As pandemic restrictions ease, it’s clear that one big change to the way we work is here to stay: hybrid working. However, these environments run the risk of creating new inequities and exacerbating those that already exist. For employers to ensure fairness, maximize performance, and maintain cultural cohesion in hybrid work arrangements, they need to consider these five practical dimensions of inclusion when designing hybrid policies and navigating new ways of working.
Recruitment and Remote Onboarding
With recruitment and onboarding practices shifting to virtual in the last year, many new hires had never met their future teams in person before accepting their jobs. Many HR decision-makers believe they will continue interviewing graduates virtually in the future. This approach has benefits: First, it reduces the cost of entry for graduates from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who may not be able to relocate for a job. It also provides an opportunity to review existing onboarding practices and take into account the different experiences, backgrounds, and expectations new team members bring in.
To create a more consistent onboarding experience, we can take lessons from what we learned during the pandemic about how people best received information while at home. For example, universities that moved their teaching online found that chunking long lectures into approximately 15-minute bursts worked best. Firms can create a catalog of short videos that describe all aspects of onboarding, such as walkthroughs on how to set up technology and navigate processes. The employer can then bring together new joiners for a session where they ask questions about the videos in small groups of five people or fewer. Together, the video catalog and intimate seminar set the scene for a consistent onboarding experience while catering to individual needs.
An important part of being successful at work is having the right setup and training to do your job. Remote work places increasing value on being technically capable, and getting up and running when working from home has become an essential skill. For those who are less tech savvy, setting up a makeshift home office did not come naturally. Others may not have even been provided with the necessary equipment or have the means to purchase it — exposing an equity gap. Before the pandemic, an onsite IT technician would typically set up an employee’s laptop, phone, and monitor; troubleshoot any network or software issues; and generally be on hand for those prevalent “How do I do…?” questions. Giving people an option during onboarding to self-select their level of technological savviness can help employers determine and schedule remote IT assistance so employees are provided for. READ MORE
by Grace Lordan, Teresa Almeida, and Lindsay Kohler
Workplace inclusion is not a static, one-off act of service. It’s an ever-evolving experience that requires the contribution of every employee — regardless of their level of seniority in the organization — to make each other feel included.
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