Walking the Talk: A Brazen Story

Dec 11, 2020 - Hermella Tekle

Agility to Change

In our ever-changing world, companies must be able to rapidly and continuously create new, innovative customer experiences and digital services. But great customer experience doesn’t always start with the customer. In fact, excellent customer experience starts with great employee experience. Recent research from MIT's Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) shows that companies that focus on employee experience can generate 25% higher profits and twice the customer satisfaction than those who don’t. Clearly, employee engagement and equipping employees with the skills needed to support a business objective is critical. To achieve and exceed customer expectations, employees must be empowered through an innovative culture and mindset. Yet in the current all-virtual world, creating an environment that encourages employee engagement and high levels of satisfaction have been made that much more difficult.

Over the past 7 months, Brazen has been fortunate to have grown so quickly and along with that growth we’ve had to hire and onboard many new employees. And over the past 7 months of hiring and onboarding, we’ve learned a thing or two and we thought we’d share that with you today.

At Brazen, we make sure that our team members find value in their work by supporting our customers. Our onboarding process is an essential aspect of training and socializing new team members to understand our work and adapt to the culture. We believe that employees’ experience is as equally important as a customer experience. Brazen was founded under the belief that everyone deserves a job they love, and to this day, our product and our culture are defined by this core value. Due to the spike in virtual platforms, Brazen has also made changes to its virtual onboarding processes, and the dedication of our team members helps us navigate the new normal.

“I do a better, more thorough job when I'm passionate about my role. It's not just the projects I'm working on that contribute to me loving a job. It’s also the people I work with and the company I'm working for.” Mimi Lombardo, Brazen Demand Generation Manager

What is Virtual Onboarding?

Virtual onboarding, also known as remote onboarding, introduces new team members into an organization without bringing them into the workplace for in-person onboarding meetings and training. With nearly seven in ten U.S. employees working from home during the pandemic, a growing number of organizations have shown interest in virtual onboarding - but how do team members feel about it? We asked our new hires here at Brazen about their virtual onboarding experience. Jorge Calix, Business Development Representative, felt more comfortable in his virtual onboarding thanks to the support he received from his manager and other team members. “I had a lot of backup and support from the entire company,” he tells us, “regular meetings with my new teammates helped me to have a better understanding of my role and how we can help one another be successful.”

“I love coming into Brazen because I think we have the smartest people around. Our team members are hard-working, have great work ethics, we empathize with each other, and I can rely on them” - Ed Barrientos, CEO of Brazen

Virtual Onboarding Best Practices

There is a minimal end in sight of the pandemic, and as we continue searching for a return to normalcy, virtual onboarding is here to stay. Virtual onboarding provides several benefits from saving costs to easy access - we highly recommend checking out our blog: Onboarding during a pandemic: how to host a virtual new hire orientation for detailed information. Below are some of the best practices we want to share with you.

  1. Virtual Recruiting: Attract, recruit, and acquire top talent in your field that aligns with your organizational needs and culture. Virtual recruiting is relatively inexpensive and more accessible compared to in-person job fair events. You should make a point to reinforce your company brand and values throughout the recruiting and virtual onboarding process. Ed Barrientos, CEO of Brazen, shares his wisdom of characteristics to look for in hiring and onboarding new team members. These include intelligence, emotional intelligence (EQ), work ethics, and empathy. Pro-tip: Use Brazen for your recruitment events! Not sure where to start? It is easy, attend our daily demos.
  2. Empathy: Regardless of virtual or in-person environments, empathy goes a long way in supporting team members and customers. Virtual environments do create dissonance from what we are used to in-person meetings. Many face isolation or having to home school children or caring for a sick family member. It is essential to be flexible with schedule, create a healthy virtual workplace, and understand your team’s motivators. We are all in this together!
  3. Regular check-ins: Set up virtual meetings with key organizational figures and colleagues. Give your team members a list of some of the critical people they’ll be working with outside your specific team. Take it a step further by crafting a few ice breaker questions!
  4. Virtual Social Events: Organize events to allow new team members to get to know existing members. Some examples include coffee chats, happy hours, guessing games, and take it up a notch by shipping some swags to team members.
  5. Ongoing Process: Socializing new team members is a continuous process. Shannon Hoffecker, Brazen’s Director of Enterprise Accounts & Product Implementation, shares onboarding new employees is a team effort. “When more teams are involved from the beginning, it helps with socializing new employees and the overall success of a team.”
“A job I'd love is where I can constantly learn and one where I feel fulfilled by my work with clients. We work with tons of clients with exciting missions, and helping them expand is really rewarding!” - Chad Wallace, Brazen Account Manager

In today’s digital era, organizational culture and recruitment strategies are going beyond the traditional office walls. Virtual onboarding provides several benefits and opportunities for employers to think without the box. Due to the pandemic, virtual job fairs and events have almost entirely replaced in-person events. Of course, not every business has been fortunate enough to hire employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are evaluating the pros and cons of virtual recruitment events, we highly recommend our recent blog. We’d love to hear from you, share with us your virtual onboarding strategies and best practices!

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