Digital icebreakers: The view from inside Adjust’s remote onboarding
Starting in a new company is always nervewracking: lots of faces to remember, passwords to learn, and first impressions to make. But for new hires in the coronavirus era, they're navigating the unfamiliar world of remote working while dealing with all the typical first-day hiccups.
The view from inside
Marco Cavallo Jr. was one of the new starters that took part in the first remote onboarding process at Adjust last month. As Partnership Manager for the LATAM market, Marco made the trip from Brazil to Berlin for the first week of onboarding, with no idea of what was about to unfold. The Learning & Development team was already in self-isolation after their team event in Tenerife — and things were moving fast.
Marco said: "I got in Berlin on March 1st, there wasn't any kind of crazy stuff at that point. The first week was already a bit different from usual because we had a lot of sessions online, due to the fact the company was already telling people that — if they felt safer — they could stay at home. And in my view it was prudent. So the onboarding was partially online and partially presentations [from the department heads still in Berlin]."
"I remember our first weekend, we saw an increase in coronavirus situations worldwide, and of course we were a bit worried. On Monday I went to the office and they decided that the office was going to be closed until — at that point — March 23rd... So then the second week was in Berlin, but completely online. The third week, due to further developments, we all decided to come home early."
Screenshot of Adjust Onboarding Gameshow
Despite the challenging situation, Marco didn't feel that the remote onboarding was inferior to live sessions he was part of in his previous companies.
"What can I say about the training itself? I think it was super productive, of course, it required a level of discipline from the attendees, but I think it is a good measurement of commitment. Because it is a lot of information, that's for sure."
"The way the training works — the quality is amazing, I've never seen quality like that, anywhere, in any of my previous companies. I wish I had ATOM [Adjust Training and Onboarding Material, our online learning portal] five years ago. It was just perfect."
"We used Kahoot! to test us over the three weeks. It was funny, it lit a little competition among us. So in that situation, when you're studying, it makes you walk that extra mile to learn a bit better. So I finished in third overall, I was the second place of the losers! It was fun, it was interesting."
Screenshot of onboarding Kahoot! challenge
Marco was especially impressed with how the team performed in unfamiliar circumstances: "My perception is that, first of all, the training team were all heroes. This was all of a sudden, they needed to reinvent themselves, and they did it marvelously. Because we now have the tools, we have the knowledge — and we have the sessions that were recorded.”
“So if I want to revisit them, I can revisit them. And that, for me, is priceless because maybe in this crazy situation they found a way to give permanent knowledge for new starters. And stumbled upon something that could be a lasting solution."
"All-in-all, it was a very nice experience. One thing that was very interesting was the attention and the kindness that Romy — Romy was specifically very close to us [in Sales and Partnerships] — but Romy, Imna, Andrea, Matt, the attention all of them gave to us was something that made us feel closer to them. Even though we never met in person, I feel extremely comfortable today if I need to schedule a meeting with them, if I need to ask them stuff."
"They were super nice and realistic in their feedback. I am the kind of person who thinks that feedback is a gift. I was very pleased to understand that this is part of the culture of Adjust, that feedback is a gift. For the time that I was in Berlin it was very nice, because I had the opportunity of meeting with Christian, meeting Paul — I had actually met Paul previously when he came down to Brazil. Even though a lot of the onboarding was remote, it gave us a fantastic sense of the culture, we made fantastic friends out of this onboarding."****
Back on the grind
In terms of advice for future hires at Adjust, Marco advises, "Stay committed, keep your discipline and be sure that you're going to be a new person at the end of the three weeks. You enter as one person but the amount of knowledge that course brings you, you're going to come out different."
"My piece of advice to the newbies would be; commit yourself to these three weeks, because they're going to make a difference to your future at Adjust. And separate some time and some space in your house. I have a kid, I have a wife, I had no interference from them, because I close my office door and I tell them 'Pretend that I'm not here', but still at lunchtime I have lunch with them. It's just like having a portal. I'm a nerd, I'm a geeky guy, so I thought of it as a portal. In here, I'm in Berlin, I get out of here, I'm with my family. Just have that feeling."
To read the first part of this series, on how the Learning & Development team is coping with the COVID-19 crisis, click here. If you're interested in opportunities at Adjust, you can find our careers page here.