As I’ve stepped into my role at FrogSlayer, I’ve taken over onboarding procedures. There were some things we were already doing well, but there were also ways that we needed to improve. Most of people operations/human resources comes down to trial and error, and real data from your employees; so after some errors on our part, we have updated our onboarding procedures so that they may run more smoothly and worry-free for both the onboard-er and the onboard-ee.
During my time at FrogSlayer I’ve turned to a lot of great resources for People Operations. One of my favorites being Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock, former head of People Operations at Google. Something Bock mentioned that stuck out to me was the psychology behind a first impression. An impression that someone has of you is often made within seconds; whether we mean to make these assumptions about a person or not, on a psychological level we can’t help it.
An employee’s first day is not much different than the perceptions I mentioned above. Their TRUE first impression of a company is on their first day. If you came into your new place of work and they didn’t have anything ready (or worse.. forgot you were coming) you would probably be thinking, “what have I gotten myself into?”
I remember beginning one of my first jobs in college at an apartment complex.
I had turned in a resume and they called me for an interview that day and I got hired. The hard part is over, right? WRONG.
Before my first day, I was freaking out (I mean really freaking out) because I had no idea what to expect. All that I had been told was that I would be coming in at this time. I didn’t know anything else.
Before the 1st day:
In order to keep employees from feeling like I did before my first day at the apartment complex, we created a checklist of what to do and what the new hire should receive before the first day:
Send one of these after you extend an offer and get confirmation. For us these emails include a formal offer letter, and a list of answers to commonly asked questions.
Detailed schedule for the first day
Send about a week prior to the first day (some new hires start faster than that but we at least want to send this a couple of days ahead of time).
Where to go
Include where to park and where to go in the building so that they are not lost and wandering.
I consider first days kind of like how I see scary movies.
If I know what is going to happen during a scary movie then I’m not so scared. The same goes for a new hire’s first day. Knowing what will happen makes things seem far less nerve wracking.
The First Day:
In order to make sure that the first day is full of information and very productive for both you and the new hire, we want to make sure that certain things happen to make that first day go wayyyyy smoother.
When new hire arrives make sure to make it a point to introduce them to everyone in the office (if applicable).
Have their desk setup with a laptop/tower, additional monitors, and everything up and running so that all they have to do is login.
Have a printed schedule on the table for them (the one you sent in the email).
We like to put “swag” on their desk to reiterate how excited we are to have them – ex) shirts, coffee mug, water bottle, YETI cup, noise-cancelling headphones, etc etc.
Take them to lunch or schedule a lunch with the team they will be working with, it makes it a bit easier to get to know people.
They made it through the first day and now you can throw them out on their own....
Wrong! Don’t do this to someone.
Post First Day:
Onboarding doesn’t end after the first day, or even the first week. Learning never ends so why should onboarding? This process can continue through the following:
We have a huddle every Monday to talk about what we got done last week and what we plan to get done this week. All teams are present to increase transparency across the company. Teams also have the option of doing an individual huddle.
Lunch N’ Learns
We have these about once a month. They can range anywhere from “How to code at ludicrous speed” to “How to manage your personal finances.”
We like to have our employees participate in some readings. ex) Verne Harnish’s Scaling Up.
Conferences & Workshops
Anything that an employee wants to learn more about can be done. All they need to do is let us know what interests them and where they want to go and we will make it happen.