Ever onboard an employee remotely? Doing so covers all the protocols and processes for the virtual world, but what about in-house operations? As remote hires return to the office, managers need to consider re-onboarding them upon arrival. Don’t waste the opportunity to create a good employee experience complete with a solid in-person first impression.
The importance of onboarding goes beyond just providing a specific type of experience for the employee, as onboarding can improve retention by 82% and increase productivity by 70%.
So, as companies return to the office and welcome remote hires into the actual organization’s physical location, here are 5 ways to successfully re-onboard these employees and make the transition a smooth one.
Introduce Them to the Office – Coming back into the office after working remotely for numerous months can be awkward enough. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who started their job working remotely and has never been inside the organization’s location. Think of their first day in the office as their actual first day. Give them a facility tour, pointing out common areas, bathrooms, and key personnel offices. Ease them into their new working location, however that looks for your industry.
Check-In Frequently – Because these employees have been on the job for a reasonable period of time, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be treated as a new hire as the organization returns to the office. Adjusting to the environment around them is just as crucial as performing their job well. So, schedule a one-on-one with them soon after their introduction to the office and make sure the employees you’re re-onboarding have the supplies they need to be successful.
Provide Them a Mentor – Pair remote hires with more seasoned employees familiar with the company culture, physical location, and unwritten rules of the organization, regardless of whether the remote hire is there every day or only a couple of days a week. Mentors help introduce remote hires to new contacts, offer encouragement, and give honest feedback. And it’s not just the mentee that reaps the benefits. People who serve as mentors report greater job satisfaction and commitment to the organization. The goal is to make sure remote hires get acquainted with on-site protocols and culture vs. that of the virtual world.
Conduct Team-Building Activities – Help employees get to know each other better and help those who haven’t seen each other in a while reconnect after being in a remote environment for so long. Getting to know each other in a more casual environment allows both newer and seasoned employees to show a different side of them outside of their work persona. In addition, spending time together builds a bond and creates a better sense of respect and trust. And what work environment wouldn’t be more successful with additional respect and trust?
Leave Door Open – Remote hires need access to their manager, especially when they are just getting used to a new office environment. So go the extra mile to make sure employees feel welcome. Treat their first day in the office as the first day of their actual job. Because technically, they’re learning a brand-new component to the job they’ve been doing since being onboarded remotely. Promoting an open-door policy gives remote hires the comfortability of knowing they can go to one place to ask any questions, solicit feedback, or communicate issues.
What strategies have worked for you as you re-onboard remote hirers into the office environment? If you are a remote hire, what re-onboarding advice do you have for organizations? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out Importance of Performing Stay Interviews.