There are two primary questions to consider:
1) How often do you hire new team members?
2) How FAST are your new employees ready to work on their own and contribute to the company?
If you can get the full stack employee in less than three months, congrats! You are an HR and onboarding guru. Unfortunately, the rest of us are not. We usually need more time (up to six months) to successfully onboard the new team member and to get good results from them.
We are going to share our plan with you and hope that you can use it in a company of yours and help us make it even better. Let's start!
Step 1. Make an announcement to the rest of the team that you are going to have a new team member.
A natural place for that announcement would be the internal company blog. If you are still not using an internal blog here is why it may be a good idea to start one.
By doing that, we have prepared the team for a newbie that will join us. We have explained what will be his tasks (it's a guy) and how he could help us with his experience and knowledge. It was an excellent introduction.
Step 2. Prepare new workstation and set up the computer for our new colleague a few days before she arrives.
- It is handy to have a checklist with all the accounts that you need to create for someone new (such as office email, GIT account, helpdesk account...) Having everything prepared saves a lot of time and enables the new team member to start doing something productive right away.
Step 3. Make sure that your company culture document is up to date.
- If you wish, you can even print it and give it to the new person. In our case, this wasn't necessary, because we keep our company culture in our internal blog on BlogIn, as a page. Even if we have regular updates, it still needed some refreshment, so we have done it for the occasion.
Step 4. Have your procedures in writing
- When someone new joins your team, it is useful to have all your company procedures written down. In this way, this person can learn at her pace and discover new things along the way. Once again, an internal blog proved to be a great place for keeping your procedures available and up to date.
Step 5. Enable access to the internal Q&A section.
- In our internal blog, we have a Q&A category where everyone can ask anything. For example, you can find out how to make a killer espresso, where to find a fresh milk, learn some parking tips, or bike repair instructions. Someone new can learn a lot of practical things on such place.
Step 6. Write a welcome post on the day of a new colleague's arrival.
- You can write a welcome email, as well. In this way, you will make a new person feeling like a celebrity. Besides that, you will have a chance to send her all the useful resources that you have prepared (company culture, procedures, internal Q&A link, some e-books, etc.).
Step 7. The first day at work - show her around and introduce her to the team.
- Avoid boring office tours, where you go from one room to the next introducing a new person to the people. That is pretty scary for a newcomer. Instead, ask your team to join you in the common room and let them present themselves. Team members can show their workspaces to the new person later. It is more fun doing it this way. (We have given it a try, but it didn't quite turn out the way we hoped. But we will not give up! We will try to make it better next time.)
Step 8. One-on-one meeting with the CEO.
- At this meeting, the CEO should explain the company’s expectations from a new person, what are her duties and what she can expect from the company. As simple as that.
And, that's it, this is our plan. We had a few bumps on the road while executing it, but that was a pretty nice day in our office, after all.
Our new colleague is still fitting in. He is doing great. He is with us for a month, and he already knows how to make quite a good espresso, how to talk to customers, and how to fix a minor bug in the application. He is searching BlogIn or asks one of us about things he doesn't know.
The experience of organizing a “celebrity-like” welcome for our new team member has taught us a few things:
- it is important to have a PLAN,
- successful onboarding of a new team member is as equally important as onboarding new app users,
- your Internal company blog can do the heavy lifting - it keeps all necessary resources at one place and makes it easier to learn how a company works.
We hope to have a chance to do it again really soon!
Do you have some advice that can help us make our plan better? How do you welcome your new colleagues? Would you like to try doing it with BlogIn?