Slack’s VP of engineering says joining the company during the pandemic helped shape her best practices for managing a remote team

Rukmini Reddy

Summary List Placement

I can’t believe it’s been over a year since many companies, including Slack, transitioned to full remote work overnight.

I’ve spent a lot of my career working remotely, and I’m what people call a “remote native.” I’ve built and managed teams of other employees who have no fixed offices across the globe. And since joining Slack last summer (right in the middle of the pandemic), I haven’t met any of my colleagues in person.

Most remote natives have only ever met their boss or teammates through a computer screen. And even as society edges back towards normality, the way we work isn’t ever going back to normal. In fact, 72% of workers envision a hybrid future, where time is split between the office and remote work.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ll be ready the day they reopen the Slack office in San Francisco next year. But being a remote native has let me spend more time with my family, eliminated my commute, and given me a better work-life balance.

It’s the future, and my advice is that it’s important we learn to adapt.

Slack’s remote onboarding experience was the best I’ve ever had

Joining Slack fully remote was interesting, challenging, and honestly, a little bit weird. The experience stretched leadership muscles I didn’t know I had. But despite the challenges, the virtual onboarding at Slack bested any onboarding I’ve experienced elsewhere.

I very quickly felt like I belonged at Slack. Our corporate ethos is friendly and human-first, and the onboarding process was no exception. It goes beyond the typical “get to know you” onboarding flows I’ve experienced in the past. Instead of questions like “Where are you from?” my colleagues asked me things like: “What does support look like for you from me as we begin our journey together?”

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Here are a few things that really set my experience apart, and some takeaways to bring to your company:

I was sent my laptop days before my first day at Slack. It seems simple and practical, but it allowed me to open my computer and seamlessly begin my new job without the stress of technical difficulties. Nailing this part is pretty straightforward — ship new hires their corporate laptops on time, set up their accounts on key platforms, and ensure onboarding documentation is completed.
My new team created a Rukmini custom emoji to welcome me, and dozens of people sent welcome notes using it. Female engineers celebrated having me, a woman of color, as the new leader of their team. For me, it wasn’t about emoji but rather the intention and personalization that it represented. If you’re looking to make someone feel really welcome, it pays to go the extra mile — send handwritten notes to their address, make and send short asynchronous welcome videos from each member of the team, or give them a gift (whether that’s a physical gift or a virtual one, like a custom emoji!) to mark the first day at the company.
I was also invited to attend a 15 minute 1:1 …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech


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