Reach Agency recently announced Dustin Glass is joining the shop in a newly created role as head of gaming in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. The addition of the ex-Fullscreen executive is designed to bolster the influencer agency’s e-sports and gaming offerings.
The current pandemic, however, is disrupting this on-boarding process in unprecedented ways.
There is always a honeymoon period when new workers transition into their new roles at a company.
Reach, for instance, welcomes them by establishing their own physical work space, introducing colleagues through “meet and greets,” and helping to build relationships with clients.
Although the LA-based shop is “fully embracing” a new remote on-boarding process, “at first it was daunting’ to ensure Glass had a “thoughtful, personal and effective” orientation that felt welcoming and thorough, says Gabe Gordon, co-founder, Reach Agency. “But the truth is, when we looked around the agency we realized every one of our employees is in this very unusual situation together, and we’re all committed to doing the best we can and learning while we go.”
Like other agencies Reach is adapting to this new normal without an official playbook. While Reach traditionally guides new faces with the 30/60/90 day plan that outlines the new hire’s priorities in the first 30, 60 and 90 days of his or her new role, in Glass’s case, the agency created a document in a shared Google Doc so that he has access to it no matter where he is, and his supervisor can see his progress from home. “Dustin’s colleagues have rallied around him to initiate extra check-ins to make sure he’s comfortable with our process and client scopes,” adds Gordon. Agency leaders also made it a point to connect everyone via video so that “we look each other in the eye.”
“Now that our entire agency is remote, trust and communication are more important than ever,” he explains. “We trust all employees to dig in, ask questions and be proactive.” He adds, thankfully, “Dustin is no different.”
Since the switch to working from home, the agency has also adjusted schedules for both new and current staffers, based on what employees need. That means looking at how the
shop can best support each individual so that they stay at their healthiest, such as shifting working hours to allow for working parents to be with their kids, encouraging mid-day exercise breaks and
experimenting with different meeting times to make sure we’re catching people at the best time.
“Nothing replaces face-to-face connection, but the truth is, anyone who works at an agency knows that the balance of in-office and at-home work isn’t so black and white anymore,” Gordon says. “We can’t compare virtual working to in-person working any more than we can talk about “work-life balance” — there’s no such thing, because it’s all about integration.”
Gordon believes the most vital aspect of acclimation remains consistent regardless of larger or indirect complications. Our culture hasn’t changed just because we are all scattered across the city, he says. “In fact, we are finding new ways to make one another feel seen and heard, including sharing favorite shows, foods/recipes and more via Slack.”