For almost everybody 2020 has been a year of the unexpected. From virus concerns, job losses, and abrupt lifestyle changes – it’s been a challenge to keep up. We have all had to adapt and make changes to our everyday activities including how and where we can safely work.
For me, full time remote work was something completely new. I have always loved the buzz of being in an office environment. From chats by the photocopier to grabbing a coffee with a colleague, that way of working now seems like a distant memory.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, I came across a job posting on Sapling’s career page for a role on the Marketing team that I felt matched my skills and abilities well. I submitted an application, went through the hiring process, and was lucky enough to be hired, all remotely. I joined a new company in a new role without ever meeting anyone from the company in person. This was certainly very new to me.
The moment I signed my offer letter, I received an email inviting me to begin the preboarding process in the Sapling platform. I have never started a new role with such ease. Upon getting a login to Sapling, I was able to learn in more detail about the company mission, vision, values, history, and culture. There was also a new-hire video for me to watch and a gallery of team photos showcasing team bonding activities and office events. I was also able to complete all my paperwork online, without any printing or scanning required (which was a total relief as I currently don’t have access to either!)
I was then introduced to my team members via their Sapling profiles. This was a nice touch to get to learn more about who I would be working with directly, including learning some fun facts about my manager. Through the org chart, I was also able to view all team members profiles organized by team, location, and manager. It gave me a sense of the size of the workforce and the main locations where everybody is based.
I also filled out my own profile information that included everything from my favorite coffee order to how I like to spend my weekends. This stays on my Sapling profile so anyone at the company can click in and see my answers at any time to learn a little bit more about me. Getting to know the team from the moment I accepted my offer really helped make day 1 of a remote job a lot less daunting.
Through Sapling, I was also assigned a buddy who set up a virtual lunch with me on day 1. She was available to answer any questions I had about the company and my team as well as be a support for me as I got ramped up in my new role.
My manager also assigned me onboarding tasks, all with an expected completion date so I could easily prioritize them. Over my first 90 days this section of the Sapling platform became my go-to to ensure I was set up for success in my new role. From tasks like reviewing the Sapling team playbook to installing certain programs on my new laptop, I was able to cover everything I needed to ramp up quickly. This really helped me ensure I was progressing at the right speed while also keeping my manager updated on how I was handling all of my tasks.
As I got more comfortable onboarding with Sapling, I discovered the calendar section that featured important info such as upcoming birthdays of teammates, Sapling work anniversaries, and upcoming vacation plans. After integrating the Sapling calendar with my Google calendar, I was able to help celebrate special occasions with colleagues and easily see what colleagues were away and unavailable.
Week one was filled with virtual lunches and coffee breaks to get to know not only my team but also my buddy, other new hires, my manager and the CEO. Everyone took time out of their busy schedules to be so welcoming. I was very impressed. We even finished out week one with a company wide virtual lunch where I met colleagues from San Francisco, Portland, Vancouver and Toronto. This well structured and welcoming onboarding experience certainly helped me create a very positive first impression of life at Sapling.
As time went by and I moved through my first 30 days to 60 days, I had many opportunities to share my new ideas and provide suggestions to ongoing projects. I received a structured 30-60-90 day onboarding plan as well as received regular feedback on how I was doing in the role from my manager. Through regular team meetings and one-on-ones with my manager, I had plenty of opportunity to ask questions and explore my current tasks.
During my first 90 days in this role Sapling launched a new feature, Surveys, within the platform. There was a real buzz among my co-workers about this launch and the benefits surveys can have to stay tuned in to important team feedback. I received a 1st week check in, 1st month check in, and 90 day check in survey. As a new hire this made me feel heard and supported at every step in my new role.
According to SHRM, onboarding is “the process of helping new hires adjust to social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly.” I can definitely say that from receiving the job offer to reaching my 90 day mark I have had the smoothest remote new hire experience possible, thanks to solutions like Sapling alongside communication tools like Zoom and Slack.
While the world continues to be an unusual place, I am very grateful to Sapling for having such a structured, strategic onboarding experience. This process has helped me, and all new hires, quickly ramp up for success so we can support the company's mission to ‘help people build better companies’.
Could your onboarding program do with more structure and simplicity? Have a chat with one of our Product Specialists to see how a platform like Sapling could help.