Welcome Wagon: How one company's attention to new employees translates to success.

Author:Goodsell, Brittny
Position:Lessons Learned
 
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Listen to music, grab a drink and make a friend--that may not sound like a day at work, but for the folks working for Simplus, it totally qualifies.

Each time the tech firm acquires a new company, they fly in new employees to Utah for a "Welcome Week" and pay for their travel costs. The employees attend group dinners and unwind at happy hour events while getting to know coworkers. During the last event, everyone saw The Killers in concert.

Simplus hopes putting adults in one room with a variety of activities translates to engaged employees who know what Simplus is: a company that cares about them.

"How do we make sure they get familiar and comfy? One of the things we do is we fly them out--no matter where they are in the world--for a Welcome Week," says Isaac Westwood, chief operating officer at Simplus.

Investing in culture

Making your employees feel part of a team's culture isn't a new concept in the business world. It's a no-brainer. Among other benefits, it usually leads to higher retention among employees. Simplus consistently stands out amongst tech companies because the company begins so early in the process--and planners deliberately make sure the week isn't about typical work stuff.

Westwood says the company added 80 people during the past 13 months, and that number reflects five recent acquisitions. Simplus isn't shy about introducing themselves right after signing the paperwork. They challenge themselves to bring new people on board in the most effective and fun way possible.

You can see them jumping in from the start: Once Simplus announces an acquisition, Westwood's team sets up a call during the first 24 hours to speak to the new employees.

"It's down to a science at this point," he says.

Westwood and his team use a video conference tool called Zoom so they can see and interact with people in a virtual face-to-face. That first meeting is crucial. Introductions take place to make sure the employees know they are "incredibly important." Then Simplus passes out an FAQ document that address questions such as, "What's my role going forward?" and "How does this acquisition change my work life right now?"

"We address that immediately," says Westwood.

That document keeps growing in length based on feedback Simplus gets from people who've gone through the initial meeting.

Creating trust and engagement

About five days later, the employees fly to the Salt Lake City headquarters. While people often tell him it's tough to fly so soon, they...

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