Onboarding: how we adapt employees remotely
Onboarding (or onboarding) employees in a new location does not always go smoothly, and the remote adds even more complexity. A year ago, we were skeptical about this format. Now we are quietly hiring employees across the country and sharing our experience with you.
The article described how we prepare for the exit of an employee, what newcomers do on their first working day, how we help to adapt and how we evaluate the first results of work.
Only preonboarding can be more important than onboarding. From day one, a new employee should be comfortable. Therefore, as soon as the candidate has confirmed the offer, take care of the workplace. Both in the office and at home on the first working day, a person must sit down at a computer with all the configured programs.
Just imagine: the first working day, an SMS comes to the phone with access to work mail. You open the mailbox and see a wellcome letter, which indicates the necessary access, contacts of colleagues, links to resources, as well as a work plan for the trial period.
The employee gets the feeling that he was expected. And this is true, so we created all the conditions. The company will only benefit from this: the more comfortable a person is in a new place, the sooner he will begin to show himself.
What are we preparing for the employee’s exit?
we will find out if there is the necessary equipment at home. If not, we will arrange delivery from the office;
necessary access to internal services;
work plan for the trial period;
we appoint a mentor and adaptation manager – they have a responsible mission: to make the newcomer fall in love with the company.
First day in the company
“The adaptation was easier, since I was not alone – there were four of us. Colleagues constantly took feedback: they clarified whether everything was in order, took care. They also solved any question or request at all “ – Anna, Junior Business Analyst at NAUMEN.
In NAUMEN, the adaptation manager helps to get comfortable, as a rule, it is the HR who accompanied the employee during the hiring. After completing the necessary documents, the newcomer receives a welcome memo by mail, and after a couple of minutes the manager calls by video to conduct an adaptation conversation.
What are we talking about at the first meeting?
We tell you about what the company does: history, products, significant awards and achievements.
We acquaint with the organizational structure of the company, as well as give contacts of colleagues with whom the newcomer will often communicate.
We explain how and to whom you can contact. For example, at NAUMEN they try to avoid formalities and employees communicate with each other on you.
We are talking about corporate culture, values and development opportunities.
After the conversation with the adaptation manager, the mentor connects and introduces the newcomer to the work plan for the trial period.
A work plan is an employee’s personal list of tasks with checkpoints prepared by the manager and mentor. Its purpose is to help you get comfortable with professional tasks.
The plan makes it clear what results the manager expects by the end of the probationary period. Typically, the plan includes the study of internal regulations, familiarity with products or technologies, internal processes of development or project management, as well as quite a “combat mission”. Based on the results of the implementation of the plan, a decision will be made on the success of the probationary period.
“The adaptation went smoothly. I may have been very lucky to have a mentor and adaptation manager. At first, the daily command calls were unusual. The questions and problems that were discussed, I did not understand for some time: it seemed that they were speaking in an unknown dialect. The mentor helped to overcome this barrier – at first I turned only to him with emerging questions. The mentor guided, prompted, shared experience. A little later I could already ask some questions directly to the members of my team, as well as to employees from other teams “ – Rinat, NAUMEN Junior Developer.
The first week ends with a pleasant surprise: the newcomer learns that he has naubonuses on his account – the corporate currency of the company. They can be spent on NAUMEN branded merchandise.
First three months with the company
The first three months of work for beginners are quite intense. They will have to adapt in four directions at once:
get used to colleagues and their communication style in a team;
accept and master corporate rules;
Stop being stressed out by changing jobs
adapt to workflows and independently complete work tasks.
During the trial period, it is important to help the employee go through all the stages of adaptation as smoothly as possible. To do this, we talk tete-a-tete about success, give timely feedback, and also check whether everything is going the way the beginner imagined.
“Despite the fact that all my adaptation took place at a remote location, it was quite comfortable for me to join not only my team, but also to meet other colleagues. The responsiveness of colleagues is one of the advantages of adaptation to NAUMEN, in my opinion. They will always advise where to go with the problem. You quickly get used to the large structure of divisions, you understand who you need to contact and on what issues. Quick solution of organizational issues is another advantage of adaptation in NAUMEN “ – Anya, analyst at NAUMEN.
Once every two to three months, we arrange a meeting with the heads of the company. Members of the board of directors invite all newcomers to ZOOM for acquaintance. They talk about how the company came about, what NAUMEN means, and also just chat. At this meeting, each employee can directly ask absolutely any question to the manager and get a sincere and detailed answer.
“I really liked the atmosphere of openness in the company: you can easily communicate with any person on any occasion, all issues are discussed openly, there are no closed doors and pitfalls” – Anton, systems analyst at NAUMEN.
Also, newcomers can get answers to many questions without resorting to the help of colleagues (not all employees have to be extroverts, right?). On the corporate portal, there are two sections for answering questions. The first is for completely newbies with basic information about working in the company, the second will be useful to absolutely everyone: here you can find out where to dine, how to go on sick leave, or how wages are calculated.
The final stage of onboarding is Performance Review or PR. This is a meeting where the new employee, manager and mentor exchange feedback and impressions on how these three months have gone. The goal of PR at the end of the probationary period is to summarize the success and effectiveness of achieving the tasks from the work plan.
A few days before the meeting, the employee receives a questionnaire in the mail, where he can evaluate how the adaptation went. The questionnaire helps HR find out how expectations were met, what they liked about working with us, and what they would like to change.
“Don’t be afraid to ask your questions. There are many ways of communication for full adaptation at a remote location: video communication, general chat, private messages to the mentor. To make the adaptation go faster, it is convenient to connect to video conferences that are periodically arranged in the company. On them you can learn a lot of interesting things about what tasks are being solved by colleagues now, get to know them better, quickly understand the structure of departments, who is doing what and what ” – Anya, analyst at NAUMEN.