5 steps for successful onboarding
By Dr. Andreas Schroeter, Chief Product Officer at Movinx
I’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time, and growing my team has remained a top priority over the years – regardless of what the market’s doing.
Naturally, onboarding has become second nature to me – and yet many team leaders just “wing it”.
Getting your team up to speed is critical: you simply don’t have the time – particularly not in startups – to wait a full year until a new hire is 100% up to speed. My goal is 3 months.
So how do I do I support them to get there?
1. Create an onboarding guide for each new hire.
Spend a few hours gathering information and writing down your thoughts BEFORE the new person starts. This alone will save you weeks down the track.
It should include:
- what you expect them to do (recycle and adapt the job description),
- whom they should meet in the first week or two (connect them rather than them trying to figure it out),
- where to find the right resources, reading material etc. to get familiar with your company and industry, and
- give them clear goals and expectations.
Share this guide with the new hire a few days prior to start, it will make them less anxious about their first day.
And share it with everyone in the company when you introduce the new hire – it’s the best way to ensure transparency on what the person will do in your company.
2. Set clear goals for 'Week 1' and 'Month 1'.
This will get the person 100% focused on what they to, from the get-go. This will cut your onboarding time in half.
I tend to set goals that are somewhat unachievable… Wait, there’s a logic here.
Tell them that you know and are deliberately throwing them in the deep end so that they learn the fastest way possible. This way, it helps them see you’re on their side a nd that you’re focused on their development.
They will work hard, they’ll ask you plenty of questions, they’ll reach out to colleagues, research information to get the tasks done – and if they can’t do it, at least you’ll get a better idea of who they are at the end of it.
(Of course, this only works if you’ve established a supportive workplace culture as well… but more on this some other time.)
3. Make their first day a blast!
The first day is what they will always remember about your company – and a motivated person will run 100% faster towards their goals. 🏃🏽
There are many things to this, of course: Have their manager welcome them (virtually or at the office), get equipment/logins ready; have a welcome package ready; decorate their desk; set up introductory meetings before they start; give them a detailed schedule for the first day; set them up with a company buddy to help them navigate the first few days; send an email to the team introducing them; schedule check-ins throughout the day….
And don’t forget to ask for their feedback on Day 1, and check how they would improve the experience for future hires (you’ll have a list of best-practices in no time!).
All in all: make them see that you care about your team, and that you are ready to do what it takes to support them. Remember – it’s a two-way street.
4. Ensure the new hire connects within the organization quickly.
By the end of the first month, they should know their way around the organization.
Set up intros with the most important team partners within the first week and give the new hire a list of whom else to reach out to in the first weeks. That way the new hire has to actively reach out to people.
5. Overdo it, when it comes to feedback.
Set up at least two dedicated feedback sessions to discuss performance within the first three months. This is probably the most important thing you’ll do for your team.
These sessions will allow you to give and receive feedback, and steer the person in the right direction, if necessary.
If someone doesn’t or can’t do their job based on clear goals and feedback, then they’re not right for the job. And that’s fine. It’s better to know this sooner rather than later, and support your team and them through that process.
Within a short time, we’ve been able to implement some great onboarding best practices over at Movinx – but the most important thing, is that we’re always evolving and learning from our people. That’s what learning organizations do.
Have we missed anything?
Thanks to our ongoing commitment to learning from our people, and from the undying enthusiasm of our People team, we’ve been fortunate to roll out people-focused policies across our teams. If you’re curious about what it working at Movinx would be like, read more articles about Life at Movinx – or click here to see our open positions.