COVID-19 marked the beginning of a new method of working. Employees have demonstrated that they can be effective when working from home, and they have voiced a desire for workplace flexibility to continue in the future.
Employees also choose a hybrid workplace style, which allows them to work either in a real office or from home.
Organizations will need to reconsider some procedures, like with any large-scale shift, to ensure that people are productive, engaged, and supported regardless of where they work.
Onboarding new workers were one area where firms struggled to react during the epidemic, indicating potential risks that will need to be addressed in order to sustain the hybrid workplace model of the future.
Moreover, onboarding is growing into a largely hybrid affair—sometimes virtual, sometimes in person, and sometimes a combination of the two—after more than a year of remote work for many employees, followed by the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
When teams meet in person less frequently, the difficulty of acclimating new employees to a company and its culture continues. Takeaways from the remote onboarding period can help companies rethink their strategy in the future.
What Is The Definition Of Onboarding?
The process of acquainting your newly hired employees with your company's standards, procedures, and culture. While this definition is correct, onboarding encompasses much more. Effective employee onboarding will positively influence your bottom line with the correct onboarding software since it creates employee loyalty. The stronger that loyalty, the more likely the individual will stay on for a longer period of time.
Onboarding, on the other hand, has a far greater influence. It begins before the employee's first day on the job and continues until the employee leaves your organization. In essence, onboarding refers to the full employee experience, from start to finish.
What Has Changed In Terms Of Onboarding Since The Pandemic?
The world of work has changed at a breakneck pace in the previous year, spurred by remote work policies and massive socio-political changes prompted by the epidemic. Employees are seeking to their bosses for advice and support as they deal with the difficulties that have arisen, and the top bosses are responding in kind. Many businesses are rethinking how they onboard new employees in order to provide a memorable, welcoming, and inclusive experience that prepares them for future jobs.
Onboarding procedures are designed to assist new employees in adjusting to their new roles and environments. New employees frequently gain a sense of clarity about what is required of them and, more importantly, what they may expect from the organisation as a result of their experience. Understanding what is expected of new employees is critical to rapidly bringing them up to speed. Employers, on the other hand, may do more to enhance employees' confidence, improve their well-being, and reconfirm their desire to continue with the organisation.
However, as the "new normal" has an impact on organisational well-being (see infographic below), it's become vital to rethink employee experience and implement new strategies and techniques to handle emerging workforce concerns. Consider that, as flexible work arrangements become more common, many organisations intend to transform into hybrid workplaces over the next three years.
As a result of these developments, it's critical to rethink onboarding tactics and appropriately engage new employees right away.
In order to attract new talent, particularly recent graduates, to this new paradigm, employers must rethink their approaches for employee engagement across an increasingly diverse and distant workforce.
Furthermore, most businesses are planning or in the process of hiring freelancers, which forces them to consider the onboarding process for them as well. Since freelancing is on the rise, MNCs and other major organisations are looking for and recruiting freelancers with a variety of skills for a variety of reasons.
What should businesses focus on right now to guarantee that new workers adjust quickly to their new roles and feel supported in a rapidly changing environment? How can businesses keep a new generation of workers on board for the long haul?
5 Rules Of Post-Covid Onboarding
Here are the five rules of post-Covid onboarding.
1. Begin early
Although onboarding is frequently discussed just prior to a new employee's first day on the job, companies should keep it in mind throughout the interview process. Managers may express the company's culture, mission, and values at every touchpoint, which can assist attract and discover ideal applicants.
This early preparation can assist the successful applicant not only acclimatise to their new employment more quickly, but also speed up the process of selecting a candidate. New employees will be familiar with the workplace culture, business priorities, and values shared by their new coworkers before their first day on the job.
2. Model yourself after the workplace
More firms are returning to the office with a hybrid approach as COVID-19 vaccination rates rise and the threat of the virus fades. Employers who choose the hybrid approach should account for any changes in their onboarding process and make sure it represents their specific arrangement.
A mix of in-person and virtual onboarding events can speed up introductions to the workplace structure while also allowing for flexibility. In-person training, for example, can include meetings with supervisors, coworkers, and leadership, whereas remote onboarding activities might entail independent reading, research, and policy review. Splitting the process can also help recruits avoid information overload and exhaustion while still allowing them to create vital relationships.
3. Adopt a digital mindset
In the post-pandemic workplace, digital tools dictate how work is done, and onboarding is no exception. Onboarding should use the tools and resources that employees need to be familiar with in order to thrive in their responsibilities, regardless of where they work.
Managers should plan remote onboarding meetings and introductions to use the same video conferencing technology as the rest of the company. Instant messaging systems can assist new recruits in forming relationships with coworkers by enabling casual exchanges that are often reserved for the workplace. Managers should ensure that new hires have a strong understanding of how and when to use these tools if they are to be used in their everyday activities.
4. Culture reigns supreme
Whether management take a proactive approach or let it emerge organically, corporate culture infiltrates all levels of workplace relationships. Onboarding is a company's opportunity to take control of and explain its culture to new workers, ensuring that they understand the company's values.
Companies should include events that demonstrate their goals and values to recruits in addition to talking about culture. If the company values collaboration, management should set aside time for new hires to meet with new coworkers, either one-on-one or in a group environment. Standardizing these introductions can assist recruits in swiftly forming ties, which will encourage collaboration throughout the organization.
5. Give yourself plenty of time
The epidemic has brought a lot of change, and companies can expect a longer onboarding phase as a result. The same possibilities to learn on the job and establish relationships may not exist or be as easily available for hybrid and remote workers. In an in-person workplace, new employees have many opportunities to learn about the company, their function, the culture, and their coworkers just by observing and conversing with them.
New hires may take longer to feel at ease in their new position if they are not exposed to a regular office setting. Managers should elicit input from workers to discover what worked well and what may be improved in their onboarding experience, and they should use a buddy or mentor system to help expedite the process.
While the fundamentals of onboarding new employees will remain the same after the epidemic, the specifics may vary dramatically. As the business landscape changes, savvy corporate leaders should learn from their Covid-19 experiences and modify the processes. As a result, the company will have a solid pipeline for candidates to adapt and start making an effect.
Modifying your current onboarding program to meet the new job challenges is a short-term solution that won't help you achieve your long-term goals after the epidemic. Employee retention and engagement necessitate a deliberate, long-term effort that begins on day one. Take the effort now to create an excellent onboarding experience for new employees that reflects and builds on the new environment and, as a result, improves the organizational culture.
Hetvi works as a Product Associate at Refrens.com - Online Invoice Generator & India's most powerful platform for freelancer's growth. She has worked for some renowned companies as a Brand and Digital marketing associate. You can follow Refrens.com on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.