Tara McLaughlin - 5 May 2020
As you start a new position under standard conditions, you’re pained by questions such as: “Will I be able to learn their systems quickly and seamlessly?” “How will I translate my skills to exceed expectations in this new role?” and “Where is the coffee maker?”
While the latter question was easily resolved as I started my new job working from home with the Eggplant Marketing team, the remaining questions seemed impossible obstacles as a new hire in the new normal. Instead of viewing these uncertainties as obstacles, though, in my first week I was encouraged to shift my frame of thinking during an all-hands virtual meeting led by Eggplant’s CEO, Dr. John Bates.
Leadership in crisis needs to provide optimism and purpose to continue to drive your team and, in turn, your business. In this all-hands virtual meeting, I was struck by the care taken to prioritize the health and safety of employees and their loved ones, reassure us of our mission, and strengthen our investment in a key value of Eggplant: wow our customers…virtually!
Although we cannot proceed with business as usual, business continuity executed safely is essential for future success. It was quickly apparent Eggplant was prepared with the tools necessary to support employees’ remote access to essential systems to keep the business running smoothly.
As a new hire, you are keen to prove that they selected the right person for the job; translating your diligence, hard work, and commitment to the mission of the organization could be challenging when having to do so in a virtual workplace. However, when provided reliable access to the critical systems and products needed to conduct your role, you can remain focused on your tasks without worry for technological challenges. Equally important in executing tasks, though, is preserving company culture.
The tragic unfolding of the global pandemic has forced us all to re-think how we live and work to slow its spread. However, in this tragedy there has been incredible displays of creativity and empathy to promote workplace connectedness. As a new hire in the virtual Eggplant workplace, I am still able to experience the culture positively through their inventive solutions to connect teammates through virtual games and contests, happy hours, and cooking and DIY Slack channels.
What is more, where I would normally have met several team members at a time during the course of my first few days at Eggplant, virtual meeting tools have enabled me the unique opportunity to meet with my new colleagues and members of the Senior Leadership team one-on-one.
These one-on-one video calls; the “How’s your day?” Slack messages; and the link to a not-so top-secret Eggplant video game are small gestures that make a big impact. The acute awareness to the critical need for human connectedness makes Eggplant stand out among the rest. Grounded in its purpose to wow its customers, Eggplant understands that it must start with its team.
How companies respond in the face of this crisis is much greater than preserving business success alone. The decisions made today will stand as a test of the company’s corporate character and ability to positively affect the lives of its team and stakeholders.
The care and empathy provided to me as a new hire to ensure my success and wellness despite challenging circumstances is evidence to Eggplant’s suitability to help its customers, as well, as we live by our values: together we succeed.