Niraj Patel · June 19, 2020

My Remote Onboarding Experience at Gojek

How Gojek’s people and culture made my onboarding journey practically seamless.

It’s now been a month since I left Malaysia to join Gojek. A day before I left for Jakarta, I was told that the office will be closed for a week, only for it to be revised to 3 months a few days later. As far as timing goes, this has got to be the least ideal time to join a new company, especially one that often works to solve issues that may have not been solved before.

The onboarding has been done entirely away from my colleagues and it has been tiring, to say the least, however, a month in and I’m now comfortable with making suggestions, having discussions and most importantly, to have a drink with my colleagues without it being awkward once the dust settles! All of this without meeting anyone is an achievement, one that I’ll remember for years to come!

Onboarding would not have been possible without the culture that Gojek has cultivated. Here are some features of the organisation that I have noticed and which have helped me incredibly with onboarding.

  1. Human Resources knows everything there is about the business — My early weeks in Gojek started off with personal sessions by the representatives from GoPay’s HR. While this is common, the depth of knowledge that HR showed about the business practice and the levers that make the business tick surprised me. This was a great first step into learning about the business.
  2. Documentation for past initiatives and tools are done incredibly well — I’ve yet to experience a company where documentation is done as well as it is done here. Every single document regarding tools and past initiatives contained the history, the know-how and the use cases, enough to give me a full picture. It also helped that every tool had a test I had to take before I got access, forcing me to learn end to end. This felt uncomfortable at first but once I got my rhythm to “study” again, it went really well!
  3. Most tools are built in-house — Majority of the tools I use in GoPay are built in-house which helps a lot because I could just refer directly to the person maintaining the tool for reference. Not only was I welcomed on the tool graciously, but I was also even allowed to propose customisations so that it made my life easier. In-fact, one customisation is being rolled out next week! The collaboration between tech and product is unbelievable!
  4. Everyone in the team is willing to help — My colleagues were thrown into the deep end overnight with work from home. Neither of them expected this to be extended beyond one week, and they definitely did not expect to help a new joiner through the entire process over Slack and Zoom. While I did my best to spread the load between a few of them, all in the spirit of being less annoying, no doubt some of them had tougher questions to help me with. Every single one of them was more than willing to put time aside to run me through my challenges and make sure that I learnt as much as possible within the shortest amount of time!
  5. Leaders are incredibly involved and stay true to the mission — Gojek’s mission remains to be a champion in making a social impact. I’ve been in companies where this is touted and practised by the CSR team. It always felt like a side affair to the business, fragmented. At Gojek, my leaders and colleagues often push us to think about how we can help the riders and drivers through all the initiatives we’re tasked to do around customer engagement. This level of buy-in has kept me constantly amazed and provides a strong purpose to push through this onboarding process!
  6. Impactful weekly standup sessions — Having weekly standup sessions is something new to me. It amazed me how the entire team was willing to work an agenda collaboratively, and then contribute to update everyone regarding what is going on; a source of ideas and learning for a new joiner. I guess this stems from the autonomy for everyone to work on their own initiatives to drive their OKR. Leaders act as mentors, not a gateway for other divisions to communicate with! In this session, my leader usually only had one pertinent question — “What can I do to make your life easier / put you on a path of success”.
  7. Personal check-ins — Heartwarming to say the least. From the representatives who were involved in my transfer from Malaysia — Indonesia — Malaysia, HR, team members and leaders, everyone took time out to either Slack or have a chat to make sure I am doing fine. Now this cannot be coordinated or be part of a handbook, this is just a testament to the kind of people that are hired in Gojek.

Onboarding with a vibrant bunch of individuals has made this very challenging process that much simpler and allowed me to persevere through. I look forward to contributing to the organisation. COVID-19 has not stopped Gojek from making a difficult journey manageable for me, which was mainly possible because of the culture and people.

Read about Gojek’s COVID-19 initiatives to support our partner communities in the ecosystem, here.

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