By Emily Keefe, Head of Engagement (North America) at mthree
COVID has changed the landscape of starting a new job. Instead of physically going into the office to meet coworkers and get the lay of the land, we are now meeting each other virtually via screens and email introductions. With this change to a virtual environment comes its own set of unique challenges that need to be navigated. As someone who is starting a new job virtually, how can you ensure the smoothest onboarding process possible?
Understanding expectations- Take extra time to understand your manager’s expectations as you go through the onboarding process. Because you are not working in the same building as your manager, this makes it more challenging to ask questions as they come to you and to readily ask for guidance. Being proactive and understanding expectations from the start will go a long way toward understanding your deliverables and ultimately your job role.
Emphasis on communication- Communication is key in any work environment, but especially in a virtual work environment. As you onboard into a new team take the time to learn the preferred method of communication. Knowing if your team prefer email, a chat channel, or phone, will not only make it more efficient to be in touch but also shows that you are being proactive in your approach.
Introduce yourself- Take the time to introduce yourself to the wider team and ask your manager who you should schedule one-on-one meetings with in the calendar. In your one-on-ones with team members, get to know their background, job function, and how you will be working together. This not only will give you a clearer picture of the team dynamic but will also help you build relationships.
Speak up- If you have questions or concerns, reach out to your manager. If something is unclear or you are struggling, letting your manager know is very important. They can’t help if they don’t know there is an issue!
Although virtually onboarding isn’t always a seamless process, practising this approach will help keep you organized and make the process smoother. Onboarding processes will always vary, but these simple principles hold steady across different teams, clients, and industries.