The first day of work begins long before the actual date which is defined by the calendar, both for the newcomer and for the company that will welcome him/her. What will you do, what awaits you, and many others are the questions that you ask yourself before you start working. In the meantime, at the company, the organizational machine has been activated for a long time with the organization of every detail: from documents to papers, until the technical induction.
Usually, the onboarding process is a multi-faceted moment, that becomes even more nuanced when you cannot meet the newcomer in person.
At Mia‑Platform, the onboarding process has been structured over time and has gradually improved. It is a moment that we follow with great care and it involves different people. Although the period prevents us from welcoming a new person by opening the office door and shaking hands, we still did give the first – of several – remote welcome.
In this article, we want to tell you about our experience so that it can support any company that keeps hiring even in such a difficult time.
Therefore, we interviewed Iryna Sary, Operation Specialist, Livia Rossetto, People & Culture Specialist, and Federico Oldrini, Tech Leader and Tutor of the newcomer. These are the people who, once established the date of entry, managed to define all the steps to follow.
The Previous Days
As anticipated, the organizational machine was activated a few days before the onboarding date and, in this case of remote management, particular attention has been paid to the time schedule.
Usually, the newcomer has the time to walk through the office and meet people. Instead, in remote onboarding, it is important that the new employee is escorted step by step and that everything goes smoothly through the different operational steps.
This is the reason why the organizational team has:
- Defined the day schedule;
- Created an ad hoc shared Hangouts room with the people involved;
- Created calendar events for the different moments of the day.
The first day of work is full of questions both for the most navigated employee and for those who are at the first experience. Who will I meet? Who will welcome me? Should I bring lunch? This is the reason why we usually send emails sometime before in order to involve different people.
- We tell the newcomer how the first day will be and people he/she will meet: morning welcome with the staff of People & Culture, and introduction to the work environment; meeting with the Tech Leaders to learn about the technologies that we use; lunch with the new team; afternoon of introduction to the project and, maybe, assignment of a small task.
- We remind the new entry to the team that the newcomer will join and we officially introduce the new person.
Remotely, the day was run in the same way, but with some organizational differences. There was much more coordination among the managers of the various areas who took turns in the Hangouts room. The lunch turned into a virtual coffee together with the team in the early afternoon.
All the people involved – especially the team that would welcome the new person – were asked to turn on the webcam whenever possible during calls, to shorten the distances – at least during the first few days.
As for the equipment that we normally give upon arrival, the PC was shipped to the newcomer’s residency a few days before the start. All our gadgets (water bottle, T-shirt, backpack, etc.) will wait for him/her at the office on the first day of work together.
The Onboarding day
Our onboarding day is structured as follows:
- Administration and operations;
- Our culture;
- Join the team.
First part: administration and operations
Iryna leads this first part, providing all the useful tools to start a new journey at Mia‑Platform.
Normally this moment takes place in a meeting room, with the PCs side by side.In this situation, webcam and sharing screens are necessary to get to know each other and understand all the operational aspects of this beginning.