Wojciech Gąciarz

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How I’ve become a part of the #SynergyCodesSquad – the onboarding process at Synergy Codes

How I’ve become a part of the #SynergyCodesSquad – the onboarding process at Synergy Codes

Next to salaries, the onboarding process is one of the critical factors that decide if a new employee stays in an IT company for longer. Let’s take a quick look at how we approach this unique and paramount period in Synergy Codes and what you can expect.   

Why is the onboarding process so important and how do we know we need it?  

Although our motto is feedback during the recruitment process and everyday work, we don’t forget about onboarding. In Synergy Codes, we firmly believe that an IT company’s success resides in people, and that’s why we want to make our organization a safe and comfortable place for employees from the very beginning.  

How do we do that? By creating a friendly vibration and taking the corny slogan, a human-centered approach, seriously. Consequently, every member of our squad knows that their opinion is vital and has an impact. As a result, employees can develop their skills because they challenge themselves and pursue to achieve their goals.   

When we were brainstorming the onboarding process and wondered what it should look like and what parts it should consist of, our motivation was to create a strategy that would keep an individual approach to every new employee. The onboarding period is not like a corporate procedure but a flexible process that allows for all new employee’s unique features and needs.   

We came up with a Buddy program to enhance our new members’ confidence during the first days even more. The program establishes a Buddy that is a member of the Synergy Codes Squad dedicated to taking care of a new employee. Buddy is the first person you can ask questions to about organizational matters and your everyday duties. He helps new team members find themselves among new people and in a new environment.  

Ready, steady, go… ooh shit, we must freeze the onboarding process. Covid-19 is here.  

The onboarding process was just about to start when we had to freeze our ambitious plan due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our first decision was to cancel all recruitments process, except ongoing ones. However, when autumn came, we finally could implement onboarding into practice. The time of tests has become.   

First, we needed to train our Leaders and deploy them into the onboarding strategy. Secondly, we had to remember to gather feedback from newbies to know their opinion on if our process is effective and how we can enhance it.  

But the pandemic realized that we don’t need to limit our recruitment research to Wrocław and the nearest region. That’s why currently we hire IT specialists from the whole country.  

What can you expect from the unexpected? Steps of the onboarding process at Synergy Codes 

When the first shock caused by Covid-19 passed, and we got used to a new reality, we finally could announce the beginning of the onboarding process. It lasts for three months and some of the crucial moments on this road are the very first days.   

Beginnings that is what you can expect before your first day?  

We know that the first day of new work can be stressful and nerve-racking. Well, we all have been in this place, and we all felt the same thrill of uncertainty. Our onboarding process aims to make you and other new employees feel less uncertain.  

That’s why we take care of our new members even before they come to our office, just after the recruitment process. Before starting the job, our HR team sends you a first day’s schedule, where you can find all essential information about what you will be doing during that day.  But it’s not the end. As a new man on board, you should except more attractions, such as meetings with teams leaders. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions, listen to what we deal with during our everyday work and just break the ice. 

After the hiring process, you receive a welcome card – an informal invitation to join our #SynergyCodesSquad. Also, before starting a new job, you are invited to our internal integration events – parties in our office and company retreats. We are aware that the recruitment process can be long, that’s why we keep in contact with candidates during their notice periods.   

First day = Big day  

The first day’s schedule is tight, including a pack of activities, but the most important are meetings with Buddy and a Recruiter. Buddy is a person who will be your guide during the onboarding process, and an HR Recruiter is a person who a candidate already has got to know during the recruitment process. Thanks to these meetings (we hope), you can feel a little less strange in a new place.  

During a meeting with the HR Recruiter, you will receive an onboarding book that will be your Synergy Codes Bible. In this book, you will get to know our teams, benefits, worktime rules, self-development ways, how to take days off, where your desk is, and many, many more. Collaterally, you will receive a #SynergyCodesSquad Book to get to know each squad’s member closer.  

Before your first day, our HR Recruiter will ask you to answer some questions, which will help introduce you to other members of our squad. And the first day is the moment we publish your answers on our slack channel. Usually, this is the easiest way to initiate chats that quickly transfer from online to offline.  

Whether you live in Wrocław or somewhere else, we meet face-to-face in our office on the first day. If you aren’t from Wrocław, we bear the cost of accommodation.  

How long does the onboarding process take? 

The first day is just the beginning because our onboarding process lasts three months and it’s time when you are getting familiar with people, internal rules, and new duties. You can ask for help from anyone during this time, but the most helpful will be your Buddy and your Leader.  

