How ePages gives new developers a great start

Most likely, everyone reading this has already had the experience of starting at a new company. Some might tell stories about the best first workday they have ever had, others might have just repressed the thoughts about a scaring introductory day. In the first week of July, a bunch of new developers started at ePages. Find out what we did to help them get off on the right foot and give them a positive start.

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1. Welcome employee before employment even begins

All new employees receive a welcome letter that includes:

  • information about the starting date and time of their first day of work
  • an induction programme giving some indication of what will happen during their first days at ePages
  • a personnel record that’s to be completed by the employee by their first day

2. Involve teams and organise buddies

It makes sense to involve teams and organise buddies, after all, a new developer will be part of a development team. We circulate the induction plan to the team to ensure they are informed about the new colleague and aware of what training they are in, why and when. This allows the team to organise and plan their tasks accordingly and coordinate the induction sessions and pair programming with the new team member upfront. Of course, this also includes setting up the workspace and ordering IT equipment. We further involve colleagues from other departments to volunteer as mentors for the new employees. Here at ePages we call them “buddies”.

3. First work day: Meet with new employees right away

When having arrived at the office, our human resources coordinator welcomes the new employees, a round of introductions follows and the further course of the day will be explained.

Our CTO gives a brief introduction including:

  • Development teams and their tasks
  • Goals and targets
  • Software architecture
  • Benefits for our merchants

4. Buddy time!

Next we get the newbies into contact with their buddies and off they go exploring the office. This is all about settling-in and clarifying feel-good issues such as:

  • Coffee machine
  • Rest rooms
  • Kitchen use
  • Storage areas
  • Office systems
  • Social rooms

Buddies show the layout of the offices and the new workplace, introduce the new employees to staff of other departments and may answer any questions that the employee is not comfortable posing to the team or supervisor. They’ll be shown their workplaces as well as important contact points.

5. Introduction session with HR

Our HR team then hands out the office keys and local transport tickets and helps to familiarise our new employees. This includes:

  • Org chart
  • Company values
  • Benefits
  • Documents to be submitted
  • Travel guidelines
  • Target agreement discussions
  • Company events and holidays
  • Applications for leave and sick leave

6. Team lunch

Phew! It’s definitely time for a break and a great chance to get to know the team members during the lunch.

7. At the desk with the team

Now it’s team time: Setting up the workplace, configuring the laptop, collecting office materials and receiving more “getting started” information from the team.

And what’s next?

The first day is over and the new colleagues have a lot of new information in their luggage. The agenda for the following days contains some more interesting topics and valuable tips for a great start at ePages. Check out what our typical agenda looks like:

Certainly, it takes plenty of time and coaching to get new employees fully familiar with the company and all work processes. With our induction programme we are laying the groundwork to make this process as quick as possible. We want to ensure that our new colleagues feel integrated into the team right from the start.

About the author

Birgit Bader is an experienced Technical Communicator. Her heart beats for UI writing, localization, and API documentation.