As Head of Operations, I get to oversee many aspects of the day-to-day running of the agency. My time is spent making sure everything is running smoothly, troubleshooting, and most importantly, ensuring our fantastic team is happy, content, and feeling productive as hell!
One of the absolute best parts of my job is onboarding new team members. It means we have found a new very cool cat or kitten to be a part of our dynamo team, and I get to ensure the transition is seamless and enjoyable for all! I take so much pride in this process, and how everyone who has joined has said how very welcome they instantly felt. Definitely a big part of that is how we’re all unified by our mission to build Tech for Good.
Turns out when everyone shares that same ethos and wants to make a positive impact, you end up attracting brilliant people and you create an exceptional team. The other side of onboarding is the logistics of getting someone equipped with everything they need to do their job. Which for us equals laptops and software basically.
So turning our hand to do all that virtually was, for the most part, pretty easy due to us being a big fan of the internet and cloud-based tools.
From welcome boxes to speed dating and team lunches. We pull out all the stops and don’t mess around when it comes to making a newcomer feel instantly welcomed and part of the family. And genuinely, we prioritise the human element of onboarding in the initial week of someone joining us. Because when people feel comfortable in their surroundings and get an early feeling that they’re accepted and belong, they’re going to be more confident and be more able to do their best work.
But how could we possibly maintain the flawless onboarding process, making the Nube (new + Cube = Nube) feel unequivocally welcomed and supported while maintaining the in-office traditions… all remotely?!?
Well, I’m so happy to report that not only we were able to, but it has gone better than I could have hoped! Here is how we managed to transcend a good ol’ fashioned 3 Sided Cube induction, virtually:
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
We already have a tried and true orientation operation in effect. I didn’t want to overcomplicate things by trying to make unnecessary changes. So I didn’t. It was just the logistics of getting what we already did in-office, up and running for a remote start. Some things weren’t affected at all, such as our famous welcome box.
Keep on, keepin’ on
The welcome box has been a favourite and mainstay for years. We put it together with some Cube-centric gifts, a personal touch item for every new individual, and of course some “treat yo’ self” products from one of our favourite cosmetic brands, Lush. Along with a snazzy brochure on what the new starter can expect from their first week.
We like to make sure that it’s sent out a week before their first day. That way, before even walking through the doors or in this case, turning on their computer, they know we are already so excited to have them joining the crew!
(if you didn’t read that in Ross Geller decibels, I suggest you immediately put on season 5, episode 16 of Friends so you can truly appreciate that reference)
Naturally, the remote induction process needed some extra thought and a swivel here or there to make it as smooth and stress-free as possible. An example of this is our Speed Dating which is an internal app that we use to play “2 Truths and a Lie”. The new starter has the phone and a picture of a Cube will pop up along with their two truths and a lie. It is such a great way to get to know people organically, and without any awkwardness or pressure. Just good fun!
So that being such an important part of the first day, we had to make sure our Speed Dating still happened remotely. It took some time and thought, and included hand-delivering a device to the Nube before they started. But it went off without a hitch! And even the process of not being in the same space so the Cube next up on the app could just be roused from their desk, we just now expect a lot of Slack shout outs to coax someone else in on the fun.