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Challenges of remote onboarding during COVID19

Following on from the story we posted recently on the restructuring and rationalisation of the Medical Research Foundation’s Salesforce implementation, today I want to focus on the remote onboarding we undertook for the MRF to bring staff online during the COVID-19 crisis.

Having originally planned to give the Salesforce training face to face, when the UK went into lockdown on the 23rd of March, we immediately started putting together an alternative approach.  We felt that we could not afford to delay implementation and roll out to support the MRF team. Time Technology already operates a remote working structure, so to some extent, this was all business as usual. For charities worldwide, however, they face the double impact of greatly reduced donation income and the immediate need to facilitate the delivery of their mission while enabling staff to work from home. That is an enormous challenge.

To see the team at MRF rallying around to address this challenge has been inspiring. While they were already benefitting from running many of their business functions in the Cloud, MRF have embraced online collaboration tools at a speed that was probably considered impossible prior to the current crisis. In trying to do our bit, Time Technology held three 2-hour onboarding sessions, using the now ubiquitous Zoom meeting tool. Each session was adjusted to suit the departments taking part, including Fundraising, Communications, Finance, Research and more. The sessions were recorded, and slide decks supplied for later reference.

For the most part, I would say the training went well and achieved the goals that were set out. The one thing that is hard to replace in an online session, is the immediate human feedback. In any face to face meeting, we are constantly picking up on small cues that can lead a conversation down a different path. I guess maybe we will all need to make small adjustments, such as verbalising what might otherwise be non-verbal, in order to make the most of these powerful collaboration tools.

Since the start of this process, the Medical Research Foundation has doubled the number of staff benefitting from access to their Salesforce implementation, and this can only increase their ability to perform in this challenging environment.

Maria Claridge, Head of Operations & Governance, Medical Research Foundation said “I was delighted that the rollout of our refreshed Salesforce platform could continue as planned, with only a slight delay as the UK went into lockdown.  This helped to ensure our team had the appropriate tools in place to deliver ‘business-as-usual’ in these very unusual times.”

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