Living remote onboarding: An inside look from a new employee
If there was an award for onboarding at Kronos, I think I’d win. I’ve been lucky enough to onboard here three separate times; my first two as a summer intern, and now as a full-time employee. During my first days an intern I was given a tour around the office, greeted my team members with handshakes, and even bumped into CEO Aron Ain – what a welcome! However, this time around I was sitting in my childhood bedroom during a pandemic, anxiously awaiting a call from my new boss. Thoughts raced through my mind: I’m so awkward over video chat, will she notice? Should I have gotten dressed up more? How am I going to do my job when I can’t talk to anyone around me?
Although learning my new role has been challenging, I would not be able to do it without the support of my team. They're helping me to navigate the nuances of my position, even if we can't work together in person. Based on what I've experienced so far, here’s a look at how we’ve been collaborating even through extraordinary circumstances to make my onboarding experience a good one:
Open, honest communication
During my first call with my manager she asked if I was excited to be back. My response, “I’m excited, but I’m also really nervous about starting my first job remote.” This was my first full time job, I had no idea how job training is supposed to work anyways, let alone remotely. Luckily this was not something I had to fear. My manager established an onboarding plan and detailed the specifics so I would know exactly how I was going to get up to speed. She also reminded me that these are uncertain times, and that I could come to her anytime with any of my concerns. This reminded me how key communication is in the workplace, especially when you're remote. Her awareness and openness really made me feel at ease.
Regular manager involvement
My managers’ recognition that onboarding remotely wasn't an ideal situation greatly eased my mind, but I was still concerned – how was I going to do my job effectively? To help with this, my manager first set up daily catch-ups, so we could discuss how my trainings were going and have designated time each day for any of my questions. Although she was extremely busy, she still made time for me whenever I needed it. More than that, she reminded me that she’s my champion. She told me that she wants to see me succeed as much as I want to, and that she’s my resource for advice and guidance. Perhaps the biggest relief I felt was her belief that I was going to excel in my position. Just hearing from my boss that she had total faith in me made me believe that I could do this no matter what!
Intuitive technology options
Working remotely has been a strange and somewhat awkward experience, especially when it comes to meeting new coworkers. However, technology has facilitated these interactions. On my first day emails quickly flooded my inbox welcoming me to the team. I also got IMs from teammates saying that I could connect with them at any time to ask questions. With video conferencing I got to see the smiling faces of my colleagues and got to know them better. We have bonded as a team over informal lunch calls and even happy hour! Although we can’t get to know each other in person, we are still connecting, and that's thanks to the network of tools Kronos has put in place to help us feel close even when we're all in different locations.
Conclusion: Remote onboarding can still engage and inspire
Although my onboarding experience has been an unusual one, it's taught me to be adaptable and roll with the punches. If managers can be open and honest with employees and utilize technology as an asset not a hindrance then remote onboarding won’t seem like such a daunting task. Remember we’re all in this together! We all have concerns about navigating these tumultuous times, and we understand the strain that COVID-19 has on your workforce. Kronos is here to help, offering you resources on how to manage through times of uncertainty.