Typically, when you start a new role, you work to a set onboarding plan that includes formal and informal meetings with management and new colleagues in the office. Once you have somewhat found your feet, the natural next step is to identify where you can make the most impact for the business and for mid to senior professionals, this often includes being heard and visually seen going about your role in the office environment. Now, with the mass transition to working from home, many individuals who have taken up new positions in companies have started their roles remotely. This can have a profound effect on a person’s ability to make an impact in their new role in the traditional sense, as their influence may not be as obvious in the virtual space. So, what can you do to make an impact remotely?
SET YOURSELF UP TO DO WELL
Start with your own remote setup at home. Identify the best possible location available for you to work from, with the least amount of distractions. Ensure you have the right equipment and technology to effectively carry out your work, and if you don’t, reach out to your company and see what they can do to help. Plan your day to ensure you get some exercise, eat a balanced diet and take necessary breaks away from the desk. Success starts with you – so make it as easy as possible for yourself!
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK
In the first couple of weeks, to build relationships much like you would in the office, make sure to invite as many relevant people onto a call as possible. Try to conduct these calls through video conferencing platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, for a better, more engaging conversation (and to allow your colleagues to put a face to your name!). While being proactive outside of onboarding will show enthusiasm for your new company, you will also quickly develop an understanding of ongoing and upcoming projects, as well as getting valuable insights into the business.
IDENTIFY THE QUICK WINS
Using information collated from the interview and onboarding process, and conversations with management and colleagues, identify and understand what the current pain points are for the business. Pinpoint any areas that you can easily implement improvements that are visible, cost-effective and provide immediate benefit for the company, such as process refinements or enhancements. Then, make these action points your priority as part of, or in addition to, your workload. These quick wins will immediately highlight the value you bring to a role.
FOCUS ON YOUR TEAM
Put new ideas on the table that focus on bringing team members together through virtual means. Consider what has worked well for your team in previous roles and try to re-create that approach in your new role. Perhaps, it is as simple as daily 11 am virtual coffee breaks or a monthly virtual quiz, or maybe you can start a virtual running or book club. Such ideas can improve communication, build team morale and help you get to know your colleagues on a more personal level.
Talk to other departments about what is happening in your company in the weeks to come and identify any suitable internal activities that you can take part in. Perhaps, there is an upcoming virtual panel discussion on a topic you are quite versed in, or a virtual fundraiser for the company’s charity partner that your team could get involved in. By taking part in such activities outside of your role, you are showing your commitment to the company’s culture, as well as increasing your exposure to management and colleagues.
The key to remotely making an impact in a new role is being virtually visible. Make your presence felt through regular engagement and communication from the outset, as well as showcasing your value through new ideas and quick wins. Good luck!