Home > NewsRelease > ReOnboarding ---- The Herman Trend Alert August 31, 2022
ReOnboarding ---- The Herman Trend Alert August 31, 2022
Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP --  The Herman Group Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP -- The Herman Group
Austin, TX
Wednesday, August 31, 2022


The Herman Trend Alert

August 31, 2022


Some years ago, I wrote a Herman Trend Alert suggesting that employers would do well to consider "reorientation" of their long-tenured employees. Then in the middle of COVID when employers were bringing their people back to congregate workspaces, I again proposed the urgent need to provide reorientation, focusing on their health concerns and other aspects of in-person or hybrid work. Now, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) is calling for reonboarding everyone. Their studies have shown that that reonboarding "might increase employee retention." 

Taking HBR's Position Several Steps Further

HBR is right about their point because it will depend 100 percent on how the employees are reonboarded. If the reonboarding is a waste of time for the worker, taking this action is actually worse than doing nothing at all, because that sends a message that you do not value the person's time. However, reonboard well and the activity will have a profound effect on your ability to retain the employees.

ReOnboarding---as defined by HBR

According to the HBR, "ReOnboarding" is simply finding a way to facilitate employees' transition back to a congregate workplace---the very thing that I recommended months ago---almost. Their reonboarding includes three key features:

1. A clarification of expectations regarding scheduling days on-site, discussion of protocol for Zoom meetings, and an exploration of COVID safety

2. A reorientation to the workplace (virtual or in-person)

3. Team-building exercises, including formal activities, team meal-sharing, cross-departmental introductions, and more.

In their reonboarding process, employees will become acquainted with their new work regimen, new workplace, new colleagues, and/or new workflow.

Missing from the HBR Model

My model for reorientation/reonboarding is more extensive. I would add: an appearance by an executive, communicating the significance of the individual's contribution, a discussion of career pathing, a reminder about all the benefits of working there, a tour of the new workplace (if applicable), a personalized welcome-back gift that also has the company logo, and last, but by no means least, a conversation about the "stay interviews" that the company intends to conduct. And in addition, I would plan to get the class back together periodically. Plus, in this process, you must give the employees an opportunity to voice their concerns, hopes, and dreams for the future. If you want/need more detail on my model, take a look at the Alert published in June 2021 (hermangroup.com/alert/archive_6-2-2021.html).

Make It Fun

If your reorientation/reonboarding process is boring or out-of-date, you will not only lose your audience, but you will also do more damage to the relationships between these employees and the company. On the other hand, if you make it light and fun, gamify aspects that you can and send people home feeling more appreciated, then you will accomplish the goal of retaining your valued employees. 

Take It Down to the Front Line

Finally, you definitely want to make sure that this process extends to the supervisor's or leader's relationships with his/her direct reports and that includes a discussion of how their goals and work are aligned with the culture, purpose, and goals of the organization. 

It May Require More than One Day

Rome was not built in a day and this extensive reonboarding will likely take multiple sessions. Do it right and you will certainly support employee retention---no "might" about it!

Next Week's Herman Trend Alert: Extreme Weather Wreaking Havoc

From Marine Heat Waves to catastrophic flooding across the planet, Mother Nature is letting us know she is not happy! This Alert details what is the critical current weather events and what they mean for the future. 



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News Media Interview Contact
Name: Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP
Title: Certified Speaking Professional and Management Consultant
Group: The Herman Group
Dateline: Austin, TX United States
Direct Phone: 336-210-3548
Main Phone: 800-227-3566
Cell Phone: 336-210-3548
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