Onboarding is of vital importance to a growing company. I believe there are only two things more important, being vision & values (counted together); and hiring.
You see, when a new person starts with you, they know very little about how things work.
Onboarding is your opportunity to educate them on how to get things done. When I say how, I mean not just the logistics (e.g. who to talk to), but also “how” in terms of behaviour. It is also an opportunity to make them feel valued, so they feel they’ve made the right choice taking the job. This is vital to their long term success.
We’ve all had or heard of onboarding horror stories. The desk not set up. People unaware of you starting. Being left to your own devices. Only finding out vital information in week 2. This is a bad look for any company; but if you are a growing company where culture is a competitive advantage for you, it can cost you serious dollars.
With a growing company adding new talent all the time, building a great onboarding programme allows you to nurture your desired culture in the easiest possible way.
What does a good onboarding programming entail? Think about it having two main components - firstly, onboarding to the company; and secondly, onboarding to the job. In this article we will deal with onboarding to the company.
I recommend an onboarding programme that encompasses the first 90 days. Some of the basic things you will want to cover off are:
- the story of how you got here so far
- your vision for the future
- your values and what that means
- talking through the job description in plain English
- a description of your business model and how the money is made
- an organisational chart with photos, names and titles
- health and safety overview
- learning the important pieces of software for the job
Bonus points if you cover off:
- how you communicate (key meetings, comms channels and what they are used for)
- how people are recognised
- a little bio on each of your team member with some interesting facts
- an introduction to the area (best parking, where to get lunch, and take a walk)
It’s important to incorporate regular check ins with their manager, and I also recommend creating a buddy system.
Once you have your information sorted, it’s time to put it into a format that makes sense for you. Organise it into day one, week one, month one, month two and month three.
After you have had your first run through of your onboarding programme, get some feedback from the staff that went through it. Use that to iterate and improve it. Consider your onboarding programme as a very high priority to get right. With a little forethought you can put in place one of the key foundations for evolving the culture you need to succeed. Out of everything you do in the People & Culture space, onboarding has one of the highest returns on investment.