Onboarding in COVID and How To Manage

You may have gone through the same process

COVID came to our lives at the beginning of 2020 and changed them drastically. This disease impacted in almost all the business and activities performed in our day to day basis. Since then, we have had to develop security measures and adapt to this "new normal".

In this Blog I've been sharing some tips and tricks based in my lessons learned on IT Management, but this time I would like to change a bit the approach and share something more personal, but at the same time I think may be useful for the Blog readers. 

Please, let me share with you how I coped with a change of company right in the middle of the COVID pandemic.

Onboarding Feelings in COVID Times

Setting the context

As I already stated, COVID had a huge impact in a lot of companies from different sectors. The company I was working for during June 2020, is one of them so I had to look for a change. Luckily, the consulting company I'm working with supported me during that time and before ending my current contract I already had an arrangement with my next company. 

As you may have read in my About section (link here), I like challenges and I'm always looking for opportunities to grow as a professional but, it's fair to say, this one was one of the biggest ones I had to manage.

How I felt and managed

It's well known that all professional changes come with certain uncertainties. During this post I'll focus on the difficulties I found due to COVID and will avoid the ones that were already present before.

The Handover process

This is the first challenge you have to face. This process usually took few days/weeks (pending on your position) and was usually done in person. With COVID, this approach is not valid anymore and in some cases may be done partially (or fully) remote

How to manage: Don't hesitate to request more time for your handover process. If you consider you need face to face meeting to support it, just request it. You have a long road to walk, so let's try make it as easier as possible.

Equipment delivery

When you joined a new company in the past, the first day you arrived to the office you usually received your laptop, credentials, headphones, and all the required stuff to let you do your work properly. Now, all these items need to be sent to your home (in most of the cases). This new approach requires a follow up in terms of logistics, which was not present in the past.

How to manage: Try to manage in advance all this logistic workload, the sooner the better. Having your new laptop during the handover process will facilitate it. Follow up with your manager to provide all the required information to proceed.

Meeting your colleagues

Socializing at work is one of the things I really miss. I remember the first day I joined a company in the past, my manager walking me through the office and introducing me to all the people on the floor. This situation, now seems unrealistic. 

How to manage: In my case, every time a new colleague is joining the team, I arrange an ad-hoc meeting just to introduce him. Then we do a quick round-table to give the opportunity to the team to introduce themselves and make questions/comments if they have. Since I implemented this, I only receive good feedback from the team.

Learning new processes

When you join a new company, you must learn all the processes in place and get used to them. These processes may require access to certain tools. So, here we have to cope with the tool access request and the process learning afterwards. If you are in the office, with one quick question to the colleague sitting near you, you may be able to solve some of these situations, but now this approach needs to be updated. 

How to manage: As I already shared in the post where I talked about Teamwork (link here), I think peer-based coaching will facilitate this onboarding stage. By this way, you'll have access to the assigned buddies and they will be supporting you during this process. Another key point to reduce the impact of this point would be having access to documentation (properly updated) and trainings. 

The outcome

When someone joins a new company it usually takes between few weeks and three months to carry out the day to day work with ease (pending on the job role). If you add COVID on top of this, numbers get drastically increased. 

The good point here is that, if you managed to succeed, then you're bulletproof, and you should be proud of yourself. 

So, what about you? Did you face the same situation? How did you feel and how did you manage?  Please, feel free to share with me your thoughts about this topic by adding a comment to this post.

Personal thoughts
April 04, 2022


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