How Well Do You Reboard Your Employees?
You have probably heard the term “onboarding” in terms of managing the experience for employees when they first join your organisation. Someone who is in charge of making sure they have a desk, chair, computer, introducing them to everyone, and most importantly ensuring they know the best local places for lunch and coffee. It is a way of helping your new member of the team to feel welcomed and valued. So if we do this for new employees, what do we do for employees returning from parental leave? How are you “reboarding” them so that they feel like they belong and are being warmly welcomed back? Ready for some ideas on how you might do this? Read on!
- Create the space
First things first, it is important to ensure that all the basics are in place for their first day – a clean and clear desk, computer, phone, stationary, and chair. There is nothing worse than arriving back for your first day at work and there is nowhere for you to sit. It is a basic thing but it is surprising how often this does not get thought about in advance.
- Update on changes
There will have likely been changes rolled out, while they were on parental leave. To help smooth their transition back, proactively schedule meetings in their diary with key people in the business to get an update on the changes. It could be that new vendors have come on board, a new team has been established or new clients secured – these are all important updates to keep them in the loop.
- Provide the “handback”
Just like we write “handover” plans when we hand our work over to others prior to going on parental leave, ensure that they have a “handback” plan to come back to. A plan that details how their work has been performed while on leave and how it will be handed back to them. It is not uncommon for people to arrive back from parental leave and find their work responsibilities being owned by other teams. This can be a cause of conflict when agreeing on how it will work now that they are back so good to be proactive in resolving this.
- Check-in regularly
Finally, it is a good idea to check in regularly on how your team member is feeling once they return to work. It is a transformational time in their life. They can often feel guilty for being at work and when they are at home, guilty for being at home. It is complicated! But an employer that cares about you, that listens to you and that empathises with your situation is an employer that will stand out from the crowd.
What if I’m the one returning to work?
Even though these reboarding ideas have been created for employers, they are also valuable for people who are themselves returning to work. Ask your employer if they have a reboarding plan for you and when you will be going through the handback plan. These are very reasonable questions and will prompt them into action if nothing exists now. We all want to do our best when we get back to work and having a reboarding plan can help to accelerate the impact you can start to make again at work.
Guest Blog from Emma Mclean, Founder, Works for Everyone www.worksforeveryone.co.nz
Emma offers a unique blend of services that combine to make returning to work a great experience that works for everyone. Having a family and working is not easy. But there are actions that employers can take to help their working parents not just survive every day but thrive.
Emma brings to this important work, a wealth of career experience gained in corporate marketing roles in NZ and the UK in addition to qualifying as a professionally certified ICF accredited coach.