Onboarding at Roche
I was directly included by everyone.
What can you expect on your first day at Roche?
First of all, a bouquet of flowers. You are received by your superior and directly introduced to your new colleagues. Then the onboarding process is discussed, so that you acquire an overview of the next few weeks.
Even before my first day, I had several meeting requests in my calendar and was informed about the procedure for the first few days. During the course of the day, one meets the various colleagues and functions and learns how they are networked with oneself. There is also a joint lunch to make contacts. So the day is quite well filled.
You describe a start as Product Manager. But you actually started at Roche in the field service. Are there differences here?
At the beginning, all new employees - regardless of whether office staff or field service -initially come to the campus in Grenzach-Wyhlen, get to know each other and the company and go through several training courses for preparation. These are of course different depending on the role. But in internal service there is e.g. a mentoring system where I have an experienced Product Manager at my side. In field service this is more difficult through the spatial distance. However, the whole on-site team supports the new colleagues in mastering the challenges of the new job.
What else is there to make the start easier for the new colleagues?
There is a “starter week” for everyone that takes place once per quarter. In this week all new employees meet, attend lectures, e.g. on the corporate vision, find out more about the works council or can inform themselves about sports offers and many other benefits.
But you probably only did this once.
Correct. But in addition, there were e.g. product management workshops and various E‑Learning courses. These are partially voluntary, partially mandatory.
Before your time at Roche, you worked in research. How important was the onboarding to create a bridge between university and the company?
The working world is not so different between research and my work at Roche as both areas are very self-determined. From the content perspective, this directly tied in with my studies and I wanted to work with people anyway. But the training workshops also prepared me very well.
What kind of training workshops are these?
We have our own training centre in Grenzach, which amongst others is responsible for training courses and is specialized in training new employees. After the training courses I really did feel like an expert for my product. But situations like the first visit to the physician can of course not be simulated in an exercise. If required you can, however, also participate in training courses on the job, which offer a great possibility for further development.
What are the greatest challenges during the first few days in the new job?
If you come from a completely different working environment, you first need to get used to a culture where everyone coordinates with everyone else. The strong networking can be a challenge especially at the beginning. But you learn this very quickly because you get networked by the colleagues practically immediately: Mails, meeting invitations, I was directly included by everyone.
When do things really start?
I only had visits to physicians in field service after approximately six weeks with many intensive workshops that prepared me for this time. But in advance, I could sit in with colleagues so I was able to experience dialogues. In office duty I was given the tasks gradually. But this of course only was possible as there was a corresponding representative that supported me during this time.
In retrospect, what was the most valuable feature of onboarding for you?
I found it very helpful that new employees are actively accompanied. New people can always approach a colleague with their questions. Apart from this, everyone here is happy to offer their help.