Onboarding Best Practices for Hybrid Remote Teams

Boost hybrid team onboarding with 5 best practices for managers. Enhance retention, performance, and satisfaction.


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Onboarding in Hybrid Teams – Top 5 Best Practices for Managers

Remote or hybrid work makes onboarding challenging as your teams aren't required in-office anymore. But onboarding was an issue long before. A third of companies lack structured programs. Additionally, a Workable survey conducted in 2020 found that remote onboarding or training was the biggest hiring challenge during the pandemic.

New hires suffer from poor onboarding, according to Gallup and Silkroad. Only 29% of new employees feel fully supported after onboarding, and a staggering 10% left their companies because of it. A lackluster onboarding experience is the norm for 88% of employees.

Onboarding Challenges for Managers

5 Tips for Onboarding Hybrid Employees

But worry not! With the right approach, you can provide new members with a positive new hire experience, driving better retention, performance, and satisfaction. Here are five practical tips to successfully onboard hybrid employees:

As a result, you as a manager can provide new team members with a positive orientation process, which will do wonders for the new hire experience. Here are five tips for successfully onboarding hybrid employees.  

1. Engage new hires immediately and make expectations clear.

Managers should engage new hires early on. Meet with them one-on-one during their first week. Set up team introductions. Also consider scheduling one-on-one or group coffees between the new hires and other stakeholders, like the company's CEO. This will help new employees feel included, drive better retention and performance, and increase their internal network and network centrality.

2. Provide new hires with an onboarding buddy.

Pair new hires with tenured employees – especially those who you trust and who love working in your team or company. They can provide new employees with context, boost their productivity, and improve their satisfaction rates. Make sure to reassign the workload of employees who volunteer to be onboarding buddies. Also establish a predetermined duration for the onboarding experience, and allow onboarding buddies to report to the same manager. This will help with a better understanding of the new hire's role.

3. Understand how important you are.:

Microsoft research shows that employees are 3.5 times more likely to be satisfied when their managers play an active role in the onboarding process. In a recent interview, Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella even mentioned how interns come back to work for Microsoft simply because of a great immediate manager. Frequent one-on-ones and "beyond the workload" conversations about how the new employee is doing can make a huge difference.

Onboarding best practices for hybrid and remote teams
Onboarding best practices for hybrid and remote teams
4. Provide ongoing training and feedback.

Regular feedback helps the new hire feel valued and shows that the company is invested in their success. Provide the new hire with ongoing training and feedback to help them improve their skills and performance.

5. Provide a comprehensive summary of their achievements and onboarding goals.

Managers should give new employees a warm welcome at the beginning of the onboarding period. After, share a comprehensive summary of their achievements and onboarding goals, and check in regularly to ensure they feel supported and engaged.  

Get Personal: The critical need for personalization

While it's always good to follow onboarding best practices, the new trend of personalization should be the top priority to tailor the workplace experience and cater to the employees' needs. We are all unique, yet, sometimes we forget to treat employees as unique human beings. Instead, we take a one-size-fits all approach. This is counter-effective.

Suppose you get matched with an onboarding buddy with overlapping interests. In that case, you'll be more likely to have an excellent impression of the company. Plus, you get to hear the inside stories/tips/tricks for that company that you care about.

Especially on the point of context, like-minded onboarding buddies are much likelier to provide relevance. Who to work with, which spaces are best for you, where to go for help. And, how to make sure your time with the company is loaded with fun and fulfillment, all become more valuable when it comes from 'someone like you.'

Get the entire team involved

Bringing the whole team together to welcome a new employee used to happen almost by default in the office, but is harder to arrange in a hybrid or remote setting. Make sure you dedicate time in your next team meeting to introduce your new team member and let everyone to get to know each other. Our "Two Truths and a Lie" and many of our other Ice Breakers are a great way to do this.

Let's onboard Better!

Implementing an effective onboarding program can lead to higher retention rates and increased productivity. It also improves satisfaction rates for both new hires and onboarding buddies. By prioritizing the onboarding experience and following these practical tips, managers can create a positive and successful onboarding program for their teams.

With hybrid work scheduling, onboarding activity toolkits, regular live events that bring like-minded team members together, and tools to book workspace alongside new and future work buddies, FlexOS is happy to help in your onboarding process.  

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