As employers and managers alike are eagerly anticipating the gradual return of employees back in the office, they should also realize that there is no going back to the “good old days”. With the workplace culture having undergone a dramatic transformation over the past two years during the pandemic, how can organizations ensure a successful phased-in return to work?
The answer lies in a simple solution. A re-onboarding exercise, to actively engage and welcome employees back to work!
What is Re-onboarding?
If you think of traditional onboarding programs as a “getting to know you” session for new hires, then re-onboarding is very much like a “let’s get to know each other again” refresher for existing hires.
Why is Re-onboarding Important?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how confident are you that your team or workforce is on the same page as you with regards to future company plans and direction?
Not so confident about your answer? That’s the reason why re-onboarding is essential. To allow for organizations proactively create a platform for a realignment of expectations and goals for the future with their workforce.
With the pandemic throwing plans into the wind every so often, it is little wonder that even some of the most seasoned employees may feel like they are at a loss at times, what’s more for the rest.
Be Proactive in Offering Information on New Health Policies
With safety and health as top-of-mind concerns these days, organizations should make it a priority to provide clear guidelines and information for any health or safety policies.
Giving your employees the confidence that their safety and health are being looked after is key to providing them the reassurance that they need for their return to the workplace.
Focus on Your Employees’ Well-Being
In this day and age where work-related burnout is increasingly common, the mental and emotional health of your employee is critical to their engagement and performance at work.
The re-boarding process is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the various wellbeing initiatives offered by the company to help them feel supported and empowered.
Not only does it remind them of the support network in the workplace, but it also dramatically resets the tone for future employee interactions by showing that they are cared for.
Provide Necessary Re-Training for Revised Workflows or Processes
If the pandemic has caused a permanent change to workflows or processes, make sure to take the chance during re-onboarding to get employees up to speed.
Have teams working on a hybrid model, where administrative support teams may still be working remotely? This can also potentially cause some initial confusion as to how to get things done, so make sure to iron out workflows at the get-go.
How? Schedule a town hall or smaller breakout sessions by departments to not only share the new processes but also to get feedback on any questions employees may have about the new way of working.
Close The Loop on Communication
Unlike the onboarding process where new hires are downloaded with lots of information on the company, the re-onboarding process is more of a two-way dialogue.
For a successful reintegration of employees back to the workplace, don’t forget to get their feedback, hear out their concerns, and make sure to address them accordingly. Do it right, and you’ll be able to build trust within your team, strengthen morale, and increase productivity in the long run.
Make It a Regular Exercise
Don’t throw all your planning out of the window after you are done for the first round.
While the return to the workforce from the pandemic is what prompted the initiation of a re-onboarding exercise, re-engaging your employees is something that all organizations continually put in effort towards.