New jobs during the crown

How can enterprises make the best use and hire new employees in virtual teams when many work remotely? Here, researchers share their tips. Credit: iStock / Chainarong Prasertthai

Now that “everyone” works from home, it can be difficult for companies to recruit and hire new employees. How can new employees be productive and feel like they belong in the workplace when they work from home? According to scientists, there are good recommendations for dealing with this and, therefore, there is no reason to postpone action.

Joining or organizational socialization is a process that helps newcomers become integrated members of their new organization. This may be new employees entering the business, a person who changes work within the organization, or a consultant who enters a new project on the client’s territory. All of them will be integrated into a new department or into a new field of knowledge.

An outbreak of coronavirus and subsequent infection control measures have led employees to work remotely, which creates a difficult situation for the traditional reception of new employees. However, registering – accepting new employees – in a virtual team environment is not new.

“Many companies have extensive experience in this, for example, in IT projects that exist in almost global networks, where everyone works from different places. Research-based guidelines on this topic have also been developed. However, switching to virtual teams often requires a more structured approach than that commonly used for co-localized teams, ”says Sintef's Niels Brede Moe.

Thus, this applies to people who are new to the organization, or to those who are going to take part in a new project or a new part of the business. Through the adaptation process, new entrants will learn the skills, knowledge and behavior necessary to achieve success and productivity in their work.

The faster you have time on board the new employeeThe faster a person can make a productive contribution to a new organization or role. A new employee will also feel faster at workmanship, which in turn will increase his motivation and job satisfaction.

Time is money – delays can be costly

Mo has done significant research on how we work together in technology companies the use of autonomous teams, and last but not least, the way we work with projects that do not require us to sit in close physical proximity to each other.

He says there is no reason to postpone the adaptation process:

Many projects and companies are lagging behind when it comes to hiring new employees, which in turn means that key initiatives are delayed, that people don’t have time to start work earlier, or that companies cannot transfer resources to new key areas effectively. Instead of hiring, enterprises begin to decline, and the total cost of creation is reduced.

“Now we continue to hear about projects that are postponed or canceled, about projects that can have a great social or business impact on the stakeholders we work with,” says Moe.

He advises companies that they need to “just get down to business” and look for innovative ways to hire new employees and launch projects from scratch.

“The main question is how companies can best integrate new employees into virtual teams that do not physically sit together,” he says.

Make a new normal

A new team member should be familiar with the team's daily routine and general methods. She needs to show where to find information, whom she may ask to receive this information, and how best to receive it. It is also important to get an idea of ​​the organizational culture and norms in the workplace: how it should work and socially interact with the team, and how it can succeed in its role and grow in the organization.

“We studied adaptation in virtual teams. Based on our findings, we can offer some suggestions on how adaptation can be carried out in the current circumstances. We used the famous Tal N. Bauer model in our research, ”he says. Mou.

Here are six recommendations from researchers for companies that hire new employees during the crown:

During dialing

“Recruiting is more than analyzing resumes and interviews to assess the competence and suitability of a candidate. It is equally important to provide good information about the current work, as the goal is to set appropriate expectations for the new employee and satisfy them. ” ,

Hint: the team that will accept the new members should actively participate in the recruitment processes, and this also means participating in the selection of staff. Recruitment team members are much more positive about the adaptation process. When a team can influence who they hire, it will further strengthen its autonomy. The team leader, technical manager and product owner should be part of this process.

Create an introductory program that helps new employees understand the most important aspects of their new job and business. This should also apply to company culture and company values. For example, the banking sector is a highly regulated industry, so it is important to train employees in legal and regulatory requirements.

Tip. Provide a detailed idea of ​​what your business is doing and its technical solutions. Start solving real problems as soon as possible. A beginner should not spend too much time on a school bench. This means that they must solve work tasks together with others at an early stage.

Ensure full familiarity with key employees and find various resources on the Internet.

Create Support Tool

The support tool should consist of a written plan: an official document indicating the terms, goals, responsibilities and support resources for all new employees. This plan plays an important role in clarifying expectations and providing access to useful resources, ideally through high-quality checklists.

Tip: all members of the virtual team and key employees should be familiar with the plan. You should also provide an overview of practical issues such as access, security, non-disclosure, and how to use various tools and equipment, and how equipment, such as a computer and telephone, should be provided to an employee in a virtual organization.

Communicate with each other and leave feedback

New employees need ongoing feedback and guidance to understand their role. During the actual registration, this is a mutual responsibility – the novice should actively seek feedback, and the manager should regularly provide feedback.

Tip: Make one-on-one video calls — with a mentor, team leader, and ideally with several other people in the group. The team should often communicate with each other, preferably daily, and reflect on the experience gained at an early stage, in order to find out what works and what does not, and strengthen the team. When a new employee feels more confident, he will feel more comfortable asking questions that are important for quick clarifications. Keep in mind that having adequate tools for virtual meetings is important.

It would also be wise to have a system that shows what everyone is constantly working with, why they do it and when they have time to talk about it.

Practice together!

Set up training activities that include professional work assignments and tasks related to collaboration and communication, in accordance with the employee’s abilities and job requirements. It would be nice to provide a dedicated virtual training portal or an overview of useful tools.

Tip: training activities should be held regularly. In particular, IT industry should use effective learning methods that work remotely, such as pair programming, mobile programming, Coding Dojo, and code verification. After each workout, you should evaluate what worked and what didn’t.

