The pandemic was disruptive to business. Lockdowns and economic woes have all but crushed what were – profitable sectors like travel and hospitality, and many companies have failed to come through it.
Workers are dealing with job losses, financial uncertainty, and fear of catching Coronavirus. Overall, 2020 has been a year we want to forget.
However, today the biggest threat to business is economic recessions, and many of the systems and processes used during the pandemic are relevant now. For example, hiring staff remotely and onboarding.
Hiring staff during the pandemic was challenging as it’s done remotely. Today businesses are still hiring remotely when the need arises. Plus, onboarding and how you introduce new staff to your business is also leveraging the same online systems and apps used for hiring during the pandemic.
Remote Working Is Now Hybrid Working
Remote working has, in many organizations, morphed into hybrid working. The large open-plan office that many businesses hoped would be occupied at total capacity hasn’t happened, and downsizing to satellite offices in areas where most staff reside is one action that reduces costs and is sustainable for the future.
The scaled-down workplaces, aka urban offices, will accommodate staff who wish to work away from home for a part of the week. However, don’t expect this to expand back to what it used to be – all full-time employees in the same workplace.
The opportunity with the decentralized office environment is workers can interact and socialize in person with colleagues and management for part of the week.
Lockdowns forced everyone who could work from home, and now there’s no going back. It’s almost impossible to get staff back in the workplace full-time.
Systems, Tech, and Content
Managing remote workers requires a cohesion of content, paperwork, and processes. Systems and technology are a business’s best friends. Use new technologies and work on your content.
If you’ve not had great content, this is your starting point. The content and onboarding process can ensure new staff feels secure, confident, and part of the team, but it can also assist existing staff with their needs while they are not in the office.
What we know from research is that onboarding can increase employee retention by over 80% and boost productivity despite your staff’s remote working.
Remote team building
It’s straightforward for employees to feel siloed right now, yet they know we’re living in unprecedented times that require outside-the-box thinking.
Connecting everyone in some way is vital. Use online communities and buddy up new staff so they have someone with business experience and, ideally, the job to turn to when they need assistance or support.
Introduce more leaders who will follow up and check in with workers via collaboration software like Microsoft Teams.
Plus, the social calendar has never looked so bare for most of us, so companies can step up and assist by connecting their people with outdoor events and activities.
Social distancing can be managed, and being outdoors is the best way to meet and get actual face time. It may be that your business gets involved with a charity, and staff can take time off work to ‘do good in the hood.’
There’s also the opportunity to bring together different teams. While marketing and engineering might not have much reason to talk daily, they need to harmonize efforts for their good. Use online systems like video chat to come together digitally.
Focus on Resources
Never has the company manual been more critical?
Ensure your FAQs are up to date, and your staff can access manuals and company information on everything from internet etiquette to cybersecurity best practices.
Online cybersecurity statistics confirm that hackers are enjoying the unusual circumstances and are infiltrating company databases via devices and other unsecured gateways.
Your onboarding must-have online resources for digital security practices and how-to guides for using WiFi, VPNs, password managers, antivirus software, and managing software updates and downloads.
Your staff needs to know how to keep their identity safe online, and your business will benefit from an online security-conscious team.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
In summary, post-pandemic, there are new challenges for businesses. Communication is essential on many levels for existing and new hires, and it must begin well before the start date.
Your new hires need to feel like they belong, and there’s no better way for that to happen than by your business to be as communicative as possible.
Provide support. Connect them with colleagues and potential mentors so that they feel welcome.
Have empathy and imagine what you need to know to get started and do a great job.
Onboarding is a big task, and now, we’re working remotely. Follow these strategies to make sure your people can hit the ground running.