How to Reintroduce Virtually-Employed Hires Into the Office

Some businesses flourished and had to expand their workforce to meet market demands

The curse of the pandemic has forced many businesses to make salary cuts retrench employees. However, some businesses flourished and had to expand their workforce to meet market demands. Chances are, the recruitment process was done virtually and the new hires weren’t given a “traditional” introduction to the team. If your organization happens to be in the latter, then you might want to read on.

When life returns to “normal”, you have the responsibility of making sure your new employees have a successful onboarding process. In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can reintroduce your WFH recruits to the team when they have returned to their office desks.

Get everyone else ready

There’s a probability that your new hire(s) isn’t expecting some sort of welcoming party. Besides abiding by the new norms, it doesn’t look like they fit the narrative of a “new employee” when they’ve already contributed to months of hard work. Nevertheless, they deserve to feel welcome, rather than being “the new guy”.

You can do this by letting everyone else know the new guy is coming. Send emails to everyone that will be present during the day about his or her arrival. Keep it short and sweet, but include details like their names, job titles, and perhaps, previous working experiences. 

The new hire announcement shouldn’t take long, but the fact that the employees already know a bit about Alex or Jane the first time they walk through the doors makes warming up to them easier. 

They’ve probably worked alongside each other remotely, so quick introductions like these will complement their relationship.

Your new hires will also appreciate the fact that you made the effort in making sure they are welcomed. 

Recap their contributions during the lockdown

Depending on the size of your team and work culture, employees might not know what the person beside them is up to. In a well-established office setting, this may not hurt your current employees. But new hires have the desire to feel acknowledged by their peers and make a good first impression.

Be sure to mention the projects the hires have worked on throughout the lockdown. This allows colleagues to understand the strengths and weaknesses the newcomers have in an effort to find a middle ground where their skillsets complement each other. It creates a starting point for new conversations and paves the way for better office relationships.

From the newcomer’s point of view, this shows that the management actually values the work that employees put in.

Educate them about the company culture

A lot of companies make the mistake of ending the onboarding experience with the welcomes and introductory speeches. Once everyone has returned to their computer screens, new hires will often find themselves in sticky situations where they are not sure if it’s okay to ask for help or is it ok to work through lunch. 

Their experiences working remotely will be different than the environment in the office.

Therefore, a crucial part of the onboarding experience is exposing the new hires to the organization’s culture. Let them know about the do’s and don’ts in the office, who to talk to if they need help, and what they can do to further develop their skills. 

A fun way to expose the new hires to the social culture of the office is by organizing a pizza lunch. When everyone’s in a casual mood, it’s easier for newcomers to ask office-related questions, as talking about company culture in a formal setting can be awkward.

The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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