We often talk about how important it is to remember a structured and successful Pre & Onboarding process. It is proven to be one of the most effective methods of ensuring long-term employee success, engagement, and satisfaction. It’s also important to remember that onboarding should be considered a continuous process that keeps leadership and employees continually up to speed and should not be considered as a one-and-done process. Therefore, we would also like to introduce you to the little sister of onboarding: Reboarding – a relatively new but highly relevant process that’s gaining popularity for a good reason.
What is Reboarding?
Reboarding is the process when an employee returns to work after having been gone for a long time period. This could be a mother or father coming back after maternity/paternity leave, an employee coming back after a longer period of illness, or even an employee that left the company altogether and has been rehired. Reboarding is essentially a return-to-work plan.
When an employee returns to work, there are different personal and professional aspects that you, the HR manager or Team Manager, should consider: the employee’s history, the period of time the employee has been away, and the reason for the absence, to name a few.
To help you get a sense of what reboarding is and how to implement a reboarding process, use these five tips to create a good reboarding experience.
Plan & Be Prepared
It is very important that you coordinate and plan the return-to-work process and that you ensure that the computer, desk, and other needs are in order. If items have been utilised by someone else in the period of absence, this needs to be addressed. Ensure electronic aids have been installed with the newest programs and software. In this way, you ensure that your returned employee feels welcomed back and not treated like an afterthought.
Provide a Support Person
Provide the returned employee with a support person, perhaps a colleague whom the employee feels comfortable around and whom the employee can turn to if a problem were to occur or if he/she has concerns which he/she doesn’t feel like talking about to the manager. A trusted colleague or support person will make the reintegration process much easier for all parties involved.
Talk with Returning Employees — and Current Employees
Conversations between you, as an employer, and the returning employee are of vital importance and should not just take place on the return day. Instead, there should be an ongoing correspondence while showing continuous support and understanding, as it can determine how valued and motivated the employee feels. As an employer, these conversations can be utilised to talk about ongoing changes and to get a better understanding of the employee’s specific needs.
Furthermore, it is very important to talk about how the employee prefers to be welcomed back. If the employee has been absent due to long-term illness, the employee may feel extra vulnerable. Therefore, talk about whether you should inform the current staff about the illness and the circumstances. Does the returning employee wish to continue as nothing has happened? Or does the employee prefer to talk openly about it? Talk to your employee about what the best solution is for him/her.
Reintroduce the Employee
If you have a digital pre- and onboarding process, consider letting the returning employee re-take some of the tests and learning modules. It often makes sense to let the returning employee choose which modules he/she feels most urgent and necessary to re-discover, thus ensuring a better and smoother start for everyone.
Cooperate with Experts
To ensure a fast and successful reboarding experience, consider involving the experts. If your employee has been absent due to stress, for example, a professional coach can be a tremendous help in getting the employee back on their feet and become fully motivated and reach time-to-productivity faster. Even though this will be a cost for your company, it will be a good long-term investment due to higher motivation and engagement. They may take less time on sick leave, plus the employee can learn to deal with stressful situations and the pressure of coming back.
Furthermore, a reboarding process is a great opportunity for employees who have been in the company for a longer period of time and might feel that they are not up-to-date with the latest strategy or programs. Reboarding can be utilised to re-engage your long-term employees and make them feel relevant and up-to-date in the workplace just like the new employees. You can also use reboarding if an employee moves to a different department within the company or a different position (e.g. to a management position).
We hope that the tips mentioned above will help you to ensure a successful reboarding experience where your returning employee is re-integrated and keeps being motivated to work at your company. For questions about using tools and technologies to enable this experience, reach out to the introdus team.
We often talk about how important it is to remember a structured and successful Pre & Onboarding process as it is proven to be one of the most effective methods of e.g. ensuring long-term employee success, engagement, and satisfaction. We also often talk about how important it is to remember that onboarding should be considered as a continuous process that keeps leadership and employees continually up to speed and should not be considered as a one-and-done process.
Therefore, we would also like to introduce you to the little sister of onboarding: Reboarding – a relatively new, but highly relevant term and process which is gaining popularity.