Insurance agencies and brokers continue to face challenges related to the hiring and retention of staff. As firms cite above average turnover and a tightening labor market, they are embracing the shift to remote work due to the lasting effects of COVID-19 on the workplace. With many firms planning to keep remote and hybrid opportunities for their staff – having a remote onboarding plan in place becomes even more important.
Remote work is here to stay.
Remote and hybrid work is sought after. A recent survey showed that 1 in 3 people would look for a new job if they were required to be back in the office full-time. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, more than 50% of employees said they wanted to work from home even after COVID-19 subsides. About 90% of millennials cite flexibility as a top priority when choosing a job.
What does this mean for your firm?
Onboarding is crucial. Those that are willing to take advantage of remote staff should consider a robust onboarding model in order to maximize the retention and success of new hires.
Here are nine tips every firm should consider to ensure a successful and consistent remote onboarding experience:
- Create an Onboarding Plan with Clear Milestones. Create a detailed plan that sets timelines and allows new staff to start being productive immediately. Plans could include coursework in a Learning Management System, understanding industry lingo via industry publications, and 1:1 meetings with leadership to understand key areas they’ll be discussing with colleagues and clients. Look to your HR leadership to help create an overarching plan that can then be tweaked for specific team needs.
- Reinforce Culture. Leadership teams should strategize and ensure that the company culture is realized to remote employees. Firms may find success in having more frequent meetings that are open to all staff to increase engagement and awareness of company performance and growth initiatives. Firms can also find creative ways to build community and rapport, such as virtual lunches and other events.
- Technology. In a remote environment, this should be a no brainer. Ensure your team members have the right technology and resources available on day one. Consider personalized support to help them configure equipment and programs. It can also be helpful for companies to speak with new hires about what technology and other tools they may need to be successful in their roles.
- Day 1 Recommendations. Gather your team and create a welcome video. There are great options that allow teams to upload and combine videos to make a terrific first impression. Providing a welcome kit with company swag and virtual lunches can also make for a fun first day.
- Team Environment. Managers can instill and reinforce a team environment that creates an additional layer of accountability for those working remote. This helps remote employees stay engaged and meet the goals and KPIs assigned to their roles. It can improve communication and transparency between team members who are not in the same locations.
- Mentor Program. Implementing a mentorship program can also reduce ramp up time and lead to greater retention. Mentors can also create a sense of belonging and create deeper connections to current staff. According to a Globoforce study, people with workplace friendships are nearly two times less likely to be poached by another firm.
- Celebrate 100 Days. While KPIs are likely the focus for many in their first three months – try adding a fun component. Celebrating 100 days on the job can help ensure new team members are engaged and progressing with your firm.
- Regular Check-ins. Don’t rely on your new team members to reach out to you. Schedule regular weekly/monthly meetings to ensure onboarding and training is going well.
- Employee Engagement. Whether new, 90-days in, or nine years in – make sure you’re taking a pulse of your staff to see what’s important to them. The study can give insights into how well employees are acclimating to their role and perspectives that may have shifted since starting with your firm.
Finding good people isn’t easy. However, firms that proactively make plans to ensure success for new hires will not only save money on recruiting in the long run, but also be the employer of choice that attracts top talent.
If you have questions about Today’s ViewPoint, or would like to learn more about creating your talent strategy, email or call Bryan Lake, Vice President, at 616.214.3335.
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