We have adapted to Covid-19 through transforming our physical inductions into a digital experience for our new starters.

It can be daunting joining a new company at the best of times, but it is no doubt a harder experience in the middle of a pandemic whilst working remotely. In response, our Support Services, HR and Employee Experience Teams have worked tirelessly throughout COVID to ensure the best remote experiences possible for all employees.

This has included moving our onboarding and induction sessions into a digital format. We needed to ensure a seamless experience for our new joiners so that they felt part of the Version 1 team and had all of their necessary equipment from day 1.

Ahead of our new joiners starting with us, we always let them know what to expect from their first 6 weeks, from an outline of their first day to our inductions sessions and our buddy programme. This was more important than ever as we moved to digital onboarding. Luckily in Version 1, we have always had a digital mindset, using online forms, Docusign and webinars prepared for our new joiners. This made our transition to 100% digital onboarding as seamless as possible.

Digital Inductions

Our biggest challenge was our induction day. Before COVID, new joiners based in Ireland, for example, would have come together in our Dublin Head office meeting our CEO and other key stakeholders from across the business. When COVID hit, we needed to quickly transition this format into a digital one, keeping the sessions engaging and interactive. This gave us the opportunity to bring all of our new joiners from all locations together for their digital induction.

Above: A recent virtual onboarding session with our new starters.

The aim of our digital inductions is to give our new starters a good overview of Version 1, our culture, our people and our customers. Now, instead of a one day face to face induction in Ireland, UK and India, every 3 weeks we host our digital inductions, split over 2 mornings via Microsoft Teams. Firstly our new starts get a warm welcome from our CEO, who then discusses our Core Values, really bringing them to life. The sessions are interactive and often a new starter favourite as they have the opportunity to ask our leaders questions. For the rest of our first morning, new joiners hear from our support services team to learn more about our internal platforms and also from our practice leads, to get an insight into the history of Version 1 and an overview of our varied internal departments and what each does.

On our second morning, we kick off with a session all about our people. New team members learn about career progression, our wellbeing programme, as well as our social events and CSR & Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging initiatives. We’ve recently introduced a session on Technology & Innovation too, to give an understanding of the recent projects our technology and innovation teams have been involved with, and to to let our new starts know how they can get involved with future tech initiatives. Finally, we wrap our induction session up with our customers, where our new joiners get a chance to hear from one of our customer success managers.

Ongoing Support

We are conscious that everyone learns at different paces, particularly when working remotely and juggling work, family and other commitments. As such, our onboarding doesn’t just end after our induction mornings. Instead, each new starter is assigned a buddy in their first week to assist them in getting accustomed to the Version 1 lingo, help them have a better understanding of our internal systems and also introduce them to new people to help build their network. Our HR team also do check-in calls to ensure our new joiners are settling in well. Additionally, our virtual ‘buzz’ events and health and wellbeing initiatives all support our new starters to settle in. Along our onboarding journey, there are plenty of touchpoints to ensure our new starters are made to feel right at home as part of the Version 1 team.