When a company is developing rapidly, it may be associated with a necessity of starting a process of digital transformation. It happens because the previous way in which company worked stops to be effective enough. New employees come, the office is getting tighter, a system of work is changing, and it’s harder and harder to maintain harmony and order.
When those changes happen gradually, we can get control over that easily. But what to do in a situation, when one day, tens of new employees come to the office? How to organise it, so the process will go smoothly? We asked Ania Pogorzelska, our HR specialist, who takes care of all important (and less important) things in our company.
Ania Pogorzelska, HR Specialist: In a case of taking over QBurst, a first thing we did was organising a meeting in our office, so people could see where and with whom they will be working soon. They also had an occasion to ask about anything because both Robert Strzelecki (SoftwareHut CEO) and Karol Przybyszewski (QBurst CEO) took part in that meeting.
We also talked with each one of them individually, before they have started working for us. We tried to answer every question. Our concern was not only time but also to make new employees feel safe, to ensure them that we are taking everyone with no exceptions and that we will try to provide them projects they can work on. Talks were held at QBurst office. We just went to them for a few days, and we met with each one of them individually. In a case of QBurst, we were signing all the paperwork at their place, and we have been working for those few days from the morning to evening.
We cared about doing that as fast as possible because we didn’t have much time. But it seems to me that face-to-face communication is more important and efficient than using even the most innovative software or devices. During one-on-one meeting, even an introvert can open himself and can talk and ask about things he or she cares about. He can even listen to what we want to communicate.
Of course, I was also driving to the QBurst office to look over documentation of every employee, and to find out if everything is all right. Rafał Rusiłowicz, our External Funding Specialist, also had to look over some documents and talk about few issues concerning the EU funding that QBurst received a while ago. We just wanted to know if everything is all right, or we will have some troubles at the beginning.
What other problems did you have while organising a relocation?
AP: Moving the whole stuff to the office was a bigger problem than relocating people. They just took cars or buses, and then they drove there but what about things? It had to be counted and checked, only later Ewelina Ostrowska, our Administration Specialist, packed everything up and passed on to a transport company. All that stuff had to be carried to the office and then unpacked, and deployed. People were sitting at the new desks, everyone had signed a contract, and in the office, there was still a sizeable mess.
Speaking of equipment, everyone works with the same stuff he or she had in the previous company. Just part of it has been upgraded right away, and the rest is being exchanged step by step. We sold the old stuff (computers and monitors) to our employees for little money. One could buy e.g. working LCD monitor for just 5 PLN. 🙂
In the end, everything depends on people. With a good team, even relocation of a complete company is not so scary. 🙂
What are the things we should take care of in the first place?
AP: As first, we should take care of people, of their feeling that they’re not alone, and that they will have a job on conditions at least not worse than before. All issues regarding administration, equipment, furniture are set aside. They are not less important, but an employee doesn’t have to know how much work we need to do to finish the relocation.
Documents are also important. People feel better if they have signed contract.
How to give the most necessary information to new people?
AP: Sending presentations or links to information doesn’t work. Just a few people read this. Because of that, in my opinion, it’s important to meet with the new person or new people during the first day of work and to tell them what and how works in a company. We also have a presentation, which helps us to talk about everyday things (e.g. how we report working hours, what benefits do we have, how to apply for leave). We also assign guardians to new employees, and they help newcomers to find a person able to answer any question.
How to organise a process of signing contracts and distributing equipment? What are the solutions that help to do that work?
AP: Above all, a looooot of patience. We use Microsoft Excel a lot, in which we mark what has been done and what not. Unfortunately, a lot depends on a person responsible for the particular thing. Is there a good solution? Surely, the people who are able and ready to help you.
We also can enter more and more information about an employee into our loggrr system, which at the beginning was supposed to be a tool for reporting working hours on a particular project. Surprisingly, it developed into a very useful tool, which supports us in everyday work.
Is there any solution, which may successfully substitute the face-to-face communication?
AP: No, there is not, really. You can have well-organized materials, but you can’t be sure if a person will take a look at that. He often doesn’t do it. 😉 But some applications may be helpful, e.g. those which help to find a particular person in the office. It applies mostly to bigger companies, in which not everybody knows each other.
We have created such an application, and we called it OfficeApp. How did it help us in the process of onboarding new employees? You will find out about that in the next article, which we will publish in a week. What’s more, we will also tell you about its functionalities, benefits of using it and a development process. See you soon!