11 Tips For Onboarding Your Growing Hybrid Workforce
Remote and hybrid roles are not new ideas. Once a staple of overseas teams in manufacturing and communications, they are now simply commonplace. Non-Profits and businesses of every size are facing the perks and challenges of having people working offsite.
They wonder how to best support their teams when they no longer have the tools which come with sharing a space. How to best welcome them and create a positive team culture. How to provide feedback and set clear expectations.
If you meet these questions with an open mind, an opportunity presents itself. You are now in a position to review existing policies & procedures (or create new ones). This may sound daunting, but it’s actually good news. You have a chance to reinject some humanity and thoughtfulness into your processes. Which will hopefully lead your people, teams, and company to a more resilient place.
Let’s help you meet your people where they are at.
The anatomy of a welcoming remote onboarding process.
- Welcome: Provide a warm welcome! Everyone is familiar with zoom and the like, it’s time for a video call. Sending a branded welcome package can be a great way for your new hire to familiarize themselves with your company. Consider how a thoughtful welcome can have a lasting impact and first impression.
- Share your plan: Provide clear structure and expectations for the first days and weeks on the job. Many companies have a 30/60/90 plan for new hires, they are still a great tool to use for remote/hybrid teams. Knowing what to expect helps new hires quell anxiety about what it means to fit in and excel.
Have the right documentation at hand.
- Give Access, Quickly: Get equipment sent, access to software created and passwords shared. There is nothing that slows momentum and excitement more than being in a holding pattern.
- Have Clear Policies: Be clear and prompt in providing remote work policies. Being explicit with this information is best for everyone. Let your employees know what is expected for online hours. Things to consider: When can they take lunch breaks? Are meetings required to be on camera? What is your digital dress code? Do these policies differ for remote vs in-office staff? How can you use these policies to keep everyone on an even footing?
- Outline The Process: Provide a checklist allowing employees to track onboarding progress. This is helpful in self-guiding through the process without when not knowing what to do next.
Think about it from their perspective.
- Orientation: Offer an online orientation that shares company culture and best working practices. Consider keeping it brief but accessible so that quick learners can breeze through and those who need more review time have easy access to the materials.
- Time Zones: Consider the time zone locations of your remote employees. How do meeting times impact repeated early starts and late finishes? Creating company-wide “meeting timezones” to reduce early starts can help keep morale in check.
- Ramp Up: Start projects slowly! Getting thrown into the deep end is never fun for anyone. It can be harder when not in a traditional office setting when you can’t ask your neighbour questions.
Get your existing team involved.
- Buddy Up: Creating a buddy system between new hires and staff helps with relationship building. Having a pier to reach out too will help with understanding the internal culture.
- Reach out: Encourage your team to reach out to new hires, not the other way around!
- Onboarding Cohorts: When possible consider onboarding in cohorts. This can generate a natural camaraderie between staff who joined at the same time.
- Head of Community: Consider implementing a “Head Of Community” role where someone is responsible for the facilitating, building, and onboarding of remote team members. Having someone to turn to for questions, connection and support can really help new team members feel seen and heard.
It’s never too late to make improvements.
- Get feedback: A great onboarding experience is not one-and-done! Get feedback and improve with time. Giving your team an anonymous avenue for feedback is a great way to gather honest notes.
If you are looking for a partner to help you review your existing processes and systems and bring them up to speed for your in-office and remote teams, we’d love to help.