Blog Post

3 essential skills for onboarding in a remote or hybrid workplace

Zarif Taufiq

Content Producer

The month of July is often a time for celebrating revolution. From the Fourth of July and Juneteenth in the United States to Bastille Day in France, over 15 other countries around the world all have some reason to celebrate during this revolutionary month.

But we have something else to celebrate: The modern workplace revolution. Around the world, organizations were forced to work from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As people in some parts of the world start to return to the office, it now seems that we're moving toward a hybrid work environment that can benefit both employees and employers.

This kind of environment can be difficult to adjust to for new hires. Research from TINYpulse shows new hires onboarded remotely have difficulty collaborating effectively with their teams as compared to new hires onboarded in-person. In order to thrive in the workplace revolution, companies need an organized plan to onboard new hires in a remote or hybrid environment.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Assign a workplace buddy

Assigning a workplace buddy is a great way to provide your employees with unofficial social help throughout the day. A workplace buddy can answer questions someone might not feel comfortable asking a manager, like what are the company norms or team organization in a post-pandemic world.

Try to pair up your new hires with other members on their teams to help make the transition easier, more organized, and take some of the load off leadership. Ask more senior employees to set up virtual coffee chats with new hires to get started.

Create a central reference point of common questions and answers

Having an easy-to-access database or document of common questions and explanations of new policies can help employees help find the answers they’re looking for on their own.

When you set up a central reference point, like a new hire FAQ or a resource page on your company intranet, everyone will know exactly where to go to get their questions answered. This way, however long it takes for your team to adjust to the new normal, they’ll be able to support themselves on their own time.

Foster team collaboration

There’s a good chance many of your employees have gotten used to working alone over the past year and their social engagement skills might be a little rusty. You can help kickstart their old collaboration skills with bonding events like team coffees, lunches or happy hours. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, one of the fastest ways to build team engagement is through team lunches during the first week.

You can hold a virtual event if you still have some members that are working remotely, but the key factor is to encourage collaboration and socialization over a non-work-related issue.

Your new hires might have mixed feelings about starting a new job in a remote or hybrid setting, but they shouldn’t have mixed feelings about how their company supports them. Help lay the groundwork for a smooth onboarding process to empower your team to do their best work no matter where they end up working.

The following video is an excerpt from the "Onboarding in a Remote or Hybrid Environment" Grovo program, which is available in the Cornerstone OnDemand Content Anytime Professional Skills subscription.

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