Re-onboarding your employees to increase engagement

Think about something you've known how to do for a long time: driving a car.

You have learned how to coordinate your body to manoeuvre this dangerous machine safely.

Most of us would call ourselves good drivers. But if we're honest, we'd have to recognize that we developed a few bad habits over time.

We drive a little above the speed limit, hold the steering with one hand, or don't use the blinkers each time we change lanes.

Experience taught us the bad behaviors we could get away with.

When I started writing this article, my initial thought was about the people sent to work remotely during the pandemic.

I was pondering how one could set up a system to welcome them back to the office.

To ease them back in and acknowledge what just happened.

But I realized that re-onboarding employees should be something an organization regularly does anyway.

Because even the most expert of them have developed their ways to do and think about things.

When these hacks are better than the official system, the latter should be updated.

When they are not, serious problems might be brewing under the surface.

Re-onboarding people allows you to correct bad behaviors, improve their feeling of ownership, and learn about possible process updates.

What is the difference between training and re-onboarding?

Training usually focuses on a specific area or skill of the employee.

A re-onboarding, though, has a more holistic approach:

  • it starts with a dialogue with the direct supervisor,
  • it spends a lot of time on re-aligning the employee to the mission of the organization,
  • it makes sure the employees have the proper context about the company (history, what are different departments, etc.),
  • then, it moves on to the specifics of the job.

Awfully similar to what is done during the onboarding of a new hire, isn't it?

A good onboarding aims at equipping the new employee to enable them to perform at their best in the context of this specific organization. It makes them fully engaged. It makes them care about the organization's goals.

Why not try to renew the strong engagement your employees once felt?