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Onboarding Best Practices in a Hybrid Workplace

G&A Series: The Benefits of an Onboarding Program

This 4-part onboarding series from G&A will cover:

Part 4 —

Remote work has become more normalized since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. If your team members are working in-person, remotely, or a combination of both, it makes sense to adapt your company's onboarding processes to accommodate a hybrid workplace.

Because there is no one-size-fits-all hybrid onboarding model, developing your unique strategy will require careful thought and planning that considers your employees' needs, your company culture, and your business requirements.

"A lot of employees are working remotely at G&A, so we had to adapt our onboarding processes," says Michelle Mikesell, G&A Partners’ Chief People Officer. "Typically, we'd have employees come to the office and let them know where to park, who to meet, where to go for lunch, and who to check in with at the end of the day.

“We've had to change that whole approach. Now, we instead tell employees when to expect their laptops, who will be helping them set it up, when their manager will reach out to welcome them online, and who they will meet virtually in the first few weeks to help them get familiarized with our tools and resources. New employees want to make a good impression, so we make sure they have the tools to hit the ground running, and ensure they have the opportunities to establish relationships with their peers quickly."

"New employees want to make a good impression, so we make sure they have the tools to hit the ground running, and ensure they have the opportunities to establish relationships with their peers quickly."

— Michelle Mikesell, G&A Partners’ Chief People Officer.

According to Mikesell, when it comes to onboarding, new employees—whether remote or in-person—want:

  • To feel welcomed and establish relationships with their colleagues and managers
  • To feel like they are part of the new organization they're joining
  • Access to the efficient tools and resources to get their job done
  • To understand how they fit into the organization's bigger picture by learning more about its mission, vision, and values

Overall, virtual onboarding is like in-person onboarding but adapted to accommodate unique conditions that accompany working from home (or another remote environment). Fortunately, digital innovations have exploded in recent years, resulting in tools that facilitate a great virtual onboarding experience for remote employees—and they help to enhance the in-person experience as well.

Recommendations for creating a robust hybrid onboarding program:

  • Work with your information technology experts to ensure your new hires' technology platforms and tools are set up before their first day on the job. According to 360 Learning, new hires in a remote environment need extra support to learn from, work alongside, and bond with co-workers.
  • Reach out to new employees who work remotely at least once a day to see if they need anything and/or to find out what more you can do to support them.
  • Train managers and leaders to be intentional and consistent in helping new hires adapt to existing organizational dynamics and to engage teams in remote environments.
  • Find fun, creative ways for team members to get to know—and connect with—new employees, such as holding virtual happy hours or activities and the occasional in-person team lunch or dinner.
  • New employees may need more support with stress and anxiety, and remote working can exacerbate those feelings. Make sure they are fully informed about your organization's support mechanisms, including employee support groups, mentoring programs, and access to mental health and wellbeing services through an employee assistance program (EAP).
  • Consider partnering with a professional employer organization (PEO), such as G&A Partners, to streamline your onboarding program and work closely with new hires as they navigate the early days of their employment—from filling out paperwork and completing necessary training to accessing handbooks and understanding processes and procedures.

How G&A Can Help

G&A Partners offers access to HR experts with years of experience helping businesses develop their employees, improve their workplace cultures, implement new HR processes and procedures, and more. Schedule a consultation with one of our trusted business advisors to learn more.