Remote teams are known to struggle more with creating genuine personal connections between employees. Donut is looking to solve this with a sleek solution that lives on Slack.
Especially as a team grows, it can be easy to become comfortable in your social circle and don't talk too much to people outside of that circle. For a remote team without much face-to-face time, it can therefore be hard to get some good team bonding going. That's where Donut is supposed to help.
I first found Donut when I was running a community and wanted to match up new members and get them talking over a virtual coffee. This created a great solution for the struggles of many remote teams, making it a popular tool in this space as well.
Matchings through Playbooks
While matchups for socializing are still a main use case, the platforms offers a lot more options these days. What I liked a lot is the option to create an in-house mentorship program and cross-team matchups out of the box. That saves you a lot of energy and time in organization – something that would have taken weeks to prepare before.
Playbooks are very easily applied and can be customized down to a very detailed level – specify user groups for matching, only match people in a certain channel and customize the matchup schedules.
All that is coupled with a very polished user experience, making this very user friendly for non-tech-savvy folks as well, if they aren't scared away by the many options.
A toolkit for Onboarding
The importance of a proper onboarding flow in remote teams cannot be stressed enough. In fact, if you are worried at all about team culture, proper onboarding on the first day of a new employee can be exactly the building stone that you need.
Donut has developed a new solution for that too, and it's available right from the same app! For an additional charge, you can unlock the onboarding builder by Donut.
Here again, Donut provides you a few templates to get started – such as a simple welcome message, multiple check-ins and even buddy intros. This might sound familiar compared to the core product, but the builder itself is much more customizable and closer to an "expert product", allowing you to build complex sequences that can cover anything from greetings to data collection.
Culture in remote teams is a big topic. It's good to see that there is an organization which takes these issues seriously, and is building towards creating new tools to improve teamfeeling and culture for modern remote organizations.
Obviously, greetings, onboardings and mentorship isn't the end solution to good culture, but it covers a great bit and the Donut team has shown over and over that they are able to execute.
Here are some milestones that Donut can help you achieve when virtually onboarding your remote workers.
Orientation buddy. The Donut bot will pair new hires with orientation partners from the Slack workspace via group chat. If they’re not available, Donut can be the orientation buddy!
1-on-1 with managers. You can use Donut to get remote employees and managers to check in with each other at specific times. Provide scheduling links as well, if it helps.
Scheduled social time. Like it does with orientation buddies, Donut will pair new employees with other company members to facilitate lunch discussions, coffee chats, and new connections.
Schedule 30, 60, 90-day check-ins. Plan these meetings in advance and notify managers at 30-day intervals to follow up on new employees.
As a bonus, Donut onboarding also allows you to use polls to collect feedback on the orientation procedure — that way, onboarding remains an iterative process.