As the pandemic continues to impact businesses all over the world, remote or hybrid working has become a key focus for SMEs. While larger corporations like Meta, JP Morgan, and Microsoft are changing their policies and forcing staff to return to the office, SMEs are still coping with the complex task of managing inductions for hybrid staff.
Hybrid working has become popular due to the rise of remote conferencing technology, and many employees appreciate the flexibility it offers. Reduced office overheads and an improved work-life balance are some of the benefits that remote and hybrid workers enjoy. However, working face-to-face is still important for SMEs’ productivity. Physical presence is necessary to facilitate bonding over meaningful relationships.
In this article, we will explore how hybrid onboarding can help companies achieve the best of both worlds while ensuring that their new hires have a flying start.
Before They Join
Before new employees join, certain measures need to be taken to ensure a smooth and successful onboarding process. It’s essential to sort out their tech in advance, making sure any work devices or kits have been pre-loaded with important software or templates. It’s also important to draft a company-wide “new joiner” introduction email that includes fun facts, conversation starters, and a comprehensive plan of the induction process.
Week 1: In the Office
During the first week, new employees are usually in the office to help build rapport and make connections. A physical walk-through of all collaboration apps and software should be provided to upskill new Joiners. Shadowing is also an effective way to help new employees understand the dynamics of the organization. Scheduled introductory calls and meetings in the first week should be balanced with easy, immediate tasks to build confidence and enable the identification of any skill gaps.
In addition, the health and safety induction should be modified to include working from home, and this piece must not be neglected. It’s crucial to include topics such as workstation setup, display screen equipment regulations, mental health, and how to report and get help for work-related stress.
Week 2: When Working from Home (WFH)
The second week is likely to be the first week of working from home for new employees. A welcome package by post could be sent to help them feel more welcome in their new role. Another effective way to help new staff settle in is to match them with experienced, friendly staff who are willing to offer some mentoring and advice. Regular check-ins are necessary to track their progress and ensure they’re happy, engaged, and staying productive.
Week 4: How Did You Do?
Finally, after four weeks, requesting feedback is essential to understand how successful the induction process was. Hybrid working is still new, so feedback will help improve digital onboarding. This can be achieved through informal conversations or a quick online survey via SurveyMonkey.
This systematic approach to hybrid inductions ensures a positive and productive relationship with employees and helps strike a balance between modernizing your work practices to meet current expectations while maximizing the chances of retention and maintaining performance standards.
There are no one-size-fits-all solutions for businesses, and each company will have a unique optimal balance for getting the best out of their workforce. If you’re new to hybrid working or need a bespoke program, professional advice is recommended.
To sum up, managing hybrid staff can be challenging, but with a proper onboarding process, companies can efficiently integrate new employees while maintaining productivity and professionalism. Don’t hesitate to seek professional advice if you’re looking to improve your company’s onboarding process.