead of calls with key stakeholders
  • Challenge team members to touch base daily during the first few weeks
  • Allow extra time: longer conversations to build trust as well as time for reflection and decision-making
  • Plan for how to communicate clearly about the role and align stakeholder expectations
  • Convey culture with consistent 1:1 and team catch-ups via virtual coffee meetings

Leader working virtually

Why SRI Executive?

What we bring: In-depth expertise after working with leaders in international development for more than 20 years.

Our approach: We co-create a tailored onboarding strategy & have an agile team who can adapt to changing circumstances.

Our results: A 20-year track-record of supporting newly appointed leaders with a roadmap to create lasting impact.

Find out more about what we can do to support leaders at every level of your organisation, or get in touch.



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