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Depending on geographic location and lingo preferences, some call it reboarding, some call it a return to work. Or return to office. Or re-onboarding. Or re-entry. Others associate it with layoff or furlough recall, medical leave, or secondment. Whatever the term, whatever the reason, people who have been away from their workplace for an extended period need time to settle when they return to work in-person. They need to become reacquainted with the corporate culture, their colleagues, updated processes and procedures. Onboarding new hires is second nature for most organizations. To reboard employees, while similar, is not quite the same and can help support the transition back to work as we come out of the pandemic.
“In aggregate, reboarding is about the work that leaders and their teams must first proactively do in order to successfully reconstitute as productive, co-located teams within new and changed contexts. It’s akin to welcoming back a team of expatriate employees from abroad or starting a job all over again.” – MDA Leadership
10 Tips to Reboard Employees With Pulse Survey Feedback As Your Guide
Everyone has had their own unique experiences over the past year-plus. Juggling remote work with parenting responsibilities, for instance. Dealing with the stresses, anxieties, and pressures of an unprecedented global crisis. Initially feeling relieved to have avoided job loss, wrestling with emotions of “survivor guilt” in consideration of colleagues who weren’t so fortunate, and then shouldering a workload heavier than ever with fewer people available to help carry the weight.
Acclimating to an on–site mindset and hitting the right note when it comes to socializing and collaborating may take some getting used to. Multiply the individual adjustment by the tens or hundreds or thousands of people working at your organization, and you can easily understand why a solid reboarding strategy is needed and how employee surveys can guide those strategies.
You want to get your people ramped up and eager to go, as fast as possible. But you also want to make sure they feel supported. Reuniting teams with a reboarding approach that’s based on active and continuous listening will alleviate any sense of disconnect.
Here are 10 ways to dial up your reboarding efforts and tune into the employee voice as an active listener:
- Ask people what they think and feel about a physical return to work. What are their preferences and suggestions? Anxieties or fears?
- Spend the time needed to review and discuss ideas with your teams.
- Encourage people to ask questions or raise concerns with leaders.
- Co-create a plan for reboarding; assemble a committee to flush out, implement and track the plan. Areas of focus could include:
- Methods of recall – who, why, how, and when
- Workforce supplies – sanitizer, masks, disinfectant supplies, signage
- High traffic zones – scheduling management and cleaning (lunch area, washrooms, elevators, meeting rooms).
- Coach or buddy pair-ups to make the transition less of a solo experience and more of a team effort.
- Consistent two-way communication to map out goals, build trust and show leaders are actively listening and employees are being heard.
- Reacquainting colleagues, reintroducing hires who have yet to meet anyone in person – to build unity.
- Hybrid considerations – blending in-person and remote environments if applicable
- Make a re-onboarding resource available that includes updated policies, safety and cleaning protocols, health and wellbeing support information, FAQs and other pertinent documents.
- Keep communication lines open throughout the reboarding process using pulse surveys to follow up on earlier surveys and to zero in on specific areas of importance or concern. Share survey findings, encourage dialogue, act.
- Give people time to adjust at their own pace.
- Find out what works best for individuals, teams, and collectively across the organization.
- Build in the flexibility to adapt as people and groups get to know what works best for them.
- Communication consistently, transparently, often.
Reboard Employees With Confidence
WorkTango’s Employee Experience Platform can help make reboarding something employees to look forward to. Empower colleagues to connect with Recognition & Rewards, incentivize (and gamify) positive actions and attitudes, make inspiring goals a centerpiece with Goals & Feedback, and keep a finger on the pulse of employee sentiment with Surveys & Insights. When you have all of these pieces working together, you create an employee experience that’s worth coming back to.
At WorkTango, we’re revolutionizing how the world’s most forward-thinking companies engage and inspire their people. We offer the only holistic Employee Experience Platform built for the modern workplace that enables meaningful recognition and rewards, offers actionable insights through employee surveys, and supports alignment through goal setting and feedback.
WorkTango is built for the workplace we all want to be a part of – where priorities become clear, achievements are celebrated, and employees have a voice. To learn more, check out our platform overview video, or schedule a demo.