This is the second of a two-part series about how to ramp up your onboarding in the remote work environment. In the first article, we heard from Sally Beeken, senior HR business partner to Randstad Sourceright EMEA, with onboarding tips from an employer’s perspective. Here we’ll look through a new hire’s lens when we talk with Charles Swann, lead EMEA solutions architect for Randstad Sourceright.
Onboarding is about integrating a new employee into a company and its culture. It’s how they gain the tools and information they’ll need to become a productive member of the team. Onboarding is always a delicate practice. But it can be especially challenging when new employees don’t have the opportunity of learning about their new team, manager or business in an office environment.
What does a “supercharged” onboarding look like from a new hire’s viewpoint?
Charles Swann shares insights from his recent onboarding experience with Randstad Sourceright. He highlights a few actions he took when he joined the organization that have helped him supercharge his onboarding experience. Read on for his tips.
1. remember that things will take longer — that’s natural
The first bit of advice Charles gives to others who are onboarding virtually is to be patient and understand processes take a little longer when you’re remote. Basic things like making your way around internal systems, finding your payslip or booking a future vacation can be a puzzle at first. Slightly more complex situations, like understanding how your team operates or the cultural makeup of the team, will naturally take some time to learn.
2. ask, ask and ask away
In a virtual world of supercharged onboarding, new employees should ask any and all questions they may have. There’s never a question too small, so be brave and get your answers. Don’t take insight from your peers for granted and map out your network of people to turn to when you are looking for information or support on how to achieve outcomes.
Your team is there to help, but remember there are other colleagues, responsible for other tasks in the organization, who could be great “go to” people when you need help. As a newcomer to Randstad Sourceright, Charles has built an organizational chart to decipher his wider network in Randstad Sourceright and has already sourced key contacts around the world!
3. remind yourself that it’s okay not to be okay
Focusing on networks within an organization, new employees should maintain self-confidence. Working remotely is one dimensional; we don’t have colleagues around us to support us if we’re feeling insecure or simply having a bad day. We all have an off day and, in the world of remote working, it’s important to have regular mindset check-ins.
It’s worth taking time at the beginning of video meetings or conferences to ask how everyone is doing — and be honest if you're not having a great day! Charles says he’s seen this done in many ways in Randstad Sourceright. For example, Cindy Keaveney, our chief people officer, asked everyone in the beginning of a meeting to share a song that represented their week and their mindset. Whether we were having a great or a not so great week, sharing a song with the group allowed us to share how we were doing in a fun way. Some songs were lighthearted and added humor to the meeting (because we’re not all great singers at Randstad Sourceright)!
4. keep jamming; keep brainstorming
When we’re virtual, the idea of brainstorming around a table becomes a little more challenging. But you can use technologies, such as Google Jamboard, for example, to help facilitate creativity.
Using Jamboards — and perhaps playing some motivational music during your brainstorming — allows for everyone to share their ideas in a collective, less pressured way. The only thing you need to be mindful of is who has the power of the DJ!
When considering how to supercharge your onboarding, it’s the small things that matter the most. The things we took for granted when it was normal to work in an office environment matter more now than ever. We need to nurture our work relationships with each other and support each other’s success. Be kind, be collaborative and smile. We’ll do this well if we do it together.