So your new team member has joined and we need to get them settled in super fast! It doesn’t matter how small or informal your team is, it is important and more effective in the long run to have a guided approach to bringing new members into your fold.
You may currently have a relaxed and informal approach to on-boarding new people and you think, for various reasons, that a more organic induction process works for you. This can however place you at risk of seeming disorganised, slightly complacent or unprofessional. It also often means that the new member ends up having to do the hard work of writing up their own induction programme and notes as they go along because you didn’t bother!
It doesn’t have to be formal, highly documented or rigidly structured to be a great on-boarding experience that shows you are professional and focused on setting up your people in a supportive way. So what do we do? Here’s a checklist that will have you set for the first few days – legally, logistically, technically, emotionally and in terms of work culture and team.
Legally – Cover the basics on the first day.
- How are you going to pay Newbie? Score some brownie points and also do your legal duty by sorting out their bank and payment details on day one.
- What will you do if they fall sick? Get that personnel form, contact details and next of kin filled in immediately so you know if they need their asthma pump, a back rub or their mother if they suddenly slump in their chair.
- Is the contract in place and signed? This should have been done before but if not then make sure you get this done. There are many simple free forms online that provide guidance around this.
- Do they know the details of the probationary period? No matter how much you think this new person is ‘the one’, make sure you clearly discuss a probationary period and that it is stated somewhere in writing, if not in their contract.
Logistically – Tell them how and where work is done.
- Where do they work – home, office, client-site or all? We want to ensure that they have information on the critical things they need to know about their physical and virtual work space.
- How do you want them to communicate with and be available to the team? Clearly tell them what your expectations are when it comes to keeping in touch with the team if working virtually or when you expect to see them in the office at the start and end of the day.
- How and when should they tell you where they are? Be clear about explaining what you want your new recruit to do if they are not available and what ‘not available’ means (holiday, sick, client-site, head-down etc.).
Technologically – Set them up to hit the ground running.
- What are the different platforms they need to access from day one? No access to technology tools, platforms, accounts and subscriptions is crippling in this day and age so get this all ready to go and in their mailbox for when they arrive.
- What other technologies should they be aware they may need at some point soon? By separating the supplementary technologies from the crucial ones, Newbie is able to focus more easily on first things first but be sure to let them know that others are available when needed.
- Who should they talk to in their first few days about access and use of technology? Be clear about who in the team they can talk to and ask questions about when it comes to the different technology pieces – whether access or knowledge development.
Emotionally – Ensure they feel the love.
- What should you cover in your first conversation? Welcome them, make them feel appreciated, show an interest in their personal interests and an intention to support and facilitate their success.
- How can you help your new person grow? People choose new jobs and employers because of what they will have the opportunity to do, so ask your new team member what their passions are and how you can help.
- Do they know what success looks like in their role? Share with them what you expect them to spend their time doing in the first few weeks and what they should have done by the end of the first, second and third month so they know how to perform and impress you.
Work and Team – Make them a true member of the team.
- What’s the plan for introducing them to the team? Whether working virtually or physically, make sure you take a moment to send the team an email or set up a meeting/call and do the introduction rounds.
- How can they find out who does what in the team? It is is overwhelming trying to remember so much information and they won’t want to keep asking ‘who is that person again’ – so create a basic diagram or list of who people are and what they do.
- Who can they talk to about small and big things? It is not old-fashioned to set up a buddy system and it can be a hugely effective way of getting your new person up to speed. Find a person in the team that will be willing to be their new best friend.
It is important to remember that your new person wants to make an impression and also wants to feel they have made the right decision. Its win-win on all sides if these things can be achieved.