For some people starting a new job is an exciting opportunity, but for others leaving behind the familiar routines and people they may have worked with for a long time can be a nerve-racking and stressful experience.
I recently left another HR role to work at wattsnext, somewhere I had wanted to work for a couple of years. From the minute I got offered the role to starting at 9am on my first day, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I was really looking forward to being part of the wattsnext team.
While I knew wattsnext took traditional HR practices and put a modern and creative spin on them, what I didn’t expect was that I would feel like a wattsnexter before my first day.
It started when I received my employment contract, reading through it made me realise that wattsnext genuinely cared about their employees’ experience. My employment contract was written in a tone that reflected wattsnext fun and vibrant culture.
Within a couple of hours of returning my signed employment agreement, my soon to be manager sent an email to all of the wattsnext team ‘e-introducing’ me. While I thought that was pretty cool, what happened next was something I didn’t expect. Every employee sent me a personalised email welcoming me to the team – they were just as excited to have me on board as I was to be joining them. It was such an awesome feeling!
I had six weeks until I started my new role and during this time I wasn’t forgotten. I received regular emails from the team which included information and documents I would need for my first day, links to resources that would help me settle in quickly, a Prezi presentation introducing the team (being able to put faces to names prior to my first day made me feel like I knew everyone before I had actually met them), as well as access to the social media platform Slack that they used to communicate internally.
A couple of days before I started, I received a call from my manager. She was calling to see if I had any questions before my first day. She reconfirmed how excited they were to have me joining the team and also gave me a quick run-down of what my first week would look like. I got off the phone thinking ‘these guys are amazing!’ as my experience so far had been fantastic!
When my first day finally I arrived, I was ready to hit the ground running. I knew what had been happening in the office recently (there’s nothing worse than when people are having conversations you can’t relate to), I knew who everyone was, I knew there was an induction plan in place and the best thing was that I felt like I’d been part of the team for ages. I was able to spend my first few days and weeks focusing on our clients rather than trying to fit into the team!
So what were my learnings from my recent experience with wattsnext?
- Communication is key! The regular contact during the period leading up to my first day helped put any nervous feelings I might have had about working in a new role with new people at ease. I felt prepared and excited about my first day – not nervous and anxious.
- The little things count! The welcome emails from the team, the regular emails with information and things I would need for my first day, the Prezi introducing everyone through to the check-in phone call from my new manager helped me to settle into the team quickly.
- Have a plan and be prepared! I wouldn’t have had the amazing experience I did if wattsnext weren’t as prepared as they were – my induction and orientation ran so smoothly!