While it may not seem like a problem, your pandemic tenants may feel disconnected and confused.

Image: fizkes / shutterstock

Among the various challenges facing technology leaders, recent hires from the era of pandemic remote work may not rank high on their lists. After all, these employees are probably people with whom other staff members may not have a strong relationship. Maybe they even continued to work remotely after hiring and never set foot in a physical office or met with colleagues in person.

Although you seemingly happily and silently perform your duties, this segment of your workforce is also more likely to feel separated from you as a leader, their teammates, and the organization as a whole. Even HR (human resources) managers report have no idea how new employees are adapting to their organizations, with 10% saying they are unsure how new employees are adapting and 31% saying pandemic employees are struggling to connect with their colleagues.

Obviously, we do not need research and studies to understand that almost 50% of new employees struggling to adapt to their new home do not contribute to success, especially in a difficult labor market.

Lost orientation

One of the main reasons for this disconnected feeling of your pandemic employees is the lack of formal orientation towards your team. If you were like most companies before the pandemic, you welcomed new employees to the office, left them to do some human resources formalities, and then introduced them to the team and maybe took them to lunch or a formal personal training program.

See: Does Hybrid Work Work? (TechRepublic)

Like many tasks disrupted by the pandemic, new employees hired amid blockades and remote work have been forced to improvise their deployment to varying degrees. For many new employees, especially in the early days of telecommuting, a laptop box appeared and an hour or two of video conferencing with their boss was all that was provided to connect with their new employer before they were told to get a job. you work.


These employees have probably understood the technical nuances of their work and your organization. They probably do a good job; they know how to submit the right documentation and perform administrative tasks. However, they probably do not understand the cultural nuances of the company or, even worse, do not feel a connection and self-interest in the team and the company far beyond seeing them as a source of compensation.

Many companies have recognized this phenomenon and their typical response is to guide these employees through recently reactivated new recruitment programs. This is a logical approach. However, this is also deeply disappointing for these new employees. Not only will they spend a lot of time learning all the administrative tasks they already know, but they will network and connect with a bunch of new employees instead of connecting with the people they already work with.

Creating a one-time orientation program specifically for this group can seem challenging. Assuming the world has gone through the worst of the pandemic, this is a program that will have a limited life. However, the reorientation program does not have to be extremely complex and will have a huge impact on engaging and retaining your employees from the most challenging days of the pandemic.

What to include in your reorientation

In addition to a strong focus on the personal network with the teams your employees have worked with virtually, take time to discuss the strategy of your team or group and the wider organization. These discussions are often lost in the virtual work environment, where the focus is on getting things done.

As a leader, share your vision for the future and how your team will help you realize that vision. You may even consider reorienting before your regular strategic planning session. This will allow you to share early thinking about your strategy and engage this group, but you can also ask for their input. Getting feedback from people who know your organization’s daily life, but still bring a fresh set of perspectives and knowledge, can be very valuable.

Finally, create some moments that establish interpersonal relationships. Obvious activities such as team lunches and outings should be complemented by things that may include a visit to a work site or production facility. You can also share personal stories using activities such as sharing treasure or taking a picture of something you value. While this requires a bit of vulnerability, it also puts a lot of human history behind individuals who were largely little more than avatars on screen for many of your new employees.

While your pandemic-era employees may be productive and seemingly happy, take the time to reorient them and connect them with your team, and the wider organization will do wonders for long-term retention and connection.

Reorienting your virtual hires for work in the office

Previous articleOh, ApeCoin (APE) is under surveillance as Bored Apes Yacht Club’s (BAYC) Discord Channel is hacked again
Next articleHow to find your Apple Watch