It is increasingly getting noticed how closely employee onboarding is related to employee productivity and retention. Therefore, new hire onboarding is critical to any organization. Onboarding presents the first impression of the company. New hires are introduced to the company culture, levels of the organization, operation, and their job roles through the onboarding process. A well-planned and executed onboarding helps the new hires successfully integrate into the organization. They understood their responsibilities and work towards achieving the company goal. The significance of the positive onboarding experience and its impact on preventing employee attrition can be easily understood through a study, stating that 69 % of employees will choose to remain in the company for three years if they have an excellent onboarding experience.
THE HYBRID WORKFORCE
Covid outbreak has brought some revolutionary changes in the modern workplaces. It has completely transformed the traditional way of work. Though the idea of remote workers or working from home was already present, an entire workforce working from their homes in different locations was an extraordinary challenge for everyone. At first, it was overwhelming but soon innovative and creative solutions and strategies popped up in the industry. Both strategically and technologically organizations took some innovative decisions. The industry also started to build custom solutions.
Now again many organizations are planning for the phased return of employees. Employees are both working from home and working from the office in the same organization. Therefore, the organization must be ready with technological solutions and new strategies to manage the new hybrid workforce. Also, onboarding a hybrid workforce needs flexibility and detailed planning. Among the other considerations, employee onboarding software and technologies are critically important to make hybrid onboarding successful.
PREPARING FOR THE HYBRID ONBOARDING
When considering onboarding the hybrid workforce, the onboarding process must allow greater flexibility. Successful Hybrid onboarding needs more care and coordination. HR professionals or the person responsible for the onboarding must consider a few important aspects before planning the onboarding program.
LOCATION, TIME, AND AVAILABILITY
First, onboarding personnel must pay attention to the location of the employee in respect of the office. If new hires have to attend the onboarding program in person, therefore employer must pay hid to the distance between the office and the current employee’s abode. Also, employers must consider how employees can commute to the office. They need to think if they need to make travel arrangements or provide accommodation to the new recruits. The next important consideration is the time and the availability of the employee. The onboarding program must be planned and employees must be informed of the same well before the onboarding day. Therefore, newly recruited employees will have enough time to make necessary arrangements to participate in the onboarding program.
If they are planning for a remote onboarding program, then onboarding professionals must enlist appropriate tools and software.
Rather than using multiple onboarding applications, it is better to choose a single employee onboarding software with all the essential features. Employee onboarding software not only helps to onboard remote employees but can be very useful for the new employees who are attending the onboarding program in person. The onboarding tasks can be done through the employee onboarding solution, while onboarding professionals can concentrate on building a personal connection with new employees.
TAILORED FOR THE NEW HIRES
Secondly, the HR or onboarding program must be centered around new employees. The learning plan and tools used for the WFO employees cannot be the same for the employees who are in WFH mode. So to make it effective and efficient, organizations must tailor it according to the types of employees and their preferences.
Instead of paperwork HR or onboarding personnel should concentrate on building personal connections and how incorporating employees into the company culture and making them understand their roles and responsibilities. In that way, employees will be able to integrate well into the company environment. They will feel more comfortable. Also, they will be fully aware of their roles and duties. In a hybrid workplace, it is better to arrange both virtual and in-person onboarding activities.
The learning program should follow the preferred learning style of the new hire. So the learning will be more effective and retention of the knowledge will be maximized. The planned execution of onboarding will help employees to produce more value and be more productive in the future.
ONBOARDING ESSENTIAL CHECKLIST
Thirdly, before onboarding make sure all the information is available to the employees. A handbook may become very handy to the new recruits. Also, setting up a dedicated repository or a FAQ section for new hires at the employee onboarding solution is a good idea. The hybrid onboarding checklist must include:
- Providing access to the tools and software that the new hire will need for performing their job. For example, the email address, document access, employee onboarding software or HR platform, training platform, client management systems, project management tools, etc. must be provided by the employer.
- Offer employees a quick rundown of the onboarding and training program and what to expect before they start. Also, many organizations prepare and share a schedule before or on the day of the onboarding program.
- Centralization of the tools and applications for easy access and use. A comprehensive onboarding solution with a training module or connected with a training application is often a good choice for a comprehensive onboarding program. Also, often onboarding applications are integrated into HR solutions or workforce management software for a consistent experience.
A well-thought-out onboarding plan and proper onboarding practices are essential for hybrid employees. Depending on the roles, positions and the industry the employee onboarding program greatly differs. Now another important consideration is the location. Remote onboarding facilities will remain. Face-to-face onboarding activities may not be as effective when done virtually. So onboarding professionals be creative and set up new activities for the employees. Management must decide whether to call employees to attend the onboarding program in person or perform it virtually in a hybrid workplace.