Onboarding someone is always one of the coolest and most exciting things in a company. It feels a bit like a first day in a new class. Who will be your friends? Will the teacher be friendly? Thanks to our onboarding process, we ensure that everyone feels completely at home in no time at In The Pocket. In the last few years, we created a flawless onboarding procedure. Thanks to this work, we were able to pivot quickly and onboard new colleagues even in difficult times when everyone’s working from home. Since we went into lockdown on March 12, we have welcomed 7 new colleagues. This is how we did their remote onboarding!
Whether we’re onboarding staff in person or remotely, the fundamentals remain the same: helping them get immersed early in the work and culture at In The Pocket. We’ve always attached great importance to everything that happens from contract signing to arriving at the office - or signing in for day one from home: from sending a work related book with a personal note to a dedicated web page containing team members and agenda for the first days.
We're lucky enough to have an onboarding process that is relatively easy to translate to a remote context. Many of the steps we usually take during the onboarding of a new colleague can be taken from a distance. However, there were still some challenges in engaging our new colleagues and some practical issues (for instance setting up new laptops or accounts) we needed to tackle.
We definitely felt the urge to pay extra attention to aspects like information sharing. As we want to provide our new colleagues with sufficient information, we decided to develop a dedicated landing page on which the new joiner can monitor his or her onboarding. It contains, among other things, a schematic overview of what should be done in the first month, with whom they should definitely speak, who their Practice Lead is and information about practical matters. Consider, for example, information about time tracking, but also a page with awkward questions such as "When will I receive my salary?"
"The personal dashboard has left a really good impression on me. That way I could already see the team and I had the feeling that everything was prepared professionally”, says Team Lead Koen Boncquet, who started on May the 4th.
When a new joiner starts at In The Pocket, wherever that may be, it is our top priority to make sure that everything is installed properly. We want them to feel plugged-in to the workplace, even if they can’t be physically present. Goodies and necessary equipment such as a smartphone and laptop are being delivered at home. Via a Zoom session with our System Engineer Frederik at the beginning of their first day, new joiners are quickly set and ready to go! "We made a custom keynote for remote onboarding, which we delivered to new users along with their devices. On the first day we went through all these steps via Zoom, so they knew how to install their VPN client and 1Password account", says Frederik.
Once everything’s all set, we usually celebrate someone’s first day with a lunch with his or her team. We now replaced this with a lunch via Zoom and have the favorite pizza of our new colleague delivered at home!
But that wasn’t the only introduction via Zoom: the conversations with our practice leads, other colleagues and management also took place via video chat. Sometimes these were serious meetings, but at least as often they were casual coffee breaks. It's not quite the same as a conversation in the office, but it's the closest thing. Or, as our new Marketing Manager Lore Ott says: “These conversations turned out really valuable as people really took their time to introduce themselves and what they’re working on. I always asked them who they thought I should also talk to, which gave me a good conversation starter in the next talk. Only downside: after 2 months I’m still not sure how to turn on the actual coffee machine when I’m the first one arriving in the office in the morning.”
Done is better than perfect, but we still try to raise our bar every day. That’s why we make sure to check in with our new hires about their experience on a regular basis, which helps us to improve our onboarding process by integration, even remotely. In case you want to experience our onboarding flow, you might want to join our team!
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