Episode 5

#005 - 3 Practical Tips to Level Up Your Virtual Onboarding Experience

Published on: 18th September, 2020

Today we give three quick and practical tips for how to level-up your onboarding experience when starting a new job in a virtual world. Whether you are a new college graduate starting your first job, an experienced hire joining a new organization, or a leader looking to help onboard your team more effectively - this cast is for you.

Our three practical tips at-a-glance:

  1. Level up your space
  2. Level up your virtual relationships
  3. Level up your 100-day plan

If you are in the process of transitioning to a new organization and need some support reach out and we'll do everything we can to help: [email protected].


Robert Greiner 0:02

Welcome to the Wanna Grab Coffee podcast. Today we give three quick and practical tips for how to level up your onboarding experience when starting a new job in a virtual world. Whether you're a new college graduate starting your first job, an experienced hire joining a new organization, or a leader looking to help onboard your team more effectively, this cast is for you.

Hey, guys, how's it going?

Igor Geyfman 0:24

Hey, what's going on? Robert, how are you?

Robert Greiner 0:28

Doing well. So we wanted to do something a little bit different today. And that is provide some help and support to everyone out there who is starting a new job and has to onboard virtually. So like a lot of other companies. We internally deferred the start dates of our college hires, but very proud to say we did not rescind any offers and they're onboarding this week, and that is really difficult. And so what we wanted to do is really quickly go through three tips on how to onboard

Effectively at your next job, whether you're a leader, individual contributor, college hire doesn't matter. What are three things you can do to really ramp up at your next organization and crush it? So Charles, we'll start with you, man, what's your tip?

Charles Knight 1:14

Yeah, I'm, I'm a big fan of you know, it's easy in a physical world, you know, outside of zoom calls and things like that if you're onboarding in person, I guess, it would be obvious to think about, Hey, what are you going to wear? What's the dress code? Like, you know, what's the culture like?

Harder to do in a virtual setting.

And I think as a result, you have to kind of, you have to expand your definition of what does it mean to be professional to include not only what you wear and can see on zoom, but also things like the quality of your your audio and the quality of your video. And, you know, we've clearly invested in some upgrades in that department for our podcast here. But I think that there are some relatively cheap options that are affordable to everybody that is well worth making that investment. So that way your video is of higher quality, your audio is of higher quality. And also consider things like the backgrounds you know, in your in your screen, because you're going to be on zoom or teams showing the world what's behind you. And do you want them to see a messy apartment or a messy house? Or do you want to see an interesting bookshelf like Robert has, or an interesting painting and a certificate on Igor's put some thought into that right into creating your professional space wherever you are. And I think that'll make you stand out a little bit. You know, amongst others that are onboarding with you. So that's, that's my tip.

Robert Greiner 3:04

Yeah, thanks for that. And also, always put your video on. And one thing that's really nice actually about meeting remotely is when everybody's remote and you're in the Brady Bunch view you can actually see everyone's face, you can judge reactions when you're all in a meeting room, everyone's laptop is up, there's physical barrier between you and other people. Or worse when half the meeting is in the room. Half the meeting is is remote and that group sort of gets disenfranchised a little bit. And so with everybody's on video, you have everybody's face in front of you. That's a really good way to create a proximity effect where if you can't be in the same room together, it certainly is the next best thing. So yeah, great, great tip for sure. Igor, what do you have man?

Igor Geyfman 3:56

You know, my tip, I think is not just applicable for the virtual onboarding. It's something that I think about when I personally onboard in a new job, in a new role. It's something that I recommend to people when they join. And so I'm going to reiterate this tip because I think it's even more important, virtually because you don't have the opportunity to have the in person interactions that you normally have. And to me, that's the hundred day plan. When I land at a new role, I want to be very intentional about outlining what I'm going to do in the first hundred days, and it's very important for that outline to be outcome focused, not output focused. It's not I'm going to, you know, be in these three meetings. You know, it's what change am I going to drive, what impact am I going to have? What benefit will I bring to my team and my organization? And those things can be broad, they can be narrowed, they can be team focused, they can be organizationally focused. They can be customer focused. And sharing those with your direct manager and with your team. You know, a lot of times it's, very, I would say, easy to wait for somebody to tell you what they expect of you. And, there's there's a very smart consultant that told me a long time ago, never show up to a meeting with a blank page. And to me, this is an extension of that advice, right? Have your hundred day plan. It doesn't have to be super crazy. It could be a list of bullet points. That you write down for yourself and that you share with your team. But make sure that they're outcome focused. And, and use that as a starting point for a conversation that you have with your team and with your manager. Because what you write down may not perfectly reflect the expectations that your manager your team has of you. But at least now you have something for them to react to. Right? It's at the very least a straw, man. So don't don't write the initial draft of your hundred days. And then share it and look for feedback. And then feel bad when somebody says well actually think that, you know, be open to feedback, be open to advice, and then co-create what that first hundred days looks like. And, I think you're going to really set yourself apart from people that don't act with that level of intentionality when they start in the role.

