Does your business have a team onboarding process?
If not, what happens when a new team member joins?
- Left to their own devices to figure things out?
- Assigned nebulous “goals” and expected to somehow make it work?
Or are they warmly welcomed, and given the training, guidance and support that they need to succeed?
Why You Need a Team Onboarding Process
You absolutely need a team onboarding process in your business.
It lowers staff turnover.
And if you want to be utilitarian about it, traditional service businesses take about six months for a new team member to contribute back the value of their recruitment to the business.
Meaning that if a new team members leaves before six months… that just cost the business money.2Mueller, A. (2022). The Cost of Hiring a New Employee. Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0711/the-cost-of-hiring-a-new-employee.aspx
Once you’ve found someone great for your business… why wouldn’t you set them up to succeed?
The Mindset You Need for Team Onboarding
You want to start team onboarding with the right mindset.
Forget any rubbish you have heard about:
- People needing to stand on their own two feet
- You can’t give them answers to the exam ahead of time.3This is work, not school.
- That senior hires are expected to contribute immediately and not have their hand held in any way whatsoever.
If you want your business to succeed and make money — you will do everything in your power to help your team members succeed.
But how do you actually do this?
Here’s how we do it at Lynn Industries.
Team Onboarding: What and Why
Work out what your team onboarding process covers, and doesn’t cover.
What should team onboarding cover?
Everything after recruitment, everything before the team member officially starts, and their initial work period with the company. This includes their onboarding checklists and ongoing check-ins as part of team management.
Why are you doing team onboarding?
To make your new team members feel welcome, part of the team, and to have them up, running and part of the company culture as quickly as possible.
Team Onboarding: Who
Who is responsible for your team onboarding process?
Who actually performs the various components of onboarding like account setup, training and check-ins?
Work these out and write them down.
Team Onboarding: When
You need to know how long your team onboarding process takes.
For some companies, this is one month.
For others, it can be as short as two weeks.
A good number to aim for is two weeks, with the aim to have the team member fully functional and autonomous within three months.
The Team Onboarding Process
Here’s an outline for a team onboarding process that you can take use as a start for your own business.
Part 1: Before they join
Once a team member has been recruited (but before they join), their accounts and applications need to be set up and ready for use.
If you are large enough to have an IT department, they will be responsible for this. But most likely it will be you (the business owner) or an operations person setting these up.
These are access and accounts for:
- Any other apps that your team uses.
You will also want to prepare an introduction email to the new team member and an introduction email to the team.
You will want to add them to your team directory.
And you will want to invite their new company email address to all the meetings and trainings ahead of time, so that they are scheduled into their calendar from the very first day.
Part 2: Onboarding training
The new team member’s first day should start with a welcome call.
This can be with their direct manager, or someone senior that they’ll be working with. If it’s a small company under 12 people, it should be with the founder/CEO.
You’ll then want to begin with some training and an introduction to the company culture. Give them the big picture of the company, and how their role contributes to it. Ideally, this initial training should be done live, even if it takes 1-2 hours.
You’ll then want to dive into technical training, related to the role they’ve been hired for. Give them both classroom lessons, and hands-on work practice with other team members. This will help them build rapport with the team quickly and make them feel welcome. Technical training can be a combination of both live training and recorded trainings.
You’ll also want to provide the new team member with administrative training. This is everything from how certain apps work, or how payslips/leave requests work in the company.
Part 3: End of week check-ins
At the end of every week for the first month, the new team member should have a short check-in call with their direct manager or the company founder/CEO.
This is part of making them feel welcome and also part of familiarising them with the company culture.
Part 4: Self-study checklist
No onboarding process would be complete without a self-study checklist of some sort.
Give the new team member access to the company wiki and link to videos and SOPs for them to study when they have time between trainings and initial work.
You can also give them some administrative odds and ends like setting up their Slack profile photo for this time.
Part 5: Ongoing check-ins
By the end of the first month, everyone should have spoken with the new team member.
Be sure to set up an end-of-first-month check-in chat with the new team member, then transition them over to your regular, ongoing one-on-one schedule (like with all other team members).
Results of a Successful Team Onboarding Process
When a team member onboarding process is run correctly, it looks very, very smooth.
There will be few hiccups bringing someone onboard, the new team member feels welcome, and they are up and running quickly and succeeding with their work fast.
This is great for the team member and great for the business.
What To Do Next
The idea of team member onboarding is not a complicated process in business — and yet, so many businesses fail to have one in place.
Team Onboarding SOP
If you’d like a fast start to setting a team onboarding SOP up for your business, enter your name and email here.
I’ll send you a one-click import for a team member onboarding process you can customise and use in Notion.
If you’d like help tailoring a team member onboarding process specifically for your apps and processes, head on over here and book a discovery call with me. We’ll talk about how we can work together to implement team member onboarding in your business.
- The first impression is during recruitment.
- Mueller, A. (2022). The Cost of Hiring a New Employee. Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0711/the-cost-of-hiring-a-new-employee.aspx
- This is work, not school.