Online Onboarding >> COVID-19 Onboarding
Published 26/04/2021

COVID-19 Onboarding: Online COVID-19 Onboarding for Employees

The onboarding process also referred to as the organization socialization, involves assisting new employees to quickly adjust to the performance and social aspects of the workplace and learn everything that will help them become productive members of the organization.

During these unprecedented COVID-19 times, many organizations are operating with either the existing or new workforce with some completely transitioning to remote working. While hiring hasn't yet stopped for some companies, the COVID-19 onboarding process is important for the new hires to get them well versed in how the organization handles itself during this COVID crisis.

Everyone has been facing various challenges in the workplace, so it's essential to offer continued support and manage all the employees as normally as possible while working under the COVID-19 situation. HR leaders and managers are rushing to rework on the training and onboarding processes to keep all their employees informed and safe.

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The Need To Onboard Employees on COVID-19 Related Issues

There is now the pressure in many organizations to demonstrate how the wellbeing of their employees remains a critical commitment. The first few months are always a pivotal time for the employees to build a rapport with the organization, its co-workers, and management. All employees need to be familiarised with every move that the organization has taken in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

Giving employees timely, authentic, and accurate information about coronavirus during the onboarding period is a sure way of enhancing their protection together with their colleagues and their loved ones from exposure and contraction of the disease. Failure to offer financial necessity and accurate information has led to people ignoring official advice hence increasing the speed of the spread of coronavirus. Employers have the task to communicate important information and mitigate the consequences of the outbreak of coronavirus.

Guide for what to include in your onboading

Always follow the official health advice in your region but when putting together the onboarding process for employees, consider ensuring it covers these areas:

Working Safely In The Workplace

The world of work has been completely transformed by COVID-19 and the fear of contracting the virus continuously permeating the workplace. Every employee must take reasonable care for their health and safety and that of others in their workplace. You are supposed to cooperate with all the set policies and procedures that relate to health and safety while at work.

- Practice regular hand washing with soap and personal hygiene at the workplace or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers where handwashing isn't practical.
- Wear PPE when necessary to avoid exposure e.g. Facemasks, gloves, goggles
- Maintain physical distancing. If possible avoid any physical contact between workers during breaks and even meetings.
- Limit or eliminate your physical interaction with customers or visitors at the workplace. Avoid greetings by shaking as much as possible.
- Work in impervious barriers between one worker and the other in the cases where they can't keep the 2m distancing from each other.
- Use of individual transport rather than collective transport when heading to your workplace
- Avoid or limit the size of gatherings in the workplace
- Utilize the cleaning and disinfection equipment supplied in the workplace or engage suitable cleaning services

Important Policies and Procedures To Be Included In a COVID-19 Onboarding process

Employers have a critical role t play in the mitigation of consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak; adjusting the policies and procedures of the workplace to enhance the protection of employees in the workplace.
- Mandatory Pre-screening of all the employers and visitors entering the organization
- Development of COVID-19 preparedness and response plans such as developing response teams.
- Establishment of social distancing policies and practices
- Create, implement, and communicate about the workplace protections and flexibilities e.g. Implementing flexible sick leave policies and make employees aware of them
- Protection of employees at higher risk for COVID-19 by teleworking if possible
- Establishment of hazard mapping procedures of all operations in the organization
- Establish a plan on the steps to be taken in case a suspected or confirmed case is identified in the workplace
- Prepare organization medical practitioners with knowledge and resources on COVID-19

Safety Awareness In The Workplace

Employees with risk to COVID-19 exposure need the necessary awareness on health and safety, to be informed and prepared while following the established safety guidelines such as social distancing, hand washing, and infection control practices. Awareness can be done through pieces of training and posters with instructions all-round the organization.
- Personal cleanliness and hand washing should be properly done with soap and water. Where it's not practical alcohol-based hand sanitizers should be provided. All frequently touched objects should be cleaned regularly and disinfected. Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
- Frequently meeting (few people at a go) with the PC and safety committees for proactive encouragement on COVID-19 prevention.
- Always ensure you maintain social distances.
- Training on the appropriate use of PPEs is critical (i.e. how to fit PPEs, how to put on/off masks, and disposal of gloves)
- When coughing and sneezing, try as much as possible to use your elbow or a tissue! It's also recommended that when you're sick to stay at home.
- Employees motivation to maintain personal hygiene in their homes too.
- Establishment of an Emergency Response Team for monitoring the ongoing initiatives and deal with any COVID-19 related emergency.

Include local authority advice in your onboarding process

With everything mentioned here, be sure to reflect the official advice of your local health authorities in your onboarding workflow. If you have staff in different regions, you may need to onboard them around each regions health authorities and advice.