Almost two years back, the arrival of the COVID-19 Pandemic compelled companies to provide work-from-home opportunities to their respective employees. Since then, the hiring of employees to work remotely has become a common practice. However, recently, a steep fall in COVID-19 cases made employers ask their employees to return to work. Are you looking for a way to get your employees back on board? This article tells you how re-onboarding remote employees are possible and how you can do it.
Onboarding employees has always been a fascinating part of any organization. It incorporates a series of activities that a new employee must do in the office. Namely, submitting mandatory documents or getting familiar with the company’s work culture, values, mission, or vision. The same practice was getting followed by all the companies until the pandemic hit us and made our world upside down. As a result, the past two years of our lives have witnessed major changes in every aspect of life, especially the work culture. Activities which were once done in the lively environment of the office premises now got confined to the four walls of the house.
Its been almost two years, and people have settled in the virtual environment. There is a great possibility of remote workers developing their own unique work style and may not be familiar with the company’s standards and culture. However, there are many companies heading way back to office premises. Thus, they want to welcome their remote workers with great fervor.
Why is re-onboarding of remote employees important?
Goals & objectives
It is an opportunity for the company to remind employees of its goals and objectives, and to get them up to speed on any changes that have happened since they were last virtually onboarded.
Although remote employees are familiar with the company’s policies and work culture. There is a need to do it all over again. Since the remote employees are thrust into a new, physical space with people they don’t know and a culture that may be completely unfamiliar to them.
Best Work Environment
It is important to re-onboard remote hires in the office as soon as possible to ensure that they are integrated smoothly into the team and get the best possible working environment.
It is vital to ensure that they are comfortable with the new environment, have all the necessary files and documents handy, and know-how to get in touch with the company if they have any questions. By doing this, they can help your remote hire hit the ground running and get up to speed as soon as possible.
The re-onboarding process requires an in-person session. This will help to provide clarity on a number of doubts which otherwise might be challenging to answer. So, it will be of great advantage if employees who were otherwise working in different cities, come at a common place with a common goal.
10 best practices to make the re-onboarding process as smooth as possible.
It’s important to do the re-onboarding process correctly in order to provide the best employee experience and engagement. Here are a few tips on how to successfully re-board employees:
1. A warm-hearted welcome
It is highly important to give a warm welcome to all the employees who are back in the office to work. The office premises can be decorated well to make it look appealing. As employees are now all set to spend a crucial part of their day in the office. It must infuse them with great zeal so as to do wonders at the workplace.
2. Personalized gifts and a personal greet
It can be a great idea to present employees with customized gifts. The welcome back kit can include water bottles, coffee mugs, photo clocks, wireless headphones, and many more. Moreover, line managers can be asked to personally greet their respective teams. This can bring a sense of belongingness to a particular team and their goal.
3. Official mail
Companies are required to send emails for every important matter. It aids in keeping a record of all responses. Also, in order to welcome back employees to the offices, mails can be sent. The mail can include good wishes and motivational messages. This will inspire them to work hard and make up their minds. Otherwise, they just want to work in the comfort of their homes.
4. Clear communication plan
The most important step to follow on the very first day of re-onboarding employees is crystal clear communication. This is vital to make sure that employees know what is expected of them. The things that they are supposed to follow as they are back in the office now. Also, be ready to bring success home within their department or across the company.
5. Allowing time to settle
People have experienced unusual things in the past two years that nobody has ever thought of. Working from home is one of them. Initially, they took time to understand the things like how to work in the presence of family members and get connected with co-workers virtually. Now, in no time people have become habitual of working from home. So, they must be given chance to settle in an office environment which will be a bit hard initially. Sitting for straight nine hours can be a daunting task for them.
6. Vaccination status
Surprisingly, COVID-19 has been a part of our lives for almost two years. It is still a threat to our lives, making our health a top priority. Thus, companies must keep in mind every possible measure, they can take to minimize the risk. Therefore, it depends on the company if they want to keep a check on the vaccination status of all the remote hires. This definitely must be done with the consent of all the employees. Since their opinion about the vaccination matters.
7. Tools and resources
Make sure the remote employee has all the tools and resources they need to do their job in the office. This includes access to necessary software and files, as well as information about company policies and procedures.
8. Team bonding or buddy up
Working remotely has brought massive changes in our lives. On the one hand, it has helped to improve family relations with more quality time being spent at home while on the other hand, it has weakened the social and communication skills. Thus, fun activities or team bonding tasks must be given as a part of the onboarding process to imbibe the feeling of oneness in them.
9. A walk-through office tour
It is one of the most important and expected things to do. Remote hires must be made aware of office surroundings. This will make them feel comfortable in the new environment. Knowing the ways to various departments will help them adjust in the office easily.
10. Lavish team lunch
Anything that makes team bonding great is crucial. Having lunch together is a great way to give employees a chance to interact with each other freely. Moreover, it leaves a good impression of the company, trying to make employees happy.
Overall, re-onboarding employees working remotely can be a laborious process, but it’s necessary to make a concerted effort. As the presence of employees in the office cannot be neglected anymore. Moreover, in order to effectively re-onboard employees who have been remote for some time, it’s essential to put in place a plan that addresses their individual needs and makes them feel appreciated.
Ensuring that all communication is electronic and easy to access, as well as providing a comfortable working environment can go a long way in making them feel at home again. Thus, by following some simple and effective steps, the company can make the process smoother and less stressful for both the employees and the company itself.