How mPharma's onboarding process sets you up for success
I, like many others set goals and build atomic habits to help achieve these goals. One of my goals last year was to explore new grounds.
Sequel to this, I left Konga, one of the 2 major players in the e-commerce sector in Nigeria to mPharma, a Pharmaceutical company headquartered in Ghana, with the the vision of providing access to safe and affordable health care in Africa.
The interview process was a long one. All the 4 stages were done virtually. It took series of months to finally get through to the last stage . Despite being long, it was realistic. I solved a problem similar to what I was expected to solve if I succeed and finally get hired.
Throughout the onboarding process, it was clear to me that the company is organised. I was being set up for all round success. I would share the things mpharmily as fondly called did so well that made me doff my hat for the human capital team. This is from the perspective of a new hire on the Engineering team. I hope your team would borrow a leaf from mPharma.
I received a warm welcome
I felt special on my first day as people from different departments flooded Slack with awesome welcome messages. One of the notes that stood out was the one that read Akwaaba, meaning welcome in Ghana. I quickly headed over to Google Translate to get the appropriate response - medaase (pronounced 'me-daa-si') which means thank you in Twi. 😄
The team is proactive
Prior to my first day, I received an email from the human capital team requesting for necessary information to help the team prepare me for my first day. The team set up my email account and shared the necessary documents that would enable me understand the mPharma process.
My manager wasn't left out. On the first day, he set up a meeting to walk me through solutions the team is building. He also showed me the applications dependent on other chapters that I need to know about and requested that I should be given access to them and invited to meetings.
My team mates were responsive. They had answers to majority of my questions. I kept them flowing as I needed to understand the process and architecture of the existing systems.
Series of meetings to understand the process
The first week was lined up with schedules to help me understand the problem mPharma is solving. The human capital team shared the itinerary on the first day to help me prepare questions for the team to answer. Each team had representatives that expounded what the department do and the challenges they aim to solve. At the end of the meeting with each team, I was expected to comfortably respond to a set of questions regarding the departments; tools they use, challenges they are faced with and their approach towards solving the problems.
Being a data-driven organisation, the Engineering team is at the helm of affairs. The information gathered from the teams enlightened me on the intersection of the Engineering team and other teams toward meeting organisational goals.
I met awesome individuals with a large heart happy to have me join the team and ready to make my integration process as smooth as possible.
Meeting with the crew
On my second day, the VP of Engineering set up a Zoom call so I could meet the crew. The crew consists of different chapters further divided into squads. I couldn't say much during the meeting as I was looking at new faces from different parts of the world who I would be working with.
The team assigns you a buddy
At mPharma, new employees are assigned a buddy. What makes it different is that the employee must be someone that is not on the same team with you. Your buddy is expected to answer any question you may have regarding the mPharma way of life. This approach aims to expand your network so, you're not just expected to interact with your squad, chapter or crew alone.
You are expected to go through the mPharma academy
The academy is made up of courses to help you integrate better at the workplace. It consists of courses on communication, workplace best practices, time and stress management, leadership and teamwork, emotional intelligence etc.
Every new hire is expected to complete the academy within the specified time. It was stressful at first for me but I quickly had to adjust my schedule to enable me complete the courses. There is a curriculum for the first 30, 60 and 90 days. After each round, you are expected to fill a survey. The survey helps the human capital team understand how new employees cope with the onboarding process.
Onboarding process can be tough, but a well planned process helps in a seamless integration of new employees. mPharma did really well in making the process a memorable one.
- Receiving a warm welcome let me know that I am in an environment where I can be free to air my opinions.
- The team being proactive is a sign that there is no room to slack.
- Series of meetings to understand the process is a hint that to properly build solutions, I need to understand the problem.
- Meeting with the crew showed me that beyond the work, there is a human side of being part of mpharmily.
- The team assigning me a buddy in a different team let me know that to excel in my career, I need to expand my network.
- Going through the mPharma academy prepared me for work-life balance, demo days, managing my emotions at the workplace and overall, to be a team player.
The onboarding process was a lot like building atomic habits because with each of these salient points, I'm being moulded into a better employee and set up for all round success.
Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter regarding what you feel about the process and what works at the organisation you work. I will be glad to hear from you.