Written by Joel Raper
Imagine starting a new job with a digital interface, replacing the comfort of friendly introductions and face-to-face instruction. Many of us currently working in hybrid or remote roles have already experienced it.
Hybrid digital workplaces are rewriting the rules of onboarding. While the hybrid model offers the flexibility to work from anywhere, it also poses the challenge of creating a consistent and comprehensive experience for new hires.
Onboarding, once a simple process of on-site training sessions, device provisioning, and team lunches, is now undergoing a transformation. Without the nuances of face-to-face interactions, new hires can feel isolated as they try to understand company culture, human resources (HR) workflows, and technology tools while literally working outside the traditional work environment. .
To address these challenges, organizations are transforming their onboarding strategies. HR and IT leaders are focused on building robust digital onboarding platforms. Integrate team-building activities suitable for remote settings. And make sure every new employee feels connected, valued, and ready to succeed in their new role, even without a physical presence.
Solutions tailored to diverse needs
Onboarding today is more than simply handing out a new laptop. This process begins before an employee’s first day, giving them the opportunity to select equipment, become familiar with the company culture, and allow for immediate connections with other employees and new hires.
But modern onboarding goes beyond an introduction to company values and processes to provide a fully customized or persona-based experience, often using a digital platform customized for each new hire. access, direct you to important resources, and facilitate connections. At the same time, a persona-based approach includes specialized technology, training, and resources tailored to individual roles.
Example of persona-based onboarding
Remote software developer:
- Pre-selected tech stack tutorials that enhance standard coding procedures and access to code repositories.
- Virtual coffee breaks with current team members.
- One-on-one virtual mentoring session with your team leader to establish alignment with your company’s coding best practices.
Regional sales manager in a region far from headquarters:
- Office tours and team meet-ups via augmented reality technology.
- Instantly participate in hybrid sales meetings and customer interaction simulations.
- An established on-site “buddy” who will partner with you during the first week.
Manufacturing staff on the factory floor:
- A mobile app that acts as a one-stop shop for all your HR workflow needs and is always accessible.
- Remotely deployed device provisioning increases productivity from day one.
- It combines live, in-person training on complex tasks and safety policies with virtual modules with the latest information and resources.
Members of our global marketing team based in the UK:
- Customized compliance training based on UK regulations.
- Virtual city hall with adjusted time zones.
- Localized training content to help you understand market-specific sales strategies.
US-based customer support representatives:
- Customer interaction simulation and CRM access
- Virtual team building exercises with support teams in the US and around the world.
- Cultural sensitivity training designed for a diverse customer base.
A successful onboarding process in this situation recognizes the individuality of each new employee. All employees need a strong understanding of the company’s tools, culture, and goals, but the nuances of employee experiences and expectations vary widely by persona. These specificities intersect to create a custom onboarding experience, designed in detail to fit individual learning styles, demographics, and company roles.
The importance of dynamic tools
So how can HR and line-of-business managers begin to understand each relevant onboarding persona and their needs?
You don’t have to start from scratch. Digital experience management tools and insights are critical to shaping a personalized onboarding experience during his first 90 days on the job. By aggregating feedback about device performance with employee engagement and sentiment metrics, organizations can create journeys that resonate with each persona.
In this environment, the goals are consistent. It’s about making sure newcomers feel seamlessly integrated and satisfied. Through iterative feedback loops and adaptive platforms, the onboarding experience becomes a self-improving journey.
This proactive attitude goes beyond just meeting immediate onboarding needs. We also put companies on the cutting edge, creating digital workplace experiences that are truly inclusive and drive long-term productivity.
But amid all this technology and data-driven personalization, organizations must not lose sight of the human nature of onboarding. The challenge, and indeed the opportunity, lies in seamlessly interweaving the digital and the human (“phygital”). Achieving this balance may include virtual team-building activities, mentorship opportunities, or collaborative projects designed to foster a sense of community and connection.
A hybrid digital workplace must balance the scalability of digital solutions with the intimacy of personal connections. By adopting a persona-based onboarding solution, you can ensure that every employee starts their career with a sense of purpose, belonging, and excitement, no matter where they work.
The future of hybrid onboarding
A hybrid workplace combines the best of both worlds: opportunities for purposeful in-person collaboration and remote flexibility. The challenge is to ensure that employees maintain a personal touch and feel connected and valued, no matter where they are. This blended model requires an evolved approach to onboarding that is persona-based, comprehensive, and engaging.
Onboarding is no longer just about getting new employees familiar with their role and company tools. It’s also important to create inclusive experiences that instill a sense of belonging. Through thoughtful strategies, innovative tools, and a focus on authentic relationships, we can deliver onboarding experiences that take hybrid workplaces and businesses to the next level.
Joel Raper is senior vice president and general manager of Digital Workplace Solutions at Unisys.
Learn more about creating a hybrid workplace that leverages individuality here.