One way to face Covid-19: People
Back in early March, when Mark Rutte, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, advised the nation to work from home where possible to stop the spread of Covid-19, millions of workers had to change their offices for their living rooms, and all face-to-face interactions became virtual meetings.
But, for people job searching, the overall feeling was one of deep worry about the future. And yet, despite these uncertainties, many people were fortunate to find and successfully start new jobs during these trying times.
Even so, for those people starting new jobs during the high-point of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was anything but a regular onboarding. Imagine, your first day in a new job takes place entirely in your living room rather than an office. Instead of walking into a building feeling a mixture of nerves and excitement, you are perched on your sofa, juggling introductory Microsoft Teams calls as you receive waves of information over email.
To ease the experience of remote onboarding at Keylane, our Learning and Development team devised several creative and effective ways to make things as comfortable and smooth as possible for our new starters. They dedicated all their efforts to ensuring our new Keylaners would be onboarded in a fun, engaging and constructive manner.
At Keylane, we feel this is an important story to share, because, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, we as a business are thriving and growing at an unprecedented rate. To give you some perspective on our current growth, Keylane has hired 76 people in the Benelux and DACH from April to September, and 34 in the Nordics, with a total of 110 people since the Covid-19 crisis began.
Only in the month of June we welcomed 28 new employees, 8 of them being our newest Tech Campers, talent that now, in September, have concluded their programme and are now joining our developers teams.
These numbers speak for themselves, and can confidently say that our Talent Acquisition and Learning and Development teams have worked extremely hard – and thoroughly delivered -, despite the unknown and sometimes extraordinary challenges the Covid-19 pandemic has created for all of us.
We asked our Learning and Development teams to share their methods and insights about how the HR team at Keylane has been able to not only hire new talent, but also succeed in onboarding the people digitally:
- Building relationships and being engaged has been our top priority and approach in these strange times. One of our new employees said “you can have all the apps in the world. The fanciest brand. Wine delivered to your door. But nothing beats just being human and engaging with others”.
- We have planned and structured our remote onboardings underlining empathy and understanding. We have asked ourselves “How would we like to be greeted?” “What would make us feel appreciated and looked after?” “What information do we need on day one to feel like a welcomed Keylaner?”. We have shared this plan with all new employees, as it was vital to us that they felt reassured that Keylane has their best interests at heart.
- As we wanted every newcomer to feel appreciated, we made sure that their welcome gifts were delivered directly to their homes. Under normal circumstances, new employees receive their gifts at the office, during their first day of onboarding.
- Creating a sense of closeness during Covid-19 times has been, and still is, a challenge, so we wanted to make sure that new employees felt a true connection to us, to each other and to the rest of the company. We provided our new employees with several points of contact: HR, management, department colleagues and fellow team members. We also created new processes for when they are able to return to the office, by organising a warm welcome, an additional gift and a dedicated colleague to guide them through the ropes.
- Daily points of contact: We established and structured communication with our new employees, through daily stand-ups and several touch points throughout the day. At the same time, we left the door open for informal and friendly communication by encouraging our existing employees to reach out to our new Keylaners for a phone call or chat.
The results? Satisfied and enthusiastic new Keylaners, ready to take on responsibilities, and empowered by a well-structured, organised and natural onboarding experience.
As we settle into our new normal, and continue to welcome new colleagues to help us support our expanding customer base, we are extremely mindful of the many challenges that lay ahead. We are not resting on our laurels or taking our current growth for granted. And though we are proud to be prospering during these difficult times, continuing to deliver excellent services to both our existing and new customers, we are always looking to the future for ways to get ahead and stay ahead. As we so frequently tell our prospects, we also tell ourselves: “What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow”.
There will also be challenges in business, both known and unknown. Having the best people in the right roles has helped propel Keylane above and beyond expectations. If we can prosper in the trying times of Covid-19, and continue to welcome new staff, we’re confident in our ability to prosper well into the future – no matter whatever surprises it may hold for us all.