How To Help New Hires Become Fast Contributors: Key Lab Takeaways

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How To Help New Hires Become Fast Contributors: Key Lab Takeaways
November 5 2020

Ross Blog (2)  Ross Palley

We invited three B2B tech startups in the Venture Lane community to participate in our Employee Onboarding Lab. Participants worked directly with a Mentor Committee of seasoned HR leaders in Boston tech to retool their employee onboarding processes for greater speed to contribution.

On the Committee, we had Elyse Neumeier (Chief People Officer @ EverQuote) and Lucy Lemons (Vice President of People @ Numerated). Check out their key takeaways below!

How to get department heads bought into your onboarding process…

  • Model your processes after big tech. You’ll have a much easier time convincing leadership and department heads to buy into new onboarding processes if they know those frameworks are modeled after Google, Amazon, etc.

  • Have department heads complete the last 20%. Structure the first leg of onboarding to be universal across all departments. Provide a list of key objectives that department-specific onboarding needs to fulfill thereafter, and ask department heads to customize & add some detail.

  • Empower department heads to build sub cultures. Strong sub cultures within different teams and departments are a good thing. Encourage department heads to add a ‘culture moment’ to onboarding like having everyone on the team deliver a hand written card to a new hire.

How to remove communication friction for new hires…

  • Clarify use of different channels. Make sure new hires know which channels to use for different types of communication like slack, email, meetings, etc. Getting this wrong early on can greatly hinder their speed to contribution.

  • Opt for customer journeys over org charts. Rather than give new hires an org chart of your company, give them a customer journey map that includes where in that journey each member of the company gets involved. This will help new hires understand who to go to internally with certain questions.

  • Mix it up. People learn differently. Incorporate a mix of learning styles into your onboarding processes (self-directed assignments, visual representations, group work, etc) to ensure that anyone joining your team can get up to speed quickly.

How to use leadership’s time efficiently…

  • Group new hires together as best you can, even if it means certain folks starting a week earlier or later than anticipated. This will limit the time you need from ‘key people to meet’ on the team.

  • Schedule a monthly CEO talk for new hires, rather than having the CEO meet with every new hire individually. Encourage the CEO to share vision, mission, and values and tell the company’s origin story.

  • Document knowledge for asynchronous use. If certain members of the team feel like they’re getting hit up too much by new hires, use this as motivation to get them documenting knowledge for individual use.

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