Grant Walsh discusses virtual onboarding in an article by Reworked

Reworked recently interviewed Culhane Meadows’ co-founder Grant Walsh to discuss how to make the process of virtual onboarding for remote workers successful.

Here are some excerpts from Grant’s interview:

We’ve all heard the statistics. Turnover risk is highest in the first weeks on the job – and that risk can be dramatically reduced with an effective onboarding program.

The onboarding process is the first real experience employees have with a company and it sets a lasting impression. When employees are warmly welcomed, given guidance, training and maybe even a mentor, it sends a message that they will have the support and community they need to thrive.

That is relatively easy to do when everyone works in the same office. But how do you create a welcoming onboard experience when everyone is working remotely and no one can meet the new hire in person?

In addition to more frequent contact with the boss, companies should give new hires a mentor to help them get acclimated, said Grant Walsh, cofounder and managing partner of Culhane Meadows, a national law firm with 73 attorneys in 11 cities.

At his firm, every new lawyer is assigned another lawyer who is not their direct boss or subordinate and may have a different specialty. They call them Sherpas.

Walsh’s team tries to match new hires with Sherpas who have similar interests or experiences which could range for having kids of similar ages to a shared passion for running marathons or scuba diving. “We want it to be someone they can build a rapport with,” he said.

The Sherpas introduce the new lawyer to the company, answer their questions and help them build a network in the firm. Then at the monthly all-company meeting, the Sherpa introduces the new lawyer to the team. “You have to be intentional about creating a personal connection,” Walsh said. “Sherpas help make that happen.”

Another important aspect of onboarding is providing new hires a framework for what’s expected of them especially in the early days on the job. Culhane Meadows defines this framework through a series of task lists to be completed on the first day, week, month and six months.

The tasks range from completing training on company platforms and updating an individual LinkedIn profile, to meeting with key team members and notifying their clients of the move. By breaking it into weeks and months, new lawyers can map each task to their own calendar, Walsh said. “The goal of the roadmap was not to overwhelm them, but to provide a timeframe for getting things done.”

The complete article can be found here.

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The largest woman-owned national full-service business law firm in the U.S., Culhane Meadows fields over 70 partners in ten major markets across the country. Uniquely structured, the firm’s Disruptive Law® business model gives attorneys greater work-life flexibility while delivering outstanding, partner-level legal services to major corporations and emerging companies across industry sectors more efficiently and cost-effectively than conventional law firms. Clients enjoy exceptional and highly-efficient legal services provided exclusively by partner-level attorneys with significant experience and training from large law firms or in-house legal departments of respected corporations. U.S. News & World Report has named Culhane Meadows among the country’s “Best Law Firms” in its 2014 through 2020 rankings and many of the firm’s partners are regularly recognized in Chambers, Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers and Martindale-Hubbell Peer Reviews.

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