The process of onboarding has changed drastically since the beginning of the pandemic. What once consisted of in-person activities such as office tours and meet-and-greets has been replaced with a punishing series of Zoom calls and policy infodumps. Not only does this make it more difficult for new employees to connect with new colleagues, it can also make it harder for them to understand expectations for their new role or absorb the culture of the workplace.
There are a number of ideas emerging on what a good hybrid onboarding process looks like. At the core of each is a focus on the ‘user-experience’ for a new starter. A good onboarding process, whether physical or digital, should reflect and understand the needs, expectations and – indeed – frustrations that come with being a fresh face. This is especially important when it comes to the key HR processes that accompany many of the critical first interactions a new hire has with their employer.
A digital taste of the culture
When starting a company as a hybrid worker, it can be difficult to get a feel for the company culture, which is crucial for helping new workers quickly adapt to their teams and expectations. Given that the hybrid experience is predominantly through a screen – even small touches such as the branding and flow of intranet software can help to ease people into their new role.
Virtually celebrating each other’s achievements, wishing one another a happy birthday, or making colleagues feel appreciated for a job well done through reward and recognition software will help new employees see how a company treats and values their colleagues, even while everyone is working remotely. The accessibility and the ease at which these features are available to a new hire help to reinforce how much effort and thought a company has put into that value.
Getting stuck in
Starting a new role is always exciting, but it also often comes hand-in-hand with some very frustrating process and legislative checks – particularly background checking and right to work. Many of these processes were developed assuming in-person onboarding meetings – which is not the case for many hybrid workers. Streamlining the onboarding process with modern background checking solutions can make the process much faster and more pleasant for new employees.
It’s ok to sweat the ‘small’ stuff
Successful onboarding is not just about big moments. Getting to grips with a new company is also full of small moments that present an opportunity for a company to delight and make things easier for colleagues. Take booking holidays, for example. This may not be something many new joiners feel comfortable asking too much about in their first few days though is something many new joiners want to lock in early so they can plan their breaks. Making the process of booking leave, getting confirmation by email and offering a clear view of time taken, remaining, and pending approval can really help.
HR policies and systems can be overwhelming to begin with – and it’s hard to tell what a new joiner wants to know about first. Rather than making them pour through PDF tomes of policy, why not introduce an AI chatbot to help direct people to the answers they need? ‘When do I get my playslip? Who is my line manager? Have my shifts been confirmed?’ Any of these questions can be answered quickly and seamlessly – whenever a hybrid worker feels the need to ask. Alternately, you can look for convenient integrations, such as those available for the Microsoft Office suite, which can help direct new joiners to specific areas of interest when holiday booking confirmation emails and other contextual items come in.
Time for change
Hybrid working isn’t the only change that businesses are rushing to address in 2022 – it’s also happening during ‘the Great Resignation’, an age where the war for talent has become more intense than ever. Having the best possible HR and payroll system in place can have a major impact on how well companies welcome, onboard, and retain the best talent. By using software that is clean, intuitive, user-friendly, that reflects your employer brand, and that demonstrates an understanding of your users’ needs, you are giving yourself the best chance of making a great and lasting first impression.