Welcoming new Teamspirit recruits in a WFH world

By Jo Preston on Tuesday, 21 April 2020

In the first week of lockdown we welcomed two new people to the Teamspirit fold: Wendy, a new Director, and Olivia, a new Account Executive. Both bring fantastic skills and experience and we’re thrilled to have them. But joining a business right now is not the easiest thing to do – either practically or emotionally. And we’ve had very little time to prepare for a whole new way of bringing people on board and making sure they feel part of a team; many of whom they have never met.

The first issue was the logistics. Finding out where each of them was planning to spend the next few weeks and getting their equipment to them and set up properly. Secondly, and importantly, how should the induction period work? Making people feel welcomed and a part of the team is incredibly important to us, but most of the usual options are not available!

Everyone joining Teamspirit has a line manager as you would expect, but also a buddy. Someone designated to look out for them in those early weeks, that does the same job as them and can be a sounding board. Both buddies and line managers were in touch prior to the start date to introduce themselves and set up virtual coffees and lunches on the first day.

A full virtual induction took place during the course of the first week, from video calls with client teams, to inductions into all the tools and processes they would need to know to do their job in these early weeks. Our CEO Kirsty has had video calls to welcome Wendy and Olivia individually, and separately Adam, our MD, and myself have spent time with them to talk about the culture and ethos of Teamspirit, and make it clear that the virtual door is always open for questions or any struggles.

So much for the work aspect. But joining an agency is so much more than that, and we are a close-knit team so everyone felt very strongly that we needed some social activities as well. Olivia had an early team catch up and lunch with her fellow Account Executives, while Wendy’s first management meeting involved wine. We have a weekly Pruddle where the whole PR team catch up and run through everything from new business to client challenges to our news quiz of the week, but last week we extended it to become a welcome drinks on Zoom. It gave us all a chance to have a more informal catch up and get to know our new colleagues.

It’s not just the first week or two that will be challenging for new joiners. We will be making sure that we check in on an ongoing basis, and loop them into our wellbeing initiatives, from weekly mindfulness and yoga sessions to our Easter PR pub quiz. And they were of course included in the little gift we sent the whole team as a heartfelt thank you for their adaptability and positivity in these unusual times.

So welcome Wendy, welcome Olivia – we hope we’ve made you feel as much a part of Teamspirit as you would have done had your first day been in the office. We are already planning the face to face ‘welcome’ drinks when we can all be back together!

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