Training and support are important

A good mentoring program seems like one of the most important factors for virtual new employees. In a study where researchers looked at the effectiveness of having a mentor in virtual teams it was found that after 12 weeks, the mentor had a significant effect after 5 weeks. (Inclusion in Open Source Projects, 2014, Fagerholm, Guinea, Borenstein, Munich)

New employees with a designated mentor were five times more active than those without a mentor. To benefit from a scheme, it should not be terminated prematurely. It also pays off financially: research suggests that a regular training course for a new employee can take up to two years. Using a mentor can speed up the time it takes to become fully productive.

Another key finding is that new employees require frequent informal communication with other project participants. This increases confidence and makes it easier for new employees to directly contact senior team members.

Tip: A mentor should be a central figure in the team and well versed in technical aspects. Do not choose a mentor, simply based on who has more free time. However, the mentor should be able to make a commitment to closely monitor the employee through digital means, such as frequent one-on-one video communications and messaging via Slack, Yammer, or similar informal communication channels.

During virtual adaptation, the new employee should also be able to communicate with other people in the same situation. For example, if several new employees are recruited at the same time (as new employees or consultants), they should have their own network where they can discuss and share experiences.

Here's how Norwegian companies are preparing their registration processes right now:

The hiring process at Storebrand Savings and Insurance Company has not been suspended, although telework has become the new norm.

“We welcome 15 new employees on April 1. Now we have to do it a little different than we are used to. On the first day, they will personally come to our Lysaker headquarters to pick up the computer and access them. ” from there they will work virtually, ”says Live Leer, Head of Learning and Leadership at Storebrand.

She believes that virtual adaptation requires more structure than usual.

“The main goal of the registration process is to quickly give you a sense of ownership, pride and belonging. New employees should feel that they have made the right choice and are well taken care of, even if at present we cannot meet physically, "she says.

Storebrand solved this problem by creating a digital program for beginners: Smart Start April 2020. It consists of three key points:

  • Acquaintance with the company; his strategy, goal and why we do what we do at Storebrand.
  • Familiarity with systems so that they can quickly work independently. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the systems that others are working with as soon as possible.
  • Getting started with training and development. Get to know our teaching philosophy: you must “learn by doing,” doing your job.

“It is important that people on board meet with people from the entire organization, not only with their team, but also with people from different areas. Systems should also be installed to allow new employees to also create networks and share experiences. ” says live ler.

The company has already created several compulsory courses available online, on topics such as money laundering, anti-corruption work, and ethics.

“We don’t really know how the process of attracting new people through the virtual environment will occur, as this is a new experience for us. Therefore, we need to be humble, experience it, measure the Results and learn from them in order to make the necessary changes. New employees should be closely monitored, and feedback is important, "she says, and adds:

“The human resources department (Group HR) and individual managers will maintain close contact with them – digitally. Storebrand also works with managers to include them in the process and to make sure everyone is following our new hiring and that they are picking up speed as soon as possible, ”says Leer.

The company also keeps abreast, often measuring employee engagement. Each employee receives a set of questions for anonymous evaluations and comments, which gives managers frequent feedback on how their teams work and the ability to quickly make the necessary changes to maintain a high level of involvement of the entire workforce of the company.

Virtual coffee breaks and lunch quiz

At Kantega, a consulting firm, training is also in full swing. They strive to ensure that their consultants quickly begin to carry out various tasks.

“This is important for clients who have tasks that need to be addressed, and for consultants who need to perform meaningful tasks. We do not want them to be inactive. We want our consultants to enjoy their work and quickly integrate into a new team, feel a sense of skill and become productive as soon as possible. That's why we created some guidelines based on research and our own experience, ”says Kantega Siv Holen.

“We focus on dialogue with our customers on how to adapt. This is a process that now requires a more structured approach than before, not to mention the importance of involving all parties. ”

“Therefore, it is important to agree on who does what, so that the consultant is hired and can quickly build networks at the client’s place. "People no longer talk around the coffee machine, and this has always been a great place." ask questions and catch up. The teams have a lot of noiseless knowledge, tips and tricks, which for the most part are undocumented, ”she says.

Holen believes that this can contribute to positive changes in the long run:

“What we are doing now is that we are getting better with a good structure for the adaptation process that we will bring with us after this is over,” she says.

However, the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus also pose many problems, for example, the fact that it was sometimes difficult to get computers from clients who need a consultant to work with client equipment. In many places, you also need to be physically present at the workplace to connect to certain systems.

“In such cases, we need to collaborate and find good solutions that allow the consultant to get started quickly.”

The consulting business is working on a mentoring scheme. Currently, the emphasis is on creating useful and convenient spaces for communication and training in the new virtual everyday life. Consultants are accustomed to using pair programming as the best way to enter a new project and get to know other team members. This is especially true now that everyone is working from home. The social dimension in the workplace is also important and takes precedence in ordinary everyday life, and this is still so.

“My team has virtual coffee breaks every day at 10 o’clock. This is an important place for new people on the team. During lunch, we conduct video quizzes throughout the organization in Cantega. This is a fun project that can help alleviate some of the need for social contact, which we are all missing out on right now, ”says Kantega's Siv Holen.

Work at home does not make us less productive

New jobs at work during the crown (2020, April 2)
retrieved April 3, 2020

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