Best Practices for Onboarding Hybrid Employees
A complete onboarding process is a new hire’s first impression of your company. They are immediately introduced to the level of organization, culture, and operation efficiency. The value of an onboarding program is shown through a study, stating 69% of employees will retain employment for three years if they have a great onboarding experience.
In a hybrid workplace, flexibility is greater and location is more relative. It’s important to set up an effective onboarding program for hybrid employees so the process is clear for all parties involved. Thinking about best practices can be broken down into three steps: preparation, initial impression, and consistency throughout.
Before the new employee onboards, there are areas to prepare for successfully onboarding hybrid employees. As a hybrid employer, your planning process will require more coordination to take time, availability, and location into consideration.
First, consider where the person is located in congruence to your office location(s). Consider the ease of their commute and if in-person orientation days are mandatory outside of their agreed-upon hybrid schedule. Consider making travel arrangements to accommodate. If possible, plan their first week or two around personal connection rather than paperwork. Incorporate in-person introductions, conversations, and cultural-building activities as much as possible.
Second, adjust the program to set the new employee up for success. If the program is prepared in a way that benefits all learning styles, you could ask the new employee how they prefer to learn and how they best retain information and then make any small adjustments to tailor to their dominant learning style. Also, onboarding hybrid employees allow the opportunity to plan some sections to be in-person, and others virtual.
Third, ensure that the new employee will have access to all information needed on the day they start. Tasks in your onboarding preparation checklist that can be completed before their initial start date might include:
- Creating access for all tools and technology they will need, including email, document access, onboarding or human resources platforms, company communication programs, training platforms, client management systems, project management tools, etc.
- Organizing and distributing an overview of their onboarding and training processes before, or on, the day they start.
- Preparing a training schedule that includes trainees available and devoted to quality onboarding.
- Centralizing communication and tools for easy access. This may include creating a dashboard where they can easily access all of the tools for their training and covered within their training.
Onboarding hybrid employees in person for the first day or week is beneficial because it allows them to see their in-office workspace and be introduced to the culture immediately. Scheduling in-person meetings with their manager, team, and other important figures can help build camaraderie from the start.
Introduce a buddy or mentor their first week to help them navigate through the culture and any other basic support. Microsoft found that 97% of new employees reported more productivity in their role after meeting with their buddy more than 8 times within their first 90 days of employment. This model also increases employee satisfaction and collaboration.
Using technology can also set the stage for a great experience. Technology can house space to guide new employees through their first impressions. This allows the new hire to see what is planned, but address one item at a time. The better the organization and ease of navigation, the better the employee is set up for success.
Avoid ending the process abruptly, and incorporate weekly check-ins with their managers to encourage support and build rapport. Welcome constructive feedback so the new employee can share their onboarding experience, allowing human resources to continue developing and improving upon the process of onboarding hybrid employees.
Finally, set up the employee’s workforce development path from the beginning to support continued engagement and retention. Cangrade’s Workforce Development tool can organize onboarding and upskilling processes based on a new hire’s strengths and areas of opportunities determined in their Pre-Hire Assessments. Contact us today to learn more.