It’s your first day at the office, starting a new journey in your career. You feel your excitement and nervousness building. As you wait at reception, new colleagues greet you. Now you already have some familiar faces to ask for help. Your team lead arrives to take you on a tour, and you feel reassured you’re not alone in this new adventure.
But since the global pandemic, everything has changed. All these feelings around a career move have intensified. Beginning a new job is already full of uncertainty and even more so starting remotely. As People teams, we must be aware of this uncertainty. It’s our job to rise to the challenge of transforming the onboarding experience from in-person to virtual, without losing the togetherness found in a shared physical space.
So how can you help newcomers feel part of their teams without mentors and colleagues sitting next to them? Though we are growing accustomed to an ever-expanding online world, it’s still not easy to find your place in it.
Stress-free from the first moment
At Empathy, the start date is just that—the day you start to work. For us, you are part of Empathy from the moment you decide to join us. We maintain a close relationship communicating all necessary information: explaining how your first day will be, providing as many details as you need, and being available for any doubts or requests you may have. Our aim is that you feel comfortable and stress-free from the first moment.
Since communication is the key in this remote world, a special newsletter announces your arrival and introduces you both professionally and personally to your new colleagues. We want to get to know each other as humans, despite the distance.
Empathy’s welcome pack contains not only your new laptop but also other useful details for your day-to-day work and our favourite gesture—a card with the location of a tree that we’ll plant on your behalf. That’s how we celebrate you joining Empathy, by helping our planet and by growing together.
When the start date arrives, we take the first steps together in a Zoom welcome call to meet and support each other. We explain how onboarding is organised and create a common Slack channel with the people joining the same day. This way, you’re not alone—you’re invited to share your thoughts with people who are going through the same experience! It’s key to cultivate your connections with the Empathy community from the start.
Inspiring Joy and Understanding
And next is everyone’s favourite part, joy! You meet your team in a virtual coffee and get to know your assigned buddy, who will be happy to help you with everything you need. For the opening onboarding session, Angel Maldonado, Empathy Founder and CEO, meets with the new joiners to talk about the philosophy, mission and vision of the company. And above all, to show our gratitude for placing your trust in Empathy.
Within the People team, each employee has a specialist of reference who will be by their side not only in this onboarding process but also along the journey at Empathy. The goal is to be closer to our teams, to know what they need and make every effort so they are as happy as possible.
Understanding is another core value at Empathy. When you join a company, it’s a challenge to understand how the workflow goes and to find your footing. At Empathy, the first two weeks are dedicated to meetings with most of the teams to help new employees understand our product, processes and customers. These first-hand insights from fellow colleagues are great starting points to get an overview and meet people outside your team.
People team conducts anonymous surveys with each group of new employees to gauge how they felt about the onboarding process. So far on average, more than 97% say they feel completely welcome during their first days at Empathy, and the overall score for the starting experience is 9.45. But there’s always room to grow; let’s go for the 10!
Highlights from newcomers in the Empathy community:
‘Empathy makes you feel valued from the first moment.’
‘Every single person that we’ve just met during onboarding is ready and happy to help us and make our day.’
‘This company is like a huge loving and supportive family.’