Hybrid work has quickly become the new norm. Economists predict that soon, 50% of the workforce will either work remotely or use a hybrid model and a recent study from Uprise prognosticates that 36.2 million Americans will work remotely by 2025.
A hybrid work environment also presents many benefits for mental health, work-life balance, and the environment. However, the rise of a hybrid model also means the increase of uncertainty around best practices for re-shaping the “traditional” work landscape.
For many HR professionals, figuring out the right balance in a hybrid environment is one of the most pressing challenges they’re faced with today. This is especially true when considering new hires; what does an effective employee onboarding process look like in a hybrid environment?
Effective onboarding in a hybrid environment at its core relies on a few key pieces; providing opportunities for asynchronous learning, offering flexibility in the training process, and ultimately constantly checking in with your new team members.
It's no secret that the onboarding experience in a hybrid environment is complex. But it doesn't have to be!
Here are four tips to consider when putting together your onboarding plan in a hybrid environment:
1. Foster connections with new hire cohorts and team building activities
Creating a sense of community is essential to seamless onboarding in a hybrid environment. In a “traditional” work environment, new hires can meet in person for lunch, spend time working together, and meet after work hours.
Make sure you give new remote employees in a hybrid environment the same opportunity to get to know one another by creating small groups of 5-7 team members each.
Create a schedule for planning fun virtual events(like virtual coffee breaks via Zoom) and organize slack channels for each group to use autonomously.
With Cooleaf, team leaders can host virtual challenges and events geared towards new hires and provide incentives for participation. For example, Cooleaf’s Welcome Challenge: Ready, Set, Go! allows new employees to explore Cooleaf’s platform and gain 125 reward points by completing a small checklist.
Find out how you can boost your remote team’s engagement with Cooleaf.
By creating a cohort, you provide an opportunity for this remote team of new hires to foster connections and friendships, which in turn will boost engagement and improve employee experience.
2. Gather employee feedback with pulse surveys to check-in with onboarding groups
Onboarding is a necessary process that helps new employees get acclimated to their new role, culture, and colleagues.
Many companies struggle with their remote onboarding strategy because they don't have an effective way to track employee feedback after being hired, trained, and placed into their first project/team.
Offering opportunities for feedback with pulse surveys is an effective way to check in with new hires and gauge satisfaction with the onboarding process.
If you're looking for a way to measure hybrid onboarding effectiveness, try using a pulse survey tool like Cooleaf. Cooleaf makes it easy for managers and HR leaders to deploy short incentivized surveys to onboarding teams at key intervals so you can check in with new employees during their first week and after a few months on the job.
Not only do we help companies conduct onboarding surveys based on specific goals, Cooleaf partners with companies to measure and analyze employee feedback data and help take quick action on employee feedback with strategic recommendations and programming.
3. Experience-based mentorship program
One of the best ways to ease new hires into their new positions is by implementing an employee mentorship program.
Mentorship programs are great ways to establish connections and relationships with people who care about you and want to see you succeed in your new position. It also allows the mentor to share their wisdom and experience, which can be invaluable as you navigate this new hybrid workplace environment.
4. Send out weekly check-in videos to go out to new hires
Onboarding can be a complex process for new hires, especially those working in hybrid environments.
This is because it's hard to maintain the level of communication and engagement needed to help people feel like they're an integrated part of the team.
One way to ensure that your new hires get all the information they need is by using weekly check-in videos. These videos should be sent out to everyone on your team every week, and they can include information about anything from upcoming projects to company culture.
By creating these videos each week, you'll be able to provide valuable insights into what's happening within your organization while also making sure that no one is left behind or isolated at any given time during their first few weeks on the job.
To create these videos, you can use a video platform like Vidyard, Sendspark, or Loom!
A hybrid workplace is a novelty for many organizations, but newness doesn’t have to mean losing quality or efficiency!
Virtual onboarding in a hybrid environment can offer new hires many benefits that a more traditional process lacks.
Flexibility, learning at a personalized pace, and being able to ask questions in a more efficient manner are all benefits presented by the hybrid work model.
By helping employees adjust more efficiently to their new work environment, companies can retain workers who are not only happy, but are also successful in their roles. After all, hiring is an investment that a company has made from both time and money, and it’s worth whatever effort is necessary to ensure success.