We are all adapting well to a new way of working away from our colleagues and team members – and none more so than in the games industry, which was very quick to mobilise staff to working from home.
We’re seeing studios continue to hire and grow their businesses, with interview processes successfully taking place via video conferencing. The next challenge, of course, is onboarding those members of staff who may not physically be with their new teams for some months
Like most things in this ‘new normal’, onboarding members of staff remotely is uncharted territory for most studios. But we have some ideas and suggestions on how to get the most from your new staff members, as well as making them feel welcome.
Getting to know your new staff is vital to ensuring that they feel part of the business and giving team leaders the confidence in their new hires – whether you’re in the office/studio or elsewhere. Whilst we’re all working remotely, make sure you spend time together for one-to-one video conferencing sessions and phone calls, giving them the opportunity to share any concerns, their thoughts and ideas, as well as providing you the opportunity to set goals and discuss work frames. Set a day and time to do this regularly, and stick to it.
In addition, make sure they are introduced properly to team members and ‘buddies’ and encourage members of the group to also have a set day/time for their one-to-ones with the new hire.
…AND TALKING OF ‘BUDDIES’
Make sure your new hire has someone that they can go to for things outside of their standard work commitments. It goes without saying that new staff should be given the appropriate training on company systems and technology, as well as a walk through relevant policies. But it’s often a lot to take in at once and, when someone joins a new studio or company, things like how to submit documents, how to access the server, how to navigate a task management system, submitting expenses, etc are solved by talking informally to colleagues. In a remote environment, it’s vital that your new hire knows that there’s someone they can go to whenever they need assistance.
MONITOR AND REVIEW
It’s obviously essential to monitor the progress of all new hires and garner their feedback, too. This doesn’t change with remote workers, but it’s vital that the process is formal and that new hires know exactly what their goals are in the short, medium and long terms.
GIVE THEM A SENSE OF BELONGING
Regular ‘socials’ such as quizzes are key to making sure all of your staff remain in touch with each other; they’re even more important for new hires getting to know their colleagues. We’ve also seen other tactics to help with onboarding, such as studios providing new team members with company-branded hoodies and mugs. A personalised ‘welcome’ letter from the boss to accompany the ‘swag bag’ is a nice touch, too.
Whilst companies in games and beyond are already looking ahead to bringing teams back together on site, it’s likely that remote working – plus remote hiring and onboarding – is with us for some time to come. Ensuring you have appropriate procedures in place across these areas will help you to attract and retain staff, to allow you to continue to grow your business.