Home Business Insights & Advice Top tips for onboarding a hybrid employee

Top tips for onboarding a hybrid employee

by John Saunders
19th Aug 21 9:53 am

With many workplaces now switching to a hybrid working week – with some days spent in the office and others working from home – it has highlighted the need for some changes to company onboarding processes. Bringing a new hire into a company can be difficult enough, but it can be even more of a challenge when you don’t have face to face access to them for half the week. Here are some of our top tips to help make the transition period easier for all parties.

Get them established as quickly as possible

Once they have accepted their job offer, you should move to get this employee registered within the company as soon as you can. If you are able to get a P45 from them, make sure you then send the details onto HMRC as soon as you can, or use the start checklist to establish the right details yourself.

You should also make sure to get them signed up to any extra benefits that your company might have. For example, you might decide to offer private health insurance for your employees. A service like Switch Health can help you find the best health insurance to offer employees, whether they have been with you for years or they are these new hybrid hires.

The sooner that you can establish them as a member of your company, the better. All the correct paperwork will have been filed, and you can instead focus on training them and getting them settled within your company. Make a checklist of everything you as the employer needs to do when onboarding a new employee and try to get through it as efficiently by as accurately as possible.

Set up their company logins

You will no doubt have several pieces of software that you expect your employee to be able to start using as part of their role. It could be something as simple as a company portal that they can use to track things like holidays and payslips, or it could be tools that you use to fulfil orders and enquiries from customers. No matter what these tools might be, you need to make sure that your new employees are able to access the software that they need for their job.

There might be a work around when they are in the office, but you might struggle once they are at home. If they can’t access a piece of software from their home, it can mean that they are unable to complete a certain task until an alternative can be found. Ensure that they have all their logins before they begin to work from home, or at least make sure that they have enough to be able to work from home effectively at the beginning.

Provide the right equipment

Not everyone will have access to good pieces of tech when they make the transition to a hybrid working environment. If you provide the latest in computers to your staff who work in the office full-time, you cannot expect those working from home to have access to the same levels of tech.

Therefore, when onboarding a hybrid employee, it can often be a good idea to provide equipment of the specs that you want your employees to work with. A laptop will often be best, as it is easily transportable and can be moved between your office and your employee’s home without too much disruption.

This also helps to solve some of the issues that might be raised by the above point. When you set up the laptop for them, you can ensure that all the programs and logins they need are already installed and saved on the computer. This means that they just have to switch it on, and they are ready to work! This is a neat solution that will allow them to quickly get to work on whatever project you need them to.

Start them in the office

If possible, try to get their first few days with the company to be in the office. This can make the transition a lot smoother for them, and it gives you the chance to offer support if needed. There is a strong chance that your new employee will have to ask questions or have a few pointers given to them as they begin to manage tasks. This will always be better to do in person than even over a video conference call like Zoom.

It also gets them acclimatised with the company culture, and will help to teach them a little about what is expected of them in terms of workload. If they were to just start at home, they could end up feeling a little bit lost, and this could lead to them not being able to complete tasks. With them in the office, you will be able to keep an eye on them to ensure that they are on the right track. When they do have their first few days at home, make sure that you are as contactable as possible so you are able to respond to them quickly if they need help.

Manage expectations

You need to make sure that both you and your hybrid employee are on the same page when it comes to their days at home. There might be a reason why they need to work from home for a few days a week, and you as an employer need to be accommodating of this. For example, they might have issues with childcare that means that they can’t work until 5 PM on those given days. Allowing them a little more flexibility on such days will help them to complete their tasks and plan their days more effectively.

Likewise, you as an employer need to set your expectations in terms of work delivered. There are some employees who see the opportunity to work from home as one to work to a substandard level compared to how they would do so in the office. This is not acceptable, and you need to make this clear. Hybrid working is meant to benefit both employers and employees, and you need to collaborate with your workers to ensure that your deadlines are met and you are able to drive success as a company.

Hybrid working – the new normal

More and more employers are looking into the benefits of hybrid working. It can be fairly easy for established employees to make this transition between the office and working at home, but onboarding a new employee to work in this setup straightaway can require a little more thought.

Above all, you need to make sure that you are able to create a welcoming environment that will support the employee regardless of where they are located. Starting a new job can be overwhelming even if they have experience in your sector, so you should make sure that you are able to support them through their first few days.

Creating a hybrid workplace might be the new normal for office-based businesses, so you should try to be as accommodating as possible to new hires. Take the time to establish good protocols to help with onboarding new employees, and move forward into the hybrid future of your business.

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