While COVID-19 has impacted the workforce in myriad unprecedented ways, hiring has not ground to a halt. However, onboarding and starting a new role looks very different now than it once did, with most (if not all) of the process happening remotely.
At GSG, our new HR Manager, Deanna Silverman, experienced this firsthand, as she joined the team at the onset of the pandemic and started her new role without meeting any of the team in person. We spoke with her to learn about what her experience was like, and to share some tips she picked up as she went through the process.
Deanna, thank you for sharing some of your experience with us today! Can you tell us what it was like to join GSG as we were all working remotely due to COVID-19?
I actually started the interview process prior to Covid-19, but I am located on the East Coast so my entire interview process was virtual. It turned out to be great practice, since we didn’t know things were going to change so drastically in the coming months! When I started working in April, I was already familiar with both the video technology tools GSG uses, and a lot of people from the video interviews. Since everyone at GSG was now working remotely, it was actually a very smooth transition.
Having recently gone through it, what are some tips or tricks you’d share with someone who will be starting a new role remotely?
The number one thing is you have to flexible. It’s also important to still be engaging and collaborative, even though you are not in the same physical space as your team members. In terms of working from home, it’s important to create a comfortable workspace for yourself so you can focus on your new role. I get up and get dressed every day as if I am heading into the office. You need to set a routine for yourself, so you feel good when starting each day.
How did you build connections with the team?
One of my first assignments at GSG was to video call everyone on the team. Making that first introduction and learning about all the different people who work at GSG was so important. It was great to make personal connections with the people I see every morning on our daily call. These one-on-one calls were instrumental in my immediate comfort level at my new role and it gave the team an opportunity to get to know me on a personal level.
Did GSG do anything that made the process particularly smooth?
The team at GSG had great communication, set really clear expectations and checked in with me regularly – which all made the process easier. I felt supported from day one. I was also assigned a fantastic manager who encouraged me to ask many questions on a daily basis, which helped me get up to speed quickly.
Any key learns or takeaways?
You can have a very successful onboarding experience with a new company if you are open-minded and ask for help when you are stuck. There are many people within your organization who want you to succeed and are willing to help. You cannot be afraid of showing vulnerability, especially since this is a new environment for most people and most companies.
You will have the ability to shine, too, if you engage yourself with your teammates and tackle the projects that are assigned to you.
One last thing I’ll share, is every week I send a quick note or call those team members I don’t work with on a daily basis. It lets them know someone is thinking of them, and helps us all feel connected despite the physical distance.
Thanks again, Deanna! It’s been wonderful to welcome you to the team, and I know our Charlotte office will be thrilled to have you onsite once everything is open again.
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