How to Navigate the Onboarding Process in a Hybrid Work Environment

Learn how the teams at Riskified and Gemini help both in-office and remote new hires build connections, grow their knowledge and gain support from leaders.

Written by Olivia McClure
Published on Jan. 05, 2023
How to Navigate the Onboarding Process in a Hybrid Work Environment
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Many of us have been on a video call with both in-office and remote employees when the audio echoes or an internet connection is suddenly lost, causing stalled discussions and subsequent laughter. 

Hybrid working models can be challenging for many reasons, especially when it comes to meetings. As such, perhaps one of the trickiest elements to navigate within this environment is the meetings-rich onboarding process, when making a good impression is critical. 

In the remote-first and office-optional environment of digital asset company Gemini, the fully remote new-hire orientation is a thorough undertaking. According to People Operations Associate Desmond Tetrault, the company’s new hires not only get an impressive swag-filled welcome kit complete with a commemorative NFT; they meet with their managers at least once a week, have access to various social Slack channels and are encouraged to participate in in-person team gatherings. 

One of the most important aspects of onboarding is having the chance to build connections and better understand the business. In an effort to foster this, e-commerce platform provider Riskified pairs each new hire with a “buddy” who acts as a go-to source for any questions they may have about the company. 

The organization’s learning and development partner, Ally Metcalf, said the onboarding process also involves activities such as Q&A and meet-and-greet sessions, so new team members have plenty of chances to get to know their peers. She added that leaders are equipped with various orientation materials, including individualized training plans and lists of employees with whom to connect new hires, facilitating their networking across the company. 

These two local employers prove that, while onboarding can be challenging in a hybrid environment, there are plenty of ways to make it a success. Tetrault and Metcalf caught up with Built In NYC to share how their teams make the orientation process as seamless as possible for both in-office and remote employees. 

 

Desmond Tetrault
People Operations Associate • Gemini

Gemini’s products enable individuals and organizations to buy, sell and store cryptocurrency. 

 

What is your company’s approach to onboarding a new hybrid employee?

Gemini continues to maintain a remote-first and office-optional working model. Our onboarding process is fully remote and includes orientation meetings, training sessions and activities for new hires from across the world. 

Our mission is to “unlock the next era of financial, creative and personal freedom,” which includes giving our employees, or “astronauts,” the flexibility of choice. Some new hires request to work from one of our offices when they begin their roles, and we always do our best to accommodate them and provide the best possible onboarding experience.

 

THE GEMINI WELCOME KIT

Tetrault said new hires can expect a lot of swag when they join the company, including a shirt, notebook, water bottle, tote bag and gift card to be used on more merchandise of their choosing. New team members also have the opportunity to mint a unique NFT commemorating their first week at the company, which reflects the company’s commitment to helping more people engage with digital assets.

 

When onboarding a fully remote new hire, what steps do you take to make sure they feel included and can connect with their team members?

Leaders at Gemini are equipped with all of the necessary materials to set up their new team members for success. As a new hire comes onboard, they meet with their manager at least once a week. Each manager introduces new hires to the other members on their team and provides a list of people across the organization for them to connect with. There are a number of Slack channels designed to make team members feel welcomed and included, such as one that randomly pairs employees to get to know each other, plus an events channel promoting social programs and a channel dedicated to employee resource groups. Teams are also encouraged to gather in-person for off-site meetings a few times each year.

 

 

Ally Metcalf
Learning and Development Partner • Riskified

Riskified’s e-commerce platform is designed to help online retailers maximize revenue, reduce costs and mitigate fraud. 

 

What is your company’s approach to onboarding a new hybrid employee?

Our onboarding program consists of live sessions held over Zoom, which can be joined virtually or in meeting rooms at our offices. These sessions cover topics that offer exposure to every part of the business and enable employees to meet others across the company. With activities, Q&As and meet-and-greets, new hires have the chance to interact with everyone in their onboarding cohort, which typically consists of employees in every department from all over the world. 

With activities, Q&As and meet-and-greets, new hires have the chance to interact with everyone in their onboarding cohort.”

 

When onboarding a fully remote new hire, what steps do you take to make sure they feel included and can connect with their team members?

Each new hire interacts with various members of the HR team to ensure they feel welcome and understand the support that is available to them as they get settled in. New employees are also often matched with a “buddy” who can answer any questions they may have and give them the lay of the land. 

Our learning team provides hiring managers with onboarding resources, including individualized training plans and a recommended list of people with whom new hires can meet across the company. Leadership training also includes information on how to welcome new hires and enable them to get to know teammates, as well as ways to approach team dynamics with a blend of in-person and remote employees.

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images courtesy of listed companies and Shutterstock.

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