Reboarding – Our Best Tips for Successful Return to Work

<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >Reboarding – Our Best Tips for Successful Return to Work</span>

Returning to work after an absence can be pretty overwhelming. Perhaps new colleagues have joined, roles have changed, and a bunch of new projects have been launched. However, with the proper preparations, the process can be smoother and more enjoyable for employers and employees. Let's take a closer look at the concept of reboarding!

Preboarding, onboarding, and offboarding are standard terms in HR to illustrate the different stages of the employment cycle. But what does "reboarding" actually mean? Well, reboarding, or re-onboarding, as it is sometimes called, refers to the process where an employee who has been absent for a while is reintroduced to the job. It could be a colleague returning from parental or sick leave or someone who tried their luck elsewhere but has now decided to return. With a clear plan for reboarding, you, as a manager, can help the returning employee smoothly and efficiently transition back to work.

A common perception is that reintegrating returning employees should be quick – it's the same job as before, right? Well, not quite. Anyone who has been away from work for a while knows that things can change quickly! New tasks and roles emerge while others disappear. Work methods evolve, develop, and (hopefully) improve. New colleagues come on board, and someone might leave. Not to mention the influx of information flowing faster, more frequently, and through more channels. Same job, still a lot that has changed, in other words. 

Navigating the Reboarding Process: A Roadmap to Success

The purpose of reboarding is to ensure a seamless return to work that is as smooth as possible for the returning employee. For example, this could involve updating logins for computers, phones, and email accounts and adjusting competencies and other information related to the employee, which may also need adjustment. Ensuring the colleague receives all the information needed to perform their duties is also essential to reboarding. What has changed during the colleague's absence? Overall goals, internal processes, and tasks – how have they evolved over time? One part of the reboarding process could also involve welcoming the colleague back into the community by inviting them to staff events, offsite meetings, or having lunch with the team once a week. Or why not organize a "welcome back" coffee on the first day back at work?

But wait, isn't reboarding the same as onboarding? Well, not exactly. Although the onboarding and reboarding processes are similar, the big difference is that reboarding is less extensive. However, it can be a good idea for both reboarding and onboarding to use activity lists (for example, in your HR system) to ensure nothing important is overlooked.

Four Benefits of a Structured Reboarding

So, why is it smart to have a clear plan for reboarding? Here are some valuable benefits:

Improves well-being and reduces anxiety: When well-structured, the reboarding process can alleviate the worry and anxiety that often accompany a return to work after a period of absence. As a manager, a reboarding process provides you with a clear path to guide your colleague back into the job, fostering a sense of empathy and consideration.

Maximizes productivity: With a structured reboarding process, you have control over what needs to be communicated and when, increasing the likelihood that the returning employee will quickly and smoothly integrate into the job.

Boosts engagement: A well-thought-out reboarding demonstrates that you, as an employer, value your employees and appreciate their return. Few things increase engagement as much as feeling welcomed and anticipated at work, right? Promotes company culture: Forgotten invitations to meetings and events are not fun for anyone. Therefore, increased cohesion and a good working environment are additional reasons to think a little extra about your reboarding process.

Tips for a Smoother Reboarding

Some things you as a manager can consider to ensure a well-planned return:

Don't rush productivity
The best way to demotivate someone is to bombard them with long meetings, information, training sessions, and tasks from day one. Don't schedule too much initially; let the colleague ease back into the job.

Avoid information overload
Even though it's easy to assume that the returning colleague already knows the organization and how things work, most people need time to process new information. Try to break it down into smaller parts to make it easier for the colleague to digest. Also, remember, the time it takes to get back up to speed varies for each person!

Listen in
A colleague being away for a while can have several reasons – whether it's studying, taking a leave of absence, or being on sick leave, it's good to remember that we all have different experiences and baggage. If you, as a manager, can guide the employee back into work by being attentive, empathetic, and understanding, it can significantly impact productivity and engagement.

Simplify the Employee Journey With Smart Tools

Many tasks to keep track of during hiring, rehiring, or termination? Utilizing user-friendly digital tools is a really smart way to achieve the required structure and responsibility allocation. In our HR system, Flex HRM Employee, you get help from digital checklists and reminders pushed out to the assigned person when an activity is to be performed.

This comes with many advantages: nothing important falls through the cracks, and you avoid manual data entry, endless email threads, and complicated spreadsheets. As a bonus, this ensures consistent and high-quality processes throughout the organization. In short: with smart digital tools, you automate administrative hassle, increase quality, and free time – time that you can spend on an extra chat with your returning colleague instead.

Want to know more about how you can facilitate the employee journey? Feel free to contact us, and we'll tell you more!

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