Onboard with your values in mind: Onboarding in the Hybrid/Remote Workplace while Answering 4 Critical Questions for Your Team

Cuong Duy Nguyen

Cuong Duy Nguyen

Jul 05, 20234 min read


Onboard with your values in mind: Onboarding in the Hybrid/Remote Workplace while Answering 4 Critical Questions for Your Team


Onboarding new employees is a crucial process for any organization, but it becomes even more challenging in a hybrid or remote workplace. The traditional methods of onboarding may not be as effective in these new work environments. To ensure a smooth transition and successful integration of new team members, it is essential to onboard them with the organization's values in mind. In this article, we will explore the significance of incorporating organizational values into the onboarding process and how answering four critical questions can help define and strengthen your team.

Strategy #1: Organizational Values in Mind:

When bringing new members into the team, it is vital to align them with the organization's values from the start. By emphasizing and incorporating these values into the onboarding process, you establish a strong foundation of shared principles and beliefs. This alignment not only helps in creating a cohesive team but also contributes to a positive work culture.

Taking time to define our team by answering 4 recommended critical questions by Penn GSE Prof. Zachary Herrmann:

A common problem faced by teams is the lack of time invested in defining themselves. Often, teams are so focused on achieving their goals that they neglect to establish a clear identity. Penn GSE Prof. Zachary Herrmann recommends answering four critical questions to define and strengthen your team:

1. What are our shared goals and objectives?

Defining shared goals and objectives allows team members to align their efforts and work towards a common purpose. It helps in fostering collaboration and ensures everyone is moving in the same direction.

2. What are our individual strengths and weaknesses?

Understanding individual strengths and weaknesses is crucial for effective teamwork. By recognizing and leveraging each team member's strengths, you can create a supportive environment where everyone can contribute their best. Additionally, identifying weaknesses allows for targeted skill development and the opportunity to fill any skill gaps within the team.

3. How do we communicate and collaborate effectively?

Effective communication and collaboration are the pillars of successful teamwork. Establishing clear communication channels and protocols ensures that information flows smoothly and everyone is on the same page. It is also essential to define collaboration methods and tools to facilitate seamless teamwork, especially in a hybrid or remote work environment.

4. How do we resolve conflicts and make decisions?

Conflict is inevitable in any team, but how you address and resolve it can make a significant difference. Establishing conflict resolution strategies and decision-making processes promotes a healthy and productive work environment. It allows team members to voice their opinions, find common ground, and reach consensus efficiently.

Incorporating these four critical questions into the onboarding process helps new team members understand the team dynamics, their role within the team, and how they can contribute effectively.

Actionable Advice:

1. Develop an onboarding program that reflects your organizational values:

Create an onboarding program that emphasizes your organizational values and incorporates them into every aspect of the process. This can include orientation sessions, team-building activities, and mentorship programs. By immersing new team members in your values from the beginning, you set the stage for their successful integration into the team.

2. Assign a mentor or buddy:

Pairing new team members with a mentor or buddy can greatly facilitate their onboarding process. A mentor can guide them through the organization's culture, values, and expectations. They can also provide support and answer any questions the new team member may have. This mentorship program not only helps new employees settle in quickly but also fosters relationships and enhances team cohesion.

3. Regularly revisit and reinforce team identity:

Team dynamics and goals may evolve over time, so it is crucial to regularly revisit and reinforce your team's identity. Schedule periodic team discussions to revisit the four critical questions and ensure that everyone is aligned and working towards the same objectives. This practice promotes ongoing growth, adaptability, and a shared sense of purpose within the team.


Onboarding new team members with the organization's values in mind is essential, especially in a hybrid or remote workplace. By aligning new employees with the organization's values and answering the four critical questions proposed by Prof. Zachary Herrmann, teams can define themselves, strengthen collaboration, and foster a positive work culture. Remember to develop an onboarding program that reflects your values, assign mentors or buddies for support, and regularly revisit and reinforce your team's identity. By incorporating these strategies, you can successfully onboard new team members and nurture a cohesive and high-performing team in any work environment.

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