This happens every time…
For the sake of conversation, we’re going to assume an applicant has already made it through the hiring process (we’ll cover this in a future article) and they have signed an offer letter.
They’re ready to start their new job and have that excited/nervous energy. They don’t know what to expect (because you haven’t told them), and they are hoping for the best.
But… then they show up (in person or virtually) and just look around wondering what to do.
Since there were no expectations and no guidance, the only thing they can do is start asking questions.
But, these are the same questions the previous person asked, and the person before them asked. You’re tired of answering them and you feel like it’s an interruption to your day (it is).
The new person can sense that and their excited/nervous energy turns into nervous/worried energy. They worry that maybe they took the wrong job. Maybe this company doesn’t have their act together. Maybe their new boss is going to be terrible to work for.
Meanwhile, you’re wondering why this new person that was so great in the interview can’t get their act together and start tackling all the things that need to get done.
Frustration forms on both sides of the table, and everything starts off on the wrong foot.
Starting Off on the Right Foot
What you need is a clear and repeatable Employee Onboarding Process.
At a bare minimum, the process should include:
- First-day expectations, so the new hire knows what they need to be focused on and their first day is predictable
- Access to all the software, platform, and tools they need to do their job
- A set of clear steps and materials that walks the new hire through their first day (or week), and welcomes them to the position, company, and team
- Answers to the common questions all new hires ask
- An overall goal to impress and generate excitement that your company has their act together and working for them was 100% the right decision
A Simple Blueprint for Onboarding Employees
Below is a set of ideas that can be used to create your own onboarding process. We’ve built similar systems for companies all over the world (so reach out if you have questions!). They all follow the same core elements.
A Welcome Packet
Once the offer letter is signed, it’s official. Welcome them to the team. This could be as simple as a link to a Google Slides deck that contains the following items:
- A description of the purpose of the asset (giving context to why they should look at it)
- Top 5 things to do on your first day
- A welcome letter or video from the founder(s) or CEO
- A timeline or history of how the company got to where it is today
- The mission and vision statements
- Current company objectives
- Core tenets of the company
- Key people and roles
- Product demo videos (if available)
- An intro and link to “how we work” (see below)
A FAQ For New Hires
Some call it “How we Work”, others call it “New Employee FAQs”, but regardless of what it is called, it’s designed to answer all the questions a new employee might have, so you don’t have to.
It’s recommended that this information is stored in a knowledge base (a centralized location where all company knowledge is stored and easily accessible).
This should walk them through how things function in your business. It should be concise and broken down into bite-size pieces to help reduce the chance of a new hire being overwhelmed.
This resource should include:
- A basic intro on how to use the resource itself
- A welcome section that includes:
- A platform map (how all the systems work together)
- High-level communication guidelines for the workplace (in person or remote) as a whole
- A clear set of next steps and instructions for working through the remaining items
- A description of every platform that is being used, what it’s specifically used for, and clear communication guidelines for within the platform
- A clear description of how projects are managed within the organization
- A note on when and why to use templates and where to find them
- Instructions on how meetings run within your organization and how to keep them organized
- The process to follow when you have a question (they should search the knowledge base first before interrupting someone else)
- Areas of Responsibilities. This includes:
- Company org chart
- A list of specific responsibilities and who owns them to fill in the “gray areas” often left open in an org chart
- FAQs to provide answers to any other common questions that don’t fall into any of the sections above.
- Next steps. This might be:
- Introduce yourself in the #general channel in Slack
- Or, to fill out a questionnaire which gets distributed to the team so they can learn about you
- Get creative and make it fun 🙂
Make it Official
With a great process in place, it’s easy to carry on with your day and not be interrupted by someone new joining the team. But, it’s important to make it special. Adding people to your team is extremely important, regardless of the position they are in.
The easiest way to do it? Make a company announcement. Thank your new team member for choosing your team and company. Make sure other people know there’s a new person on the team and that the team is growing, that momentum is happening.
Thanks for reading!
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