Blog | 07.07.2022

My Workforce Onboarding Experience in a Hybrid World

As a rising senior at the University of Denver, the last few years have been anything but normal. When I started my marketing internship at NWN Carousel it reminded me of the adjustment I had to make being a student during the pandemic. After nearly two years of taking classes online I have learned to adjust to a virtual environment and wanted to write about my workforce onboarding experience in a hybrid world.

When classes shifted online, it was a learning curve for everyone. I was able to see my professors go through the process of trial and error to create an effective learning environment.  Prior to starting my Internship at NWN Carousel, I was nervous about being fully virtual. I was unsure of how this process would feel without being able to have any face-to-face interaction. I quickly learned that an effective onboarding process made my experience very enjoyable from the start.

Setting Goals and Objectives

As I began my marketing Internship at NWN Carousel, I was extremely happy with the level of communication. When starting a new job, I am typically filled with questions. It can often be difficult to have these questions answered if you don’t have a strong sense of communication. In prior jobs I have been given hours of modules to individually work on without any engagement to my co-workers. I remember being very pleased on my first day at NWN Carousel when my morning started with a phone call from my manager. We worked through some technology struggles I was experiencing, and I was able to begin my onboarding.  A few hours later I had a welcome meeting with my team. I remember joining this meeting feeling comfortable because I knew the team was here to help with any questions I had.

Getting started with a strong plan allowed me to feel centered on my goals and objectives. I learned that there might be many tasks to juggle which is why having daily check ins has been very helpful with staying on the right track. My team has been nice enough to meet with me each day to discuss my projects and answer any questions that I have. Right from the start, I created a plan with my manager, Alli, to set up timing of my projects. We have been using the task feature in Microsoft Planner to assign tasks with their set due dates. This feature is great for being able to share documents on the same file and check off projects when they are done. As a new intern, I have appreciated having the ability to gather feedback on the projects I have been working on. I have even been able to sit in on a variety of meetings to get involved with the larger marketing projects.

Research shows employees are twice as likely to seek out another job if they have a bad onboarding experience. It’s key to set goals early and continue close collaboration.

Hybrid Experiences Can Be Personalized Too

While working with the team on their projects I noticed early on that there were a lot of terms and ideas that were completely new to me. Luckily, these terms were all given to me during my onboarding modules. When I heard these terms such as Unified Communications or EMP they were familiar, but it still took me for a bit of a whirl. Luckily, I had a reference library with videos to explain each one of NWN Carousels offerings. Having this library has been extremely helpful for me to go back and reference to stay engaged in every conversation!

Welcome Swag Box - NWN Carousel

The onboarding welcome package I received in the mail made my eyes light up. I remember being excited to find a branded tumbler, a notebook, and a welcome letter from our CEO. Plus, I was able to order myself an article of NWN Carousel merchandise of up to $60! Receiving this branded swag made me feel very welcome and excited to get started!


Meeting the Team in a Hybrid World

NWN Carousel Marketing Team with CEO Jim Sullivan
Meeting the team in Boston (I’m 3rd from the left)
Face-to-face time is a key part of the experience in a hybrid world

While I have been working fully remote, I was lucky enough to meet the team for lunch in Boston. This opportunity to meet everyone face-to-face allowed me to get connected with everyone beyond the virtual screen. I enjoyed this time talking through work while also being able to share stories and build connections. Meeting everyone in person got me even more excited to continue working with them throughout the summer!

Starting a new job, virtually, can be stressful but there are many ways to make the onboarding process enjoyable. At NWN Carousel I was given an extremely personal onboarding experience. Redefining the onboarding process is a great way to show new hires that hybrid work… can work, after all.

Gen Z Hybrid Work Survey

As part of my first project I have put together a survey to gather data on Gen Z and their insights on entering the workforce as a hybrid employee. As more companies shift towards hybrid work, I would like to uncover the trends of how soon-to-be-graduates feel about working from home. After two years of online school our generation has become calibrated to work independently in a hybrid environment. Doe this experience make you comfortable with hybrid work or do you crave in-person interaction?