Setting a good impression for new hires is important, we also want to show that we’re organized and prepared as a new person starts their journey with us. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, with our busy days it’s not easy to pass on information in a structured way. At times I’ve forgotten to share or explain certain things at the beginning which then ends up being passed on in an irregular way. This can affect their impression of us, but will certainly impact the onboarding efficiency.
The usual route is to maintain a list of things (an on-boarding checklist) for the new hire. I’ve done this and it works, but either it’s passing a lot of information at once or holding some back and then deciding the right time to pass it on, making it more of a scheduling challenge that is never productive.
I needed to try something different for a couple of new hires so looked for different options. Trello looked good as I could plan the on-boarding process before their first day. My plan with the “on-boarding” board was to:
- create all the onboarding tasks or information I need to share as separate cards
- have a standard set of cards that each new starter would complete so nothing will be forgotten (but even if it is a new card can be added for future starters)
- create specific cards per individual for any unique tasks
- add labels to certain cards that could be higher priority e.g. “Important” or “First week”
- let the new hire work through the cards at their own pace
- easily track the board and update progress, we can even work together on this
- give the impression that we are organized!
- have a template board that is copied for each new hire
After putting this in place and trying it out, the feedback was very good! The new hires felt it was a good way to share information and on-board in a structured way. One of the people even created a checklist on some cards to help track progress!
Now I don’t have to worry about forgetting or leaving it too late to share something! This has not only improved the onboarding experience but has made it a much easier process for me too! Even other managers have begun using this with their new hires.
The board was a good starting point but there can always be improvements, here are a few thoughts:
- the board is in a Kanban-style with To Do/In Progress/Done but card checklists can be used to show progress so card can remain in their columns.
- Making better use of columns. The first column could be “About this board” to help someone new to understand its purpose and how to use it. Other columns could be:
- Things To Do: Actions the new hires needs to do
- <company name>: Cards with links to articles and videos about the company, or process/procedure related.
- Your Team: Cards all about the team they have joined
- General Reading: could be tech related, anything specific to the role/company
Below are a couple of images of the Welcome board to help visualise. The feedback from our new hires was good so if you don’t have a way to visualize onboarding for your new hires I recommend something like this.