Onboarding in a Not So Normal World

Topic: Inside Nexus

Tom Wilson CFA, MFin

March 18, 2021

Image used with permission: iStock/JelenaDanilovic


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Onboarding in a Not So Normal World

Starting a new job can be nail-biting! We have all done it at some point in our lives and each time it brings a new sense of excitement, questions, and even more unknowns. Who are the people? What will the office environment be like? Will they have my favourite coffee?!

It reminds me of the 2001 film Training Day, starring Ethan Hawke as a rookie police officer who spends his first day on the job in an elite narcotics unit. Trying to impress his new boss, a corrupt detective played by Denzel Washington, the film depicts one of the world’s worst new job onboardings. Gunfights, gang beatings and drug use on Day 1? Better to use the Nexus playbook:  one-on-one “coffee chats”, an explanation of the firm’s benefits, some training on how things work; and, most importantly, having a little fun!

COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into the onboarding process for most companies as the pandemic has brought its own new set of challenges and unknowns. As I write, I am in my fourth month at Nexus and, for now, working from home is the new normal. That means new hires, like me, are not showing up at the office to learn the ropes, make new work friends, and figure out how to use the Nespresso machine — we’re at home, making our beds and putting on our best Zoom face!

But even with these challenges, Nexus has done a great job in bringing me onboard. To help introduce me to the team, the firm made a point of setting up a Zoom “coffee chat” with each professional, which provided a great chance to connect with my peers and to get to know them better on a personal level. There’s nothing like being invited into your new co-worker’s home set-up on your first day! I also shadowed each of the Nexus relationship managers for a week, which was a great opportunity to be mentored by experienced members of the team to learn the Nexus method.

Terence Tse and Denys Calvin, our respective CFO and COO, worked tirelessly, and patiently, to walk me through how everything works at Nexus (systems, processes, benefits) and made sure I had everything I needed to work from home. Most importantly, the team made sure I had a little fun. To ease my transition in, the firm organized virtual welcome cocktails and sent us each a make-your-own cocktail kit that we enjoyed over a Zoom call: Dark and Stormy was my choice.

Having met with some clients already, it’s clear that Nexus strives to deliver an unparalleled client service experience. I look forward to being involved with more of our clients, longstanding and new, to understand their financial goals and objectives, and how we can help them reach long-term success.  I’m also keen to get involved with more of our client events, after hosting our virtual guest speaker event in February.

It’s an understatement to say it has not been an easy year. But the lockdown and working from home will not be permanent. We are all looking forward to getting back to the office to have in-person meetings with clients, impromptu chats in the hallways, and even a commute to work that’s a bit longer than the 10 steps to my desk. We’re confident that as the vaccine continues to be administered, we will all be able to get back to our regular lives.

In closing, although I’ve enjoyed being the “newbie” on the team, I regretfully relinquish the title to our new colleague Lily Lucacescu. Lily recently joined Nexus as our Junior Office Manager. You can read about her role in a previous Inside Nexus blog. Now that I’ve thankfully avoided a Training Day onboarding, I’ll pass the torch to Lily… welcome to the team, Rookie!

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