At the beginning of the pandemic, employers quickly shifted almost every aspect of their business, including the onboarding of new employees, to take place remotely. Research from Glassdoor shows that organizations with strong onboarding practices improve employee retention by 82% and productivity by more than 70%.
While going back to the office will be an adjustment for everyone, it will be an entirely new experience for people you hired remotely. Here are a few strategies to re-onboard employees who started work in a WFH environment.
• Allow remote hires to bond as a cohort by creating structured opportunities for them to interact and get to know each other. These might include icebreakers or “speed networking” activities.
• Create a buddy system. Pair each remote hire with a more tenured employee who can answer their questions about the physical office space and organizational norms that they may not have picked up on when working from home.
• Check in regularly. You may feel like you’ve already done the work of getting your remote hire up to speed, but the office is an entirely new environment. Take them to lunch and have a one-on-one meeting with them their first week back, as you would have done if they had started their job at the office.
· Create informal team-building opportunities. Creating opportunities for people to get to know each other better will help all employees to reconnect after being remote for over a year but will also help remote hires, in particular, to socialize and get to know both new and tenured employees in a more relaxed and less intimidating environment.
While going back to the office will be an adjustment for everyone, it will be an entirely new experience for remote hires. Don’t squander the opportunity to create a great employee experience.
Do you like working remotely?
How do you onboard new employees remotely?
Zucker, R. (2021, June). How to Re-Onboard Employees Who Started Remotely. Harvard Business Review.
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