Robert Greiner 6:56

Hey so Igor, what do you think about college hires? Though you're right out of college, you're landing at a new job, it's probably been deferred, you're a little bit nervous. You may not know what the next 100 days entail, because unless you've had an internship, you may have no taste on around what it takes to be successful in your professional life. What would you recommend for that group?

Igor Geyfman 7:21

You know, I think that having worked with a lot of college hires, in the past, I do think that they don't have the lived experience of 100 days at a job. What they have that I think a lot of more experienced hires lack is a sense of how much impact they can have on an organization and what drives them internally. And this is probably a good moment to write that down and to share that, right. This is the impact that I want to have and you don't have to have been at a job for 100 days like you can talk about, you know, the social impact, or the customer impact, or the team impact that you want to have. And that sets the right tone for you. And so just think about what difference do I want to make. And write a couple things down, share that, get feedback, and see how your passion to make a difference in these ways aligns with things that, you know, your organization your manager cares about. I personally think you can do that as a college hire.

Robert Greiner 8:27

So I've been giving this a little bit of thought to, I'm teaching one of the onboarding classes tomorrow, and I I wanted to address this and bring it up. And really, mine is around something I've been feeling personally to in this remote environment, which is the ability to build, create, nurture, maintain relationships in a virtual setting. And that's really hard to do. When times are good, when everyone's in the same building. When you're new. You don't have that right. Relationships capital built up within an organization to take advantage of to use when you need to do favors for other people. You don't know who to who to reach out to. It's tough, it's a tough time. And that could really create a drag on your ability to be effective in your new job. So my advice is find ways to build relationships indiscriminately in your organization. And you're going to have to be the one that takes initiative and becomes intentional about that because everyone else is busy thinking about other things. If you don't know how to reach out, to reach out to your manager, to your team, get to know them better. Ask them questions, be a little bit more vulnerable around what your life is like what you want to accomplish out of your job. You could start come with the same five questions for everybody. If you're part of a new hire cohort, so I think we you know, we had what dozens of people start yesterday or this week, reach out to every one of them, that's a fairly easy list to get the names of. And it's like, Hey, we're in the same onboarding class wanted to get to know you. Can we have virtual coffee, something like that. You could also ask your manager or the people on your team, Hey, who are good people for me to reach out to, for me to build a relationship with, could you introduce me to them, and then you have a friend, introducing another friend to a new person, and you're all part of the same team. Your all part of the same organization, I think you will have a very easy time building relationships around you if you apply that intentionality. And people generally want to help you if you're new. So now it's absolutely the time to take advantage of that and get to know as many people as you can get to know details about them, who they're married to, who their kids are, where they went to college, what they majored in, what their work is like, what they like to eat, all of those things and really use this as an opportunity to build solid relationships and then when you're back on site together finally, you can go around and talk to people individually. Hey, I was so great to meet you virtually wasn't that awkward, you have a fun story to tell you have a shared experience already. And then then it's just to the races. And so definitely apply that intentionality, to building relationships. And I think you'll be in a really good spot added to your hundred day plan, get your microphone and your camera set up, get your background configured, make sure you're dressed properly, turn your video on, and you will be much better off. Even though you're onboarding in a remote setting. Things are not optimal, you can still be effective, you can still make the most out of the situation that you're in. So hopefully this helps everyone. Charles, do you want to close this out?

Charles Knight:

Yeah, I would say if you're listening and you're in this situation, you know, maybe you're onboarding or about to onboard and join a company and you have questions for us. Or if you need help, we'd love it if you were to reach out. We'd love to help and kind of share our experience and maybe connect you with somebody who might be able to help you as well. And so please just reach out if you need help.

Robert Greiner:

Alright, short and sweet. Thanks, guys. Good to see you.

Igor Geyfman:

Thanks, ya'll.

Charles Knight:

Take care.

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Wanna Grab Coffee?
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A podcast about all of the topics we discuss during our mid-day coffee breaks. We bring you stories, thoughts, and ideas around life as a professional, leadership concepts, and work/life balance. We view career and leadership development as a practice that spans decades and we are excited to go on this journey with you.