At Tisski remote working and remote project delivery is in our DNA, many of our people are home based and lots of us spend more time with our customers than we do in the office. This flexible approach to work and project delivery allows us to serve our customers and ensures a rich work life balance for our employees. When the Government announced the lockdown during the Covid19 pandemic, it really didn’t change much in terms of how we were working and delivering for our customers, however, it has had to change the way in which we on-board new people into the business.
Since we have been in lockdown, we have onboarded 5 new people, so how did we do it and what have we learnt?
First and foremost, good communication is key. The most important person in all of this is our new employees – they need to be reassured that in these uncertain times, they will be made to feel welcomed and engaged and have a clear understanding of their role and priorities. To do this, we ensured higher than usual communications with our new employees.
Having completed all of the required onboarding administration, IT equipment was ordered and configured (at the home of one of our support team) and shipped directly to our new employees. This was a great collaborative effort between our administration and support teams, communicating both with the hiring manager and the new employee throughout. The result was deemed as “very slick” by one of our new employees which was testament to how quickly our teams have adapted to the ‘new normal’.
Given that Tisski is a Microsoft Gold Partner, it might sound obvious for me to say this, but Microsoft Teams has been fantastic for allowing us to engage with our new employees and introduce members of the broader team, and of course our customers!
We were conscious not to arrange back-to-back introductions, which could have led to new employees feeling overwhelmed, so tried to make this more informal and be mindful his approach remotely could have led to ‘video conference fatigue’.
The key on-boarding still needs to be happen, but it should be balanced against the need for regular breaks, social interactions and any requirements that our new employees have during that working day. These ‘needs’ all seem natural when we are meeting in person but can often be forgotten when we have to structure our day through a calendar and remote communication.
Over the first few days we endeavoured to communicate all the required information, addressing any questions as they arose. In the case of one of our new colleagues, I had the luxury to spread the on-boarding over a few days, allowing them to meet colleagues relevant to their future tasks, raise questions and absorb the information being presented to them. As a hiring manager, I arranged daily catch-up calls and ensured shadowing (where relevant) for any customer related meetings. Whilst the overall approach is not a million miles away from Tisski’s ‘people first’ way of working, adaptations needed to be made to support our ‘new normal’.
One of our greatest skills is the agility of our team – something which I am proud to say is also within our DNA at Tisski. Hopefully our new employees will feel equally, if not better, served by our new approach as we look forward to working with them for many years to come – no matter what our ‘normal’ is!