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At our roundtable, a common question was what the current state of hybrid work looks like. Currently, hybrid looks different at most companies. The state of work also affects onboarding. At a lot of companies, onboarding is virtual. This is different from pre-pandemic where orientation sessions used to run in person. Multiple teams have been hearing asks to bring orientation in person. But, since onboarding programs have not been resourced this way, it’s creating a lot of friction. Challenges that are top of mind regarding onboarding include balancing limited resources and creating consistent onboarding.
Companies are finding that even if all onboarding covers the same content, where they’re carried out influences the experience. Learning in-office compared to virtually are completely different. Providing multiple options for onboarding can ensure flexibility but makes it harder to provide an equitable experience. To fix this, one company has everyone start virtually from day one to ensure equity. They did this because when some managers were starting in person, it created inconsistencies within the onboarding and they wanted to standardize the process. After the initial onboarding process, managers can connect with the new hires and find a time to meet on-site if that works for them and their team.
Regardless of how you structure your onboarding, it’s important to ensure equity. Strong efforts should be made to reduce proximity bias and set a positive tone. Even if some people want to be in person, it’s important to realize not everyone can be.
There is no proper length for onboarding. The main goal is to get employees into their team meetings as soon as possible. When it comes to onboarding, your employees shouldn’t be able to pass a test on all the information presented to them but should know where to get the information they need. Good onboarding empowers employees. In addition to the initial onboarding phase, it’s important to look at onboarding as a longer experience. Programs such as a 90-day onboarding experience can help improve employee engagement and provide lots of opportunities for touchpoints with new employees.
There are a few key questions that are key to understanding how effective your onboarding is:
Remember to survey employees for feedback at end of their 90-day experience to figure out what touch points need to be improved for future incoming employees. When you get feedback, make changes and view it as an investment in change.
The consensus is that to train employees, you need to immerse them into your platform. A key example of this is at DoorDash where they have the WeDash program. The program is where all new employees experience being a Dasher. This allows them to understand the product and DoorDash gets great feedback from these employees as well. Also, it’s important to tie rituals into onboarding where possible to strengthen culture and employee ambassadorship.
Looking for more resources to help structure your onboarding programs? Check out some of our other resources below!
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Challenges with establishing ERGs and safe spaces for neurodiverse employees.
Challenges with budgets, virtual event engagement, and managing programming for distributed teams.