How can I… onboard staff in hybrid workplaces?
Onboarding new staff

How should I onboard a new employee to my organisation?

All organisations have their own culture, identity and values. The feeling of alignment to these values and of working in an organisation where colleagues are pulling in the same direction is a vital motivation for new staff. But, if colleagues will be coming into the office less frequently, how can you help new employees to feel a part of their new organisation?

  1. Organise in-person induction meetings with senior leadership

Early exposure to senior leaders in a company can help new staff feel closer to the organisation and understand its values, ways of working and goals. These meetings can be done in person for a group of new employees (e.g. once a month) or via video call in an employee’s first week.

  1. Ensure that devices, accounts and logins are ready before the start date

It is vital to create good first impressions. If a new member of staff starts a job but does not have access to a device or a login for an account on their first morning, there is an immediate risk that they feel undervalued. It may also prevent them from being able to fully connect with their team and start building relationships. In hybrid work, if an employee’s first day is remote, you should send a laptop or smartphone to arrive before their first day so that they can start immediately

  1. Use digital tools to help new staff make connections outside of their teams

With the move to remote working, many organisations have stopped activities, such as coffee roulette (pairing colleagues at random for a weekly 30-minute coffee meeting), that helped staff form serendipitous connections. As a result, it is harder for them to get to know people outside their team. 

Fortunately, there are free tools that can be added to existing digital platforms to run coffee roulettes and similar activities, as well as companies that can provide different types of tools for this purpose. For example:

  • Microsoft Teams has an Icebreaker Bot that randomly pairs two team members for a catch-up
  • On Slack, you can use donut, a product that has various tools to help build meaningful human relationships through rituals like a Watercooler app, a CEO Coffee Lottery and a Work From Home Buddies programme
  • Tandem has created a variety of tools to promote real-time collaboration and more human contact with colleagues (it can be integrated with tools like Google Docs and Trello)
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