My first days of onboarding at Elevo or how to be onboarded in a hybrid organizational model 

My first days of onboarding at Elevo or how to be onboarded in a hybrid organizational model 

Let's be honest, the first day of an onboarding is always a bit stressful.

On March 1, 2021, I will join the Elevo team as a Content Strategist. The Elevo team is already made up of 16 people, including 3 who are fully telecommuting (excluding the Covid-19 period). On that day, I'm not the only one to be onboarded: Marie Intoci, Office Manager, is also joining the adventure.

Since its creation, Elevo's organization has been based on a hybrid model, i.e., some of the employees are on site, while others are fully remote. With the health crisis, the organization has changed: the offices are open but with a very limited capacity and strict health rules to respect. 

For the first two days of my onboarding, I'll be at Elevo's offices and then I'll be fully telecommuting, which sums up Elevo's organizational philosophy quite well.
For me, this was the first time I'd worked in such an organization, accepting both face-to-face and remote work. 

So my main question was:

How was I going to get onboarded in this company that practices a hybrid organizational model? 

In fact, my issue went beyond my own experience: in a June 2020 Opinion Way survey on teleworking, 51% of respondents said they wanted to continue teleworking one or more days a week. Since last summer, companies have adapted and moved more and more towards a hybrid organisational model. 

The purpose of this article is not only to tell you about my first days of onboarding at Elevo and to share my feelings with you, but also to give you, the managers, some advice on how to onboard new employees in a hybrid organization.


Pre-boarding

An onboarding can start with pre-boarding, an optional practice developed by 10% of companies according to a 2019 Robert Walters study. 

Some explanations are in order.

Before I arrived on March 1, Selma Chababi, my future manager and marketing director at Elevo, gave me access to part of the company's Notion. She had created an onboarding page especially for me. The sharing of this page was purely informational: the documents made available to me explained my onboarding process and I didn't have to do anything. It was also, and above all, to reassure me by showing me that my onboarding had been prepared and thought out. 

On the Notion page of my onboarding, I found :

  • My planning for one month, 
  • My onboarding goals: meet the entire team; understand the Elevo product; take the lead on content planning,
  • A To Do Admin,
  • My goals for the month of March.
My onboarding schedule

Having access to these documents a few days before my arrival really reassured me because :

  • I knew all the steps of my onboarding,
  • I knew what I was going to do the first few days,
  • I was already familiar with how the teams work,
  • I already had one foot in the corporate culture,
  • I noticed that the Elevo team was extremely attentive to theonboarding of its new employees

What you need to remember if you have an onboarding to prepare 

You can prepare a pre-boarding, keeping in mind that the primary purpose of this step is to reassure your new employees. Show them that everything is ready to welcome them. 
Before their arrival, provide your new employees with documents (schedule, explanatory note, checklist, etc.) that will allow them to have visibility on their onboarding process. Onboarding is as much about form (the basics that are sometimes neglected: computer configured, email address ready, badge, etc.) as it is about substance. Regarding this last point, make sure that your new employees understand your expectations, without putting too much pressure on them. 

Hospitality in a hybrid organizational model

After my pre-boarding, it was time for me to jump into the deep end...

The Morning Coffee

I spent my first two days at Elevo because I wanted to see some of my colleagues "in person". Despite the sanitary conditions, I was able to bond with the people there. But with the rest of the team? 

At 9:43 a.m. on March 1, 2021, the employees in the office became agitated. Honestly, I didn't understand what was going on...

Selma: It's time for Morning Coffee! Follow me! 

Me: Okay, let's go!

Selma took her computer and we isolated ourselves. I then discovered the principle of Morning Coffee: every Monday at 9.45am, the team meets by videoconference to chat. Objective: to talk about everything except work! Everyone was there and I can tell you that the welcome was warm and friendly. 

For members present in the premises, isolation is important because it avoids any cacophony of noise and allows them to align themselves with the people in remote. This alignment is crucial to avoid creating a two-tiered company. At Elevo, activity is sometimes so intense that it is essential to control the flow of information between all employees. This control and fluidity of communication has a positive impact on employee engagement and overall execution because everyone is aligned.

The Daily Stand-up

Morning Coffee is not the only meeting of the day that brings the whole team together. 

Every day, at 12:15, it's time for the Daily Stand-up. In turn, each employee takes the floor and begins with the mythical phrase (the wording can change, I assure you): "My highlight of the day is..."

Objectives: 

  • To exchange in a friendly manner and to meet all together once a day, 
  • Highlight milestones so that everyone is aligned and working at the same pace. 

Thanks to these two meetings, I was immediately immersed in Elevo's culture, whose key words are dialogue, transparency, benevolence and alignment. For a hybrid organizational model to work, it's important that speech flows easily and freely, without fear of being judged. And for a new employee, it is essential to be immersed in such a culture very quickly, as it shows that the organization works and that its backbone is solid. 

