My Virtual Onboarding Experience

Full disclosure, I was a bit perplexed by the concept of virtual onboarding. However, from my first correspondence with Jodi I knew that Nova was a different kind of company. The first hint was her obvious excitement about bringing a new team member on board: “We are extremely excited about the opportunity for U to join the Nova Mutual Team as B R A N D  A M B A S S A D O R – I just LOVE this title.” 

(‘That’s a good sign’, I thought to myself.) 

Speaking of titles, her title was the second hint – Employee Experience Director. In a more traditional organization, Jodi’s role would be something like ‘Director of Human Resources’. In my experience that title conjures up memories of lengthy health and safety meetings and denied vacation requests.

Jodi’s enthusiasm and title made it clear to me that she had been empowered to craft a unique and well-rounded employee experience, from on-boarding and beyond 

 (‘Another good sign…’) 

Since most of the Nova team is still working remotely due to Covid-19, my first day at the Jarvis office included just a few key members of the Leadership team. I met with Chief Brand Officer, Gloria Field and enjoyed a brief chat with Chief Empowerment Officer, Gary Anderson (again with the amazing job titles!). Gloria and I spent our time talking about Nova, the brand, her role and my role, in broad strokes. I also met (remotely) with the Chief Information Officer, Shawn Morton. Shawn guided me through the simple but comprehensive (and surprisingly hilarious) IT virtual onboarding process.   

(‘What is this place?!’ I thought to myself. ‘Have I discovered a glitch in the matrix?’) 

Jodi scheduled check ins with me throughout the week to make sure I was doing well. She also looped me into the weekly department ‘stand ups’ so I could meet the whole team. My career experience has been mainly in hospitality and events with a special focus on social media and marketing. I’ve worked in quite a few industries – wine, tourism and the performing arts – but insurance is new to me so connecting with my colleagues in Underwriting, Claims and the Agent team is *very* important for me.   

As predicted, participating in the ‘stand ups’ was very beneficial. Not only was I able to introduce myself but I could see each department together and get an idea of their vibe. I was also able to prepare in advance and ask a few meaningful questionsThe main question I asked was ‘what do you like the most about your job and what do you like least about your job?’. To my delight most said that their favourite part of their job was the people – their colleagues, Broker partners and Members. Their least favourite part? They were hard pressed to name one. 

 (‘Okay,’ I thought finally, ‘I made the right decision. I am in the right place.’) 

Written by E. Gibson, Brand Ambassador, Nova Mutual