A Leader is a person you report to and with whom you assign your individual self-development goal for an onboarding process. You two have your regular and individual 1 on 1 meetings during and after the onboarding process, which are an occasion to sum up your progress and talk about how you feel at work. 

Meetings with Buddy and Leader are regular so that you are in touch with the closest people in the organization, can effortlessly ask for help, resolve doubts and get to know your team better.  

The leader is responsible for organizing meetings with your Project Manager as well, who explains to you everything about work planning in our organization. Apart from that, you will also meet with our VP of Engineering that will reveal details of our services and technology that we use on regular basis. 

Because designers, in common with developers, are the heart of our organization, it would be a shame not to get to know them a little bit closer. That’s why HR Department will organize a meeting between you and other new members and our the most creative people on board.  

As you can see first 2-3 weeks in Synergy Codes are filled with meetings with our staff. Although it might seem a little bit overwhelming, we firmly believe that getting to know people as soon as possible is the most effective way to feel in a new place certain and comfortable.  

Your onboarding process’s summary, feedback, and hopefully a continuation of an adventure  

In Synergy Codes, we value reliable and sincere feedback. That’s why our onboarding process ends with a 3-steps summary.   

  • Within the first step, the HR Recruiter meets with the Leader to talk about the effects of the new employee’s onboarding process. Next, they send a feedback poll to the closest colleagues to gather information on how they like working with a new member on board.   
  • The second step is meeting with the Leader dedicated to summing up your progress during the onboarding process. You will talk about your main tasks and their effects, your strengths, and if there are fields for improvement. It’s the best opportunity to know your position in career development.  
  • Finally, the third step is meeting with an HR department, which focuses on passing general feedback to you, including opinions from HR, your Leader, and colleagues.   

#SynergyEffect – let’s get to know closer!  

The apple of our eyes is SynergyEffect – periodic meetings where our newbies can get to know better with the HR department and the CEO. Such meetings take place once a quarter. The idea is simple – we gather in the office’s kitchen, order a few boxes of delicious pizza, talk, laugh, and enjoy time together. To add some spices and heat the atmosphere, our HR specialists prepare a box with a list of 100 unconventional questions.   

Let’s see what our CEO tells us about SynergyEffect:  

“Before the first edition of #SynergyEffect, I didn’t know what to expect, but the formula and the effect made a great impression. We don’t have enough time to spend two hours talking about private life, hobbies and listening to our employees’ stories in our daily work. During these 2 hours with the new members, we can eat pizza together, talk, get to know each other better, and laugh to tears, answering the questions from the magic box prepared by our HR. I am delighted that such an initiative has arisen. Thanks to this, I can get to know everyone well, connect their face with an individual story and establish a friendly relationship with them.”  

On the other hand, our newbies highlight that SynergyEffect meetings reduce stress levels and break the ice with the HR team and CEO.   

Gotta love the improvements – measuring the onboarding process’s effectiveness  

We know that even a good process might be done better. That’s why we don’t close our eyes to improvements and ask employees for feedback focused on their onboarding process.   

At the end of the process, we conduct an onboarding survey. Every new member receives two polls. Each one consists of questions rated on a ten-point scale. The first one concerns the onboarding process, and the second one the Buddy program. The interviewee points out these elements of the onboarding process which need improvements and can share their ideas.  

As for now, NPS for the onboarding process equals 75, and as for the Buddy program, NPS equals 54.   

Thanks to NPS, we know which of our ideas are effective and which should be improved or just rejected. What is especially valuable are interviewees’ ideas, which we try to implement into the onboarding process. So far, we have implemented such concepts as:  

  • a schedule for the first week/two weeks in the firm,   
  • joined meetings with Buddy and Leader,  
  • scheduling a feedback meeting with HR on the first day.  

Look into the future  

What does the future bring? It is a mystery, but we are sure it will be filled with new exciting projects. We are currently working on new ideas that can enhance our onboarding process and make Synergy Codes an even friendlier place for new people. At the beginning of the new year, we implemented a welcome pack that is a bag of lovely firm gadgets for our newbies, including t-shirts, backpacks, notebooks, and mugs.  

And this is only the beginning. We test new solutions and analyze which of them are effective and which should be developed or rejected.  We don’t know what the future brings, but we will still work on how to evaluate the onboarding process.  

Let’s check our open positions and find out if we are looking for someone like you. Who knows, perhaps you will be the next member of #SynergyCodesSquad and have got an opportunity to go through our onboarding process.