If you’re a fresh graduate eager to kickstart your IT career or a seasoned professional looking to pivot into a different direction, the prospect of stepping into a new workplace may leave you feeling a mix of excitement and worry.
It’s natural to wonder how you’ll seamlessly fit into the company culture and mesh with your team. The burning question of how to prove yourself valuable and make a meaningful impact can loom large, adding to the pressure to perform at your absolute best from day one.
Over the years, our company recognized the highest importance of an effective and smooth onboarding process. We want to transform uncertainty into excitement and help new employees thrive. Hearing the concerns and fears of hundreds of interns and new hires helped us build our onboarding process today.
Beginnings can be scary
The feeling of uncertainty that comes with a new environment can often be magnified if the definition of success within that setting is not outlined, or if expectations remain unclear. We believe it is important to provide each new employee with a well-defined path during their probation, but also offer all the information and guidance they need to navigate that path.
As we welcome new talents into our company, the very first goal is to ensure everyone gains comprehensive insights into our company’s core values, policies, organizational structure, and vibrant culture. A strong foundation in these aspects lays the groundwork for their seamless integration and successful journey within our dynamic teams. To achieve this goal we accumulated broad documentation in various easy-to-grasp formats that help newbies quickly adapt.
New hires become part of the particular team from day one with a dedicated person as a mentor. From that point, the team lead(s) and mentor give precise steps and define their path for the next 6 months – that is how long the probation can last.
Make it safe, but challenging
The first weeks are reserved for learning – about the company, the teammates, the practices and technologies we utilize, and the industry in which the assigned team operates. A mix of guided sessions and time for independent exploration has proven to be an effective way of making new colleagues feel comfortable.
To help them explore beyond the team and project they are settling into, we provide various presentations and materials covering overarching technical and soft-skills topics we consider essential within the company.
Once they are settled and ready to contribute to the team, we delicately choose the right tasks to immerse them even deeper into the paradigms, technicalities, and processes that the team they onboarded to uses. We aim for each task to bring the flavor of challenge and push the person out of their comfort zone, while still ensuring it remains achievable.
Knowledge sharing is a two-way path
We have wholeheartedly embraced and continuously improved the concept of mentorship over the years. Its purpose is to assist new hires in staying focused on their tasks, work, and personal growth, rather than being burdened with the challenge of finding the right person for each question or impediment. Having a mentor means having a dedicated individual who will help define the goals, offer support whenever needed, encourage newbies to explore beyond the conventional, and provide continuous feedback.
Mentors share all the knowledge and wisdom they have but also are eager to hear and learn from their mentees by encouraging them to actively participate in all team discussions and bring a pair of fresh eyes that is an invaluable way for teams to gain a new perspective.
Feedback is necessary, but self-evaluation is irreplaceable
During the probation, there is a dedicated opportunity for the new employee to present completed work to the mentor, team leads and talent team every month. The idea is not to report what has been done or not; but to empower new employees to reflect on the previous month and assess what they have learned and done, what is the value for the team and product, and the next steps. Being in a position to do a self-evaluation, gives the new employees a break from day-to-day challenges, and lets them focus on the bigger picture. This way, they can check how their progress is going and what they need from their mentor and team to keep advancing their skills.
Furthermore, this gives a dedicated opportunity to the mentor and other closely involved team members to consolidate their day-to-day feedback for the mentee. Being on the same page about the progress, integration into the team and general understanding of how things are going is crucial for the new hires to feel reassured and confident for the next challenges.
Become part of the synergy
Through the culture we have developed over the years, we encourage all Atlanters to be part of the new hires’ integration and development. We nurture open communication and even have dedicated peer feedback during the probation period to help new hires ensure that they are developing social connections and contributing to the synergy we believe exists within each of our cross-functional teams.
Additionally, we try to make efforts to extend the warmest welcome to newbies – from team break to celebrate their very first day at work to various team and company events. Our aim is to genuinely connect, uncover shared interests and hobbies, and gain insights into their vision for their journey within our organization. Feeling embraced and valued is crucial to fostering a sense of belonging and enabling our new team members to envision themselves in their new workplace.
Take control of your career
As time passes, we expect our new employees to develop more independence and present more balanced and focused questions, ultimately empowering them to take control of their career paths.
When probation is over, we are happy to see excited and motivated individuals who want to navigate their career path and accelerate their progress,, putting all they learned during the probation into action and feeling confident they can thrive in the environment they chose to work within.