Ep93: How to NOT Mess Up Your Onboarding

29 minutes

Have you ever used the phrase “integrity is our watchword” in an onboarding document? Do you have a “behind-the-scenes tour” you give new hires, to show them what working at your company is really like?

How you onboard will affect how new hires integrate and perform. And it might force Jodi to make her rolly-eye face.  

Why is that important for business?

There are several parts to a good onboarding process:

  1. The logistics of the company. This is almost pure data and gives the basics of how the company functions.
  2. The basics of your job. You need to understand what you will be doing and where the resources to do your job can be found.
  3. The cultural tour: All the invisible minutiae that makes up the “real” culture.

Onboarding is more than just knowing where the bathroom is; part of onboarding needs to include a behind-the-scenes tour of the culture of the company. What are the rules of engagement that are unique to this workspace? Who can put what in the refrigerator? Do you reply all, or will that make everyone angry? This is the stuff that can make new employees the most anxious, and yet it is often neglected.

It’s the difference between sharing a (largely meaningless) cliché mission statement and having somebody put themselves in the position of someone who was new and didn’t yet know how things worked and addressing a lot of it upfront.

If you don’t share this information, either formally or informally, you can create a minefield in your office where the only way to learn the rules are to step on a potential mine. It’s important to consider how you create the space to teach people about the informal but important cultural rules of an office, without forcing people to step on mines and learn by blowing up.

For this, it is important to have some people who are the Guardians of the Culture and can give this behind-the-scenes tour in an onboarding process. Whether it’s creating a Care and Feeding binder (check out more about that in this episode: https://soheresmystory.com/ep60-care-and-feeding/) that detail how higher ups like things done, or another process that works for your environment, you need to ensure the unique culture isn’t hidden from new hires.

So what are the quirky idiosyncrasies of you or your office? What are our rules that only you have? We’d love to hear over in our SHMS Facebook Group! bit.ly/shmsgroup

What story do you want to tell?

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