As more and more employees return to the office, business leaders are facing the challenge of reboarding their employees. Somewhat similar to onboarding, reboarding is, essentially, refamiliarizing your employees with your organization’s structure, culture, policies, and processes.

Reboarding is most commonly used to remind employees of the basic fundamentals of the organization after they’ve been away for a long time, but it can also be used to introduce new processes, systems, or policies after a major change has taken place in the organization, such as a merger.

However, HR experts say that reboarding isn’t something that should only be applied to these situations; it can be an extremely helpful engagement tool that’s useful to bring out at any point in an employee’s career.


What is Reboarding?

Organizational leaders overwhelmingly think of onboarding as being something that only applies during an employee’s first few months, but the truth is that so much can change in an organization as time passes by.

What an employee was shown during their onboarding a few years (or more!) ago isn’t necessarily going to be useful to them any longer, especially if they’ve taken an extended leave of absence and have missed important organizational events, milestones, and changes in the process.  

That’s why reboarding is important. As a process, it involves all the activities that you would do in order to set an employee up for success when they re-join your company or when the work conditions have significantly changed. For instance, you might want to reboard employees when:

  • Employees have moved to a new role.
  • You re-hire an employee who worked for you in the past.
  • An employee returns from an extended absence.
  • A major organizational change takes place, such as a merger.
  • You re-open your offices after a period of closure.

Reboarding is also helpful for employees who have been in a role for a while and are looking to develop internally or are looking for ways to stay engaged. Although reboarding isn’t exactly a new idea, it is taking on more of an important role today as employees continue to fight against the so-called ‘quiet quitting’ epidemic.


Onboarding vs Reboarding: What’s the Difference?

Although they are somewhat similar, it’s important to avoid conflating onboarding and reboarding and thinking of them as the same thing.

The key difference between the two is that reboarding doesn’t have to be as exhaustive as the onboarding process. While both aim to get employees up to speed with certain information, reboarding is more targeted towards what that individual employee needs to be brought up to speed on.

After all, it makes no sense for an employee to go through the exact same onboarding process that they went through when they first started their role. This employee already knows the basics, and their role hasn’t changed. What may be different, however, are internal processes, short and long term organizational goals, key accomplishments, and other elements that can change over time.


Why Reboarding is Important

Reboarding is primarily important from two perspectives: productivity and engagement.

From a productivity perspective, it’s critical that employees are brought up to speed quickly. Through an effective reboarding process, you can convey what’s expected from individuals and teams in contributing towards key organizational goals. You also want to ensure all employees are up to date with current policies and procedures.

From an engagement perspective, reboarding presents an excellent opportunity to reconnect individuals with your culture and help them to understand how they contribute to the organization’s overall success. This is particularly important if an employee has spent an extended period of time away from work as reboarding will help to quell any discomfort or hesitancy.


Quick Tips for Reboarding Your Employees

Successful reboarding is all about communication and a positive employee experience. The process should be straightforward, seamless, and present information consistently and concisely in a way that’s educating, engaging, and accessible.

When building your reboarding plan, consider the following:

Promote Positive Communication

As organizations continue to experiment with working arrangements, including a return to the office for some teams, it’s important that any reboarding processes clearly communicate expectations and changes regarding how, when, and where people work. Any changes need to be communicated positively and employers should be prepared to take feedback onboard.

Avoid Rushing the Process

Just because your employees are already familiar with the basic aspects of the organization, that doesn’t mean you can rush the reboarding process. It’s natural for people to need time to process new information. Good reboarding strikes a balance between providing this without overwhelming employees with endless courses, presentations, and tasks.

Be Empathetic

Reboarding happens for a reason. Whether it’s an employee whose role has substantially changed or who has been away from the organization for a long time, it’s likely that they have been affected in some way by the reasons behind the need for their reboarding. Employers who can deliver reboarding with empathy—by listening, understanding, and reassuring team members—can have a huge impact on their loyalty, productivity, and engagement.

Make It Interesting

The best way to engage employees in reboarding is to keep it interesting. Avoid boring, lengthy Zoom sessions and endless online training videos and instead break up the material and provide lots of shorter pieces of content. Also consider personalizing the reboarding process wherever possible to help ensure that employees feel valued.

Use Virtual Tools

Digital tools are always preferred when it comes to processes like onboarding, reboarding, and general training. They remove the need for physical presence—which is ideal for remote organizations—and enable things to work a lot more seamlessly. Tools like Organimi can be implemented into your reboarding workflows to build reboarding process charts and deliver a better employee experience.

Try Organimi now and decide later with a free trial, no commitment or credit card required.