Remote Onboarding: Joining Dixa in the Time of Coronavirus

At Dixa we are still working remotely, much like many other companies around the world. As a result, we’ve made a bunch of changes to our daily routines and processes to adapt such as having more stand-ups and check-ins, organizing meetings around children’s nap times, and hosting remote Friday bars and coffee breaks. All of these adjustments are in an effort to ensure that we get the job done, stay connected, and keep our employees happy and healthy during this time. Most of the changes we’ve made have come very naturally, but one aspect, in particular, has been a little tricky…. Onboarding new employees.

We make a huge deal of welcoming new Dixaterians to the team, so it was important for us to try and figure out how to adapt this experience to a 100% remote setting. We’re firm believers in great first impressions and prepare for meeting our new hires with the same anticipation and level of preparation that most people reserve for first dates. So, our awesome People & Culture team put their heads together to come up with a great remote welcome plan just in time for our new teammates in Customer Success and Engineering.

Here’s what we came up with:

  • Welcome care packages: We home-delivered packages with Dixa t-shirts, hardware, stickers, fresh notebooks, etc. to all of our new friends ?
  • A company-wide meet and greet via Zoom: We had a huge video summit for the whole company where the new hires got to put names to faces ?
  • Virtual onboarding sessions: We hosted virtual intros to all of the different departments ?

Social events: We put together an idea bank for virtual social events our teams can do to get to know each other better ?

Remote Onboarding Check-list: We put together a list of tasks for new hires to dig into on their own ✅

Let’s see how we did…

We interviewed a couple of new hires and hiring managers to help us understand their experience with our recent crack at remote onboarding.
And if you (like us) are new to the concept perhaps you’ll find it useful and inspiring ✨

Kate Bergemann, Senior Product Manager:

How has welcoming new employees remotely been?

We welcomed Jose to our team on 1 April! We started the day with a virtual breakfast for the whole team so everyone could introduce themselves. We used some icebreakers to get the conversation going which was really helpful. Afterward, we’d set up a call for Jose with his onboarding buddy. It’s really helpful to have one person you can reach out to with any questions. Usually, your buddy is also the person that shows you around the office and so on, but with remote onboarding, the time was instead spent on the technical details around getting set up properly for work.

How was it different than meeting people in person?

It was obviously more difficult because of not being able to read the person’s body language to the same degree and gauge whether the person is, for example, feeling insecure in certain situations. I’ve been spending more time than usual checking in on our new colleagues to make sure everything is fine, instead of just visually looking around the office to see if the new person is engaged or looking lost, which is what I’d normally do.

Do you have any tips for teams welcoming new members remotely?

A small, easy thing I did that worked really well was to make sure that I announced that Jose was starting in all relevant Slack channels. That meant that Jose got a lot of personal welcome messages which he liked a lot.

Givan Zangana, Account Manager:

How have your first couple of days at Dixa been?

The onboarding has been really efficient and insightful. We have had meetings arranged with the heads of all departments, which has been great in allowing us to understand how the teams are structured and bound together by a common vision and mission. The buddy-system, forward-looking calendar, and daily check-ins has made me feel included in the Dixa family very quickly.

What’s your first impression of the Dixaterians?

There is a very friendly, receptive, and welcoming culture with a family feel to how everyone interacts with one another. It is a transparent and open environment and I feel like everyone actively listens and helps one another. It feels like a safe environment to excel!

What are you most looking forward to getting started on in your new job?

Apart from the ability to actually interact with real people again after the lockdown, I‘m most looking forward to getting to introduce myself to our clients and to be able to represent their voices internally at Dixa. I joined the company predominantly for its growth plans and I’m committed to being accountable and ensuring our client base is safely retained, listened to, and grown.

Jose Luis Pintado Barbero, Backend Developer

How has your first couple of days at Dixa been?

Very intense! A lot of introductions where I have met many of my new colleagues and also get to know a lot about the company, the work being done in each department, and a deep dive into the product.

What’s your first impression of the Dixaterians?

Despite having to start working from home, I felt a very heartwarming welcome from many people. They are very, very friendly and willing to help with anything I could need.

What are you most looking forward to getting started on in your new job?

As I am taking on the challenge of working in a programming language I never worked within my career, I am very much looking forward to learning from my new colleagues. Being able to work in an environment with very frequent releases to production is also something I am very excited about. And, of course, I am hoping to be able to meet everyone at the office very soon!


Julie Solem

Julie is best known for her creative and hilarious Slack messages that erupt the office in laughter daily. Julie is passionate about building communities like Dixa Connect and workplace culture. Anonymous Dingo has joined the document.

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