Reboarding at Plek: Going back to work with confidence!
Lizz is a consultant at Plek, she has been coaching our clients a lot about onboarding. Besides onboarding, our platform can also be used for reboarding. After her pregnancy, Lizz got to try it herself and reboard at and through Plek! Read her experience here!
After being away for a few months on maternity leave, I noticed that I had forgotten many things. At times like that, I'm glad I work at Plek, where our reboarding ensures that employees are back on the job quickly. However, I found it very instructive to experience this from the 'other side', and I would like to share this with you!
From baby cocoon to 9 to 5 mentality
Remarkably, everything is still exactly the same on your first working day after your leave - working from home, the 'inside jokes' with your colleagues and the same “Plek” feel - , yet everything is different; I've already had a whole morning of changing nappies, feeding the baby and bringing him to daycare. Because of my 'mom brain' I am a bit more forgetful than before. I find myself asking questions like “'what did I change the password to?” and “what time do I have that 'reboarding meeting' again?”. Then there are the practical things for example, what time do I pick up my baby from daycare?! A lot changed in a short time, so I took it easy the first few days.
The fact that the whole reboarding process took about 3 months is not strange. Reboarding is related to onboarding, which I did a lot of at Plek before my leave. So I know that it takes about 90 days on average for new employees to really onboard into a new organisation. Even after being away for a few months, you need time to find your feet again.
I could tell that my colleagues had prepared themselves for my arrival. I read a welcome message from my colleague Jim in my Plek app the day before. In addition, for my first day, there was a 'reboarding' meeting planned with our Business Director and an introduction by our Head of People. Finally, I had heard through my direct colleague that my return had been announced to everyone in a big way; friendly!
The program manager shows me the way
Our program manager gave me a grip on my work and private life. A programme was created with the program manager that automatically took me through all the essential reboarding steps. I was asked to change my password, post a message to the team in the general channel that I was back, and update my profile. My answer: 'you don't want to wake me up at night, believe me!' to the question 'you can wake me up for...' in my profile on Plek is now outdated with a small baby, and my profile picture also needed an update! On my profile, it is also possible to indicate which days I will be working, so that colleagues know when they can reach me.
Time to start
I started my morning by cleaning up my e-mails. Because we use Plek for our internal communication, I went through my e-mails in no time. Once I remembered my password, I was able to use the single sign-on feature to quickly access all our systems. We communicate with our customers via our customer community: GO Plek. The few customers who did approach me by e-mail could be counted on one hand. Great!
In Plek, you can indicate when you are absent and a notification will appear on your profile and chat screen. That way, other colleagues know you're not available, and notifications are snoozed if someone sends you a message. Of course, I had a lot of new messages in my group chats, and no, I did not read them all back. Chats are for fleeting communication and what is really important appears in a message. By redesigning and developing the homepage, I got to see the popular messages at the top! Via the agenda, I immediately signed up for several exciting webinars and masterclasses; handy!
Back in the loop with information pages
In my virtual catch-up with our Head of People, she showed me a presentation on the measures for working in the office during our hybrid working and COVID. But she also pointed me to the information pages on Plek that contained helpful information for a young mom like me. The reboarding meeting with my manager showed that our team (and actually Plek as a whole) has not been idle and he added me to some project groups on Plek, where I could take a look at what we are (and have been) doing.
‘Because of Plek, I sometimes did not know anymore if I had already seen colleagues in real life or if I had only spoken to them digitally’
The first month(s)
The first month was a critical period to look ahead. My team now has a team day in the office every week, and we even had a strategy day to discuss our plans for the coming year. Whilst working at home we use Plek ourselves to contact each other. And actually, you are very quickly connected that way. So easy, in fact, that I often didn't know whether I had seen someone “in real life” or only chats and/or messages on our Plek, and my enthusiastic greetings were sometimes accidentally left out. Apparently, that's what happens when the virtual and physical worlds are so connected!
Now that I have been back at work for about three months, I notice that I have a lot of energy to get going. The reboarding via Plek helped me a lot and the programme via the program manager gave me something to hold on to. My colleagues paid a lot of attention to me being back at work, and you could tell. To make the reboarding even better, I received a questionnaire after finishing it and with my input, colleagues returning from maternity leave in the future will be even better prepared!
It is nice to experience how the tools of Plek, which I usually implement at various organisations, also helped me with a smooth reboarding. Obviously, I didn't give it much thought until I was asked to write a blog about it. I loved sharing this experience with you! If you want to know more about reboarding with Plek, check out our website or feel free to contact us.