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Entering The Cube

When someone new joins the team at 3 Sided Cube, their onboarding is just as welcoming and delightfully quirky as you’d expect from this offbeat agency.

3 min read

Culture

NASA

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!

PIVOT!

(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.

Bon Appetit

Even the team lunch didn’t require much change. I mean, it’s pretty straightforward, on day 1 we make sure the Nube goes out for lunch with their team. It’s a time to get out of the office and get comfortable with each other. What is more bonding than getting your grub on with your team?! 

This still happened, just took a little planning, but nothing that Team Ops couldn’t handle! We just set up a Google meet for the team lunch, and prearranged every person to get a delivery from their preferred establishment and order at the same time, and voila! The team lunches are alive and well!

Smile, you're on HHH camera

While a big portion of the first week is dedicated to getting to know the software, colleagues, and Cube in general, we want to know more about our Nube!! So in the HHH meeting (happy half hour) at the end of the week, it’s now the new person’s time to shine, and give a presentation telling us all about themselves!

Which of course has carried over into the virtual Cube experience. So every Friday, every Cube, from every department, at 4 pm, joins the HHH meet. We all crack into our preferred bevvie of choice and get to know our latest teammate even better as they share their screen and present about their education, previous work, and personal life. It really is such a unique way to get to know your fellow Cubes, beyond the projects you work on together.

It is all those components that create an unforgettable and truly 3 Sided Cube experience for someone’s first week. All those fun little activities or gestures truly lay the groundwork for a rock-solid team that are so much more than “co-workers”. And while the task seemed daunting at first, it has now paved the way for the option of a remote start whilst remaining seamless and the team cohesive.

Working in Operations and planning the logistics played a part, but it was also down to the entire team! Without them being involved and flexible to accommodate the needs of a new start, it wouldn’t have worked.

Luckily the Cubecrew was more than up to the task!

Published on July 27, 2020, last updated on July 27, 2020

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