As a knock-on effect of the pandemic, work-from-home has become the new norm. Apparently, the corporate world hasn’t stopped and is constantly finding new ways to continue its work. A lot of people have lost their jobs, but many have found new opportunities too. Since the offices are closed, the hiring process has also been done online and so is with the onboarding of the new employee.
One challenge as far as the online onboarding is concerned, is to integrate the new hire with the company’s culture. The lack of opportunity to meet the team physically and even the employees from other departments creates a blockage for the new hire to understand, adapt and mingle with the new culture. After having a discussion with some of our clients, I could accumulate some best practices that are being followed currently:
- Once the person is hired, the HR should connect with him/her and understand the kind of culture the person is coming from; their expectations and hopes that they have with the organization. In this process, the essence of the conversation should be, not only to introduce the person to the organization’s culture but also to learn about them and to set the expectations correct. The concerns should be addressed constructively and with empathy.
- The senior leaders should also interact with the new hire and should also try to introduce the person to the culture of the organization. They can do this by sharing their experiences, the achievements of the team, bonding of the team members, both formal and informal in the form of stories and try to generate positivity as much as possible.
- The team members should also be requested to get in touch with the new hire and have an informal conversation with him/her (e.g. bring your own coffee). The objective behind any conversation should be to make the person feel welcome and introduce him/her to the new culture. Such conversation in a normal office scenario is expected to happen in a natural way, which might not be the case while having it online. Hence a little extra effort would be required to make it happen successful.
- During the online induction process the HR should be mindful about making it a very engaging and interactive session. Some activities should be a part of such induction programs and the objective and resultant of such activities should be to create awareness of the organization’s culture and a sense of belongingness. The new hire should be asked to share his views and experiences so far, to make him/her freely interact and hence creating an environment of acceptance.
- A frequent feedback session should also be set up by the HR in which the concerns put across earlier should be addressed and the employee’s experience so far should also be heard.
- Lastly but most importantly the narrative of any conversation regarding the pandemic and the work-from-home challenges should be set in a way that this too shall pass and the organization and specially the team would be eagerly waiting to welcome all, in-person with zeal to work together, with a fresh energy.