What you need to remember if you have an onboarding to prepare

Organize a welcome call for your new employees
Outside of the Covid-19 period, also arrange a welcome breakfast or lunch to strengthen ties, 
Explain to your new employees all the little rituals of your company so that they are not caught off guard on the big day. What is routine for you can be a source of anxiety for your new employees, so don't hesitate to take 30 minutes of your time to introduce them to all the rituals that will punctuate their days. 
Ask yourself this very important question: How will I share my company's culture with them throughout their onboarding?

Communication and integration in a hybrid organizational model

After my two days of onboarding at Elevo, I was going to switch to full telecommuting (even outside of Covid-19 time). 

But, from home, how was I going to communicate with my manager and the rest of the team? How was I going to integrate from a distance?  

An onboarding point with my manager 

Selma, my manager, has scheduled an onboarding meeting every Thursday.
During this meeting, I talk about my blocking points, my objectives, my feelings... In other words, I can talk about everything and give her feedback on my onboarding. 

This weekly item proved to me how much :

  • The culture of feedback is ingrained at Elevo, 
  • Feedback from a new employee is taken into account at Elevo to improve the onboarding process. 

Apart from this Thursday ritual, Selma and I are connected to Discord so that we can talk very quickly if we need to. Knowing that your manager is available to answer all your questions should be the norm when onboarding. 

Meetings with each manager

In order to immerse myself even more in Elevo's organization and to have a 360° view of the missions and objectives of each team, meetings with all the managers were included in my onboarding schedule .

It was up to me to contact each manager. By doing this, I was immediately put in the position of initiator. In other words, I was also an actor in my onboarding.

Two meetings with the founders

Being well-boarded means not only understanding the projects underway, but also understanding what has happened and what will happen in the company. To do this, the two founders, Thibault Vilon and Étienne le Scaon, organized two meetings: 

  • Elevo History, which was intended to trace the history of the company, 
  • Kick-off 2021 Presentation, which focused on the future of Elevo. 

These two meetings were not lectures at all! Marie and I were able to ask all the questions we wanted and we appreciated that Etienne and Thibault were involved in our onboarding. 

They could have asked us to read a document on the history and future of Elevo... However, it was essential for them to explain the evolution of the company and to exchange with us on this subject. Throughout my remote onboarding, I felt the need to keep in touch with Marie and me. 

Slack & Google Calendar 

To communicate continuously at Elevo, we use Slack. Our Slack is divided into several channels: Sales, Marketing, Product, Customers, Virtual-office...

If needed, we call each other or schedule a meeting. All agendas are accessible, even those of the two founders, Etienne and Thibault. 

Transparency is vital in a hybrid organizational model. How can you communicate smoothly if certain elements are not accessible?

This is all the more important during a remote onboarding: a new employee needs a 360° view!

However, this 360-degree view doesn't mean you have to be connected all the time. At Elevo, you can log out of Slack to work on projects without interruption. In other words, you're also allowed to be unresponsive and unconnected. This doesn't impact the constant hustle and bustle, on the contrary, it's a way to maintain and increase it because all employees can focus on high value-added assignments. 

As a new employee, I appreciated this work philosophy because it has another virtue: during an onboarding, many recruits want to do a lot in the first few days, to be everywhere, on every subject, and their company has to tell them to "slow down". 

At Elevo, there is a balance between hyperconnection and non-connection, which contributes to the overall quality of execution and the successful integration of new employees! 

What you need to remember if you have an onboarding to prepare

Organize a weekly 30-45 minute meeting with each of your new employees. During this meeting, ask them questions about their feelings, their integration, their perception of the company... In other words, try to find out if they feel good, 
Facilitate ongoing communication between new and existing employees.
Promote transparency and feedback
Ask yourself if your new employees will have enough visibility on the organization, the projects in progress, the company's results or the business objectives, 
Make sure that every recruit meets all the managers
Allow your new employees to initiate actions during their onboarding, 
Also give them the right to non-reactivity so that they can focus on high value-added tasks or just take a breather because onboarding can be intense.

Why was my onboarding at Elevo amazing?

In my opinion, an onboarding is successful when it combines these three aspects: 

  • The human aspect: At Elevo, there is a real focus on integration. I've met not only talented but also caring individuals, 
  • The aspect corporate culture During my onboarding, I was carried by Elevo's values (transparency, alignment, benevolence, dialogue), 
  • The professional aspect: very quickly, I was operational because I was given all the keys to be operational (360° view on the work of each team and on the company's business objectives, available manager, regular feedback on my work...).


To-do List Onboarding

Prepare the onboarding of your new talents with our To Do List designed for managers!
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My first days of onboarding at Elevo or how to be onboarded in a hybrid organizational model 

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