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Hybrid Onboarding for Success

Hybrid work arrangements are not just a blip on the radar; they’re here to stay. In this new era where work attire is a mixture of business casual and pajama chic, showing some extra TLC to your hybrid onboarding process should be a top priority. It’s time to learn how to engage your new hires and help them thrive, wherever they may be onboarding from.

The pandemic threw us all into an unexpected rendezvous with remote work, and a few years on it has blossomed into a full-blown hybrid romance for many organizations. With this blended work model comes a transformation for integrating new team members.

Whether your new employees are logging in virtually or from your office space, the hybrid onboarding process is more important than ever. Let’s jump into the value of onboarding, the benefits of having a fully rounded hybrid onboarding experience, and the necessary steps to ensure your new team members – regardless of where they are onboarding from – feel valued, connected, equipped for success, and excited to be joining your company.

Why Effective Hybrid Onboarding is Important

Whether virtual or in-person, your onboarding process will shape your new employee’s first impressions of the company. For better or for worse, these first impressions can have a big impact! Based on a survey carried out on 1000 workers who have started a new job in the last year, 50% of newly hired employees plan on job hunting soon after starting a new position. That number jumps up to an astonishing 80% when onboarding misses the mark – now that’s a wake-up call. And the price tag attached to replacing an employee? Well, that depends on the level of the role but the average turnover cost for a mid-level employee is 150% of their annual salary. Ouch! 

Don’t let these stats rattle you though: view them as a friendly reminder that your hybrid onboarding deserves some special attention.  

The Benefits of Effective Hybrid Onboarding

When done right, effective onboarding offers a slew of benefits for both your new recruits and the company. Let’s look at the perks of rolling out a stellar hybrid onboarding process and get ready for more stats – the good type this time!  

Better Employee Experience

Crafting a strong user-focused onboarding experience will help your new hires feel supported, comfortable and part of the team. This creates happy employees who feel like they have hit the job jackpot. Don’t just take our word for it – 78% of new employees agree.

Higher Employee Engagement

53% of HR experts think that employee engagement improves when onboarding is done correctly. Employees who are more engaged are more productive, have lower absenteeism, are at way lower risk of burnout and are much less likely to leave the company – score!  

Improved Company Culture

Thorough onboarding that integrates and showcases the company culture helps reinforce the company’s values. This ensures that new hires with the right cultural fit will want to stick around and not to mention, companies with a strong culture are 89% more likely to report higher customer satisfaction. 

Increased Productivity

Settling into a new job takes time, we’ve all been there. But with a well-oiled onboarding machine, you can fast-track that process and help your new hires acclimate, build relationships and understand what is expected of them quicker. In fact, new hires who have strong onboarding periods are 70% more productive.  

Better Talent Retention and Attraction

Businesses that invest in strong onboarding processes boost new hire retention by a whopping 82%. Alongside that you can also expect more recommendations and referrals from your new hires if your onboarding is successful. These referrals could save your organization time and money. 

5 Steps to Effective Hybrid Onboarding

Ready to extend a warm welcome to your hybrid team members, whether they’re logging in virtually or joining in person? These 5 essential steps are not only crucial to crafting a stellar virtual onboarding experience, but they’re also relevant to in-person onboarding too! 

1. Provide and set up all the necessary resources before your new hire begins.

Set your hybrid new hire up for success by providing all the necessary gadgets – laptops, computers, keyboards, headsets, you name it – in advance of their start day. Get those logins ready, grant system access and have all the paperwork signed so your new employee not only hits the ground running but also starts their new role off with a pre-established connection to the company. This should help reduce first day jitters, especially if their first day is spent working remotely. 

2. Create an agenda that provides structure and lays out expectations.

Once the logistical groundwork is laid, map out the onboarding journey with a clear, well-structured agenda. This agenda provides a sense of organization and transparency and will make sure your newbie isn’t left twiddling their thumbs. Your agenda should include a warm welcome, a deep dive into the company, culture and values, team introductions, job roles and responsibilities (as well as how they fit into the overarching company objectives), training sessions, Q&A’s, and a structure for the first few weeks/months of the role. If you’d like your new employee to be in the office for particular days at the start, include that on the agenda. And don’t keep the agenda a secret – share it with the whole team so everyone is on the same page and ready to lend a hand.  

3. Assign an onboarding mentor or buddy.

Starting a new job can feel like tackling a mountainous buffet of information. Sometimes even a well-structured agenda can seem a bit overwhelming. And since your hybrid employee isn’t always going to be in a physical office space where they can turn to their cubicle companion for quick advice, you should assign them a buddy or mentor. This is someone who can be available to address any of your new hires’ questions, worries or concerns, both virtually and in person.

4. Create opportunities for building connections with other staff.

Organic interactions are a bit more difficult when you have a hybrid workforce, so you should make an intentional effort to help your new employee connect with colleagues and key players. Set up one-on-one calls, icebreaker sessions and virtual coffee chats. If it’s not possible to have everyone in the office for a team lunch, schedule a virtual luncheon instead. Get your new employee chatting to other hybrid workers so they can share tips and insights on working remotely within your organization.    

5. Check-in regularly.

The ultimate key to hybrid onboarding success? Regular check-ins. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings for the first few months. Have in-person meetings when possible and try switching up your style of virtual communication too. It doesn’t always have to be video calls, it could be phone calls, or quick chats through messaging apps like Slack or Teams. Remember, it’s not about micromanaging, it’s about showing you care and making sure your hybrid worker is getting on well whether they are in the office or working remotely.  

The success of your new hire’s journey relies on the effectiveness of your hybrid onboarding process. It’s the difference between your new employee becoming a long-term asset and contributing to the stats of those contemplating job-hunting shortly after starting. Use the outlined steps to turn your hybrid onboarding into a thoughtful initiative that creates content and engaged employees while also strengthening your company culture, enhancing productivity and improving talent attraction and retention.  

Additional Resources

  • Need to figure out who you are employing before you think about onboarding? Conduct a skills gap analysis to identify your company’s needs.
  • Whether it’s team managers or HR consultants spearheading your analysis, roll it out the right way by starting with an effective meeting.
  • Read through our employer guide for conducting successful interviews once you’ve identified your skills gaps and are ready to hire.
  • Stumbled across this blog and not entirely sure how you got here? Welcome to our website!

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Posted on Nov 21, 2023