Onboarding During a Pandemic: Can It Really Work?
I recently joined the Sales Development APAC team, looking after the Vietnam, Thailand and Hong Kong markets. I'd already had a great impression of Akamai's culture from my interview rounds. But how would the onboarding work? I'd been looking forward to meeting new colleagues in an office environment. I wanted to feel part of a new team; that sense of collaboration you get from personal interaction. Instead, I only got to meet our IT guy outside the office who presented me with my MacBook Pro.
I went home to set up my new office. It was a pleasant surprise to learn that Akamai offers a one-time reimbursement to help with homeworking during the pandemic. I realized with a smile that most of my new desk set-up would be covered. My mood brightened again with all the welcome messages and calls from my new colleagues in Singapore, India, China and Australia. The IT Helpdesk team even wrote 'Welcome to Akamai' in my tickets. These small touches really made my day.
Then I started to experience the full range of onboarding activities that my manager, Angie, had organised for me. She was so willing to accommodate my preferences, listen to my concerns and take prompt action to ensure I could be productive from the start. I expressed some mis-match in expectations - moving from a start-up to an enterprise environment - but Angie was really honest with me. Sharing her own experiences, her calm explanation, patience and understanding instilled in a high level of trust in me.
I dived into the onboarding curriculum on 'Akamai University', which included lots of online videos and training materials. I started to watch the recorded sessions from the global team and felt the excitement in my heart as I learnt about the company's 22-year history. In the words of my colleague Teejay, Akamai is "almost as old as the Internet."
As I began to familiarize myself with tools and tasks, I had endless newbie questions. But help appeared in the best way possible: Pragna, my Indian-based, onboarding buddy. Highly knowledgeable and really friendly, she always made time to help me. In fact, she's been instrumental in helping me hit my ramp up quota. On top of that, she organises all these great team events. So although my colleagues are based in different time zones, it really feels like a tightly knit team.
I was touched to see how Danny Lewin, the late co-founder, continues to be honored - particularly in Akamai's people philosophy: "People are our greatest asset". Seeing my colleagues enthusiastically endorse the culture, I realised just how true this is. The sense of diversity and inclusivity is great too. You could really feel Akamai's commitment to equality when Martin Luther King III's speech was played during our town hall meeting.
During my onboarding experience, I started to understand why Akamai is consistently named as one of the best places to work. As Danny Lewin said, it all comes down to people. At Akamai, we have great people who want to collaborate with you, work with you - and welcome you to this amazing business.