Congrats! You’ve finally found & hired the perfect team member to support you in your business. But have you prepared your business for a new team member? Do you have a proper onboarding process in place?
The way how you bring on and integrate new team members can make or break the relationship whether you hire a full-time employee or a part-time contractor. Your onboarding process can determine whether new hires feel welcome, how effective they work and whether they reach their full potential.
I see so many online business owners getting excited to finally scale their business and grow a team, that they totally neglect to properly onboard the people they bring on board.
They end up being frustrated as they don’t see the results they desired, thinking the person they recruited is not the right fit, they hired for the wrong role to be filled or it just wasn’t the right time to bring someone on board.
Even if you hire an expert, your business is still unique. Maybe not in the technology you use or the processes you have in place, but your branding is, your message is and the way how you prefer to communicate is.
I personally onboard new team members for my clients and today I want to share with you how you can ensure your onboarding process is effective by incorporating a few key steps.
SHARE YOUR VISION STATEMENT
When you hire a new team member, it is important to make sure they really understand what your business is about.
Create a simple document they can refer to that covers:
- The overall vision & mission of your business
- The history of the business
- Your brand story or hero’s journey
- A clear USP
- Your core message
- Your ideal client
SCHEDULE A KICK OFF MEETING
Whether you do it in-person or over a call, a kick off meeting as part of your onboarding process should be scheduled BEFORE you assign tasks to your new team member. This meeting is to get to know each other better, get the new hire familiar with your business procedures and form a personal relationship.
I suggest you follow a predefined agenda and cover areas such as:
- General business procedures (how you “do” things, i.e. what’s the best way to communicate, how do you assign tasks, what are the office hours, etc)
- Other members on the team and their roles are
- Goals for the upcoming year
- Sales/Launch/Event Plan for the year
- Focus & projects for the next 90 days
Tip: Record this call or have a written summary so you’re new team member is not busy taking detailed notes but can fully focus on the conversation.
INTRODUCE THEM TO EXISTING TEAM MEMBERS
Especially if you manage a virtual team of contractors, it’s important that they all feel as a part of your business despite being in different locations and working for multiple clients. Make sure your team members are introduced to each other in a face-to-face meeting or group call.
My personal experience is that the more welcome a new team members feels, and the better the relationship between co-workers is, the more invested they will feel in your business and the better the results they produce are.
Tip: Make it fun and let them get to know each other on a personal level! Have them share their background, let them tell stories & fun facts or pop a bottle of champagne to celebrate a new member to the family 😉
PROVIDE A BRAND KIT
Whether you bring on a graphic designer, a virtual assistant or a web developer, they will all have certain touch points with your branding. Make sure they have access to your brand kit consisting of your brand colors, your logos, your fonts, any brand photos & stock images, and everything else that visually represents your brand.
Especially when you hire someone who directly communicates with your (potential) customers, it is important all communication reflects the voice of your brand. A a simple brand voice document that lists common words and phrases in combination with some sample texts (customer support emails, social media posts, replies to comments) is a good starting point to train your new team members to sound like you!
HAVE A PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOL & MESSAGING APP
A solid project management platform allows you to map out projects, tasks and responsibilities for each team member. You can plan, organize, and manage your team’s work all in one place by creating tasks, assigning team members & deadlines and tracking progress.
In order to communicate with your team members most effectively I suggest using a messaging app rather than email (or Facebook!)
A central hub for communication is crucial, especially for virtual teams, to share ideas, manage the progress of projects, and comment in real time to keep each other updated.
SHARE ACCESS TO YOUR ACCOUNTS
I see many online business owners keeping their passwords in a Google doc. This is neither really secure nor very efficient as you would have to create multiple docs depending on what logins they need plus you’ll have to update all of them whenever you add a new login or change a password.
There are great password managers such as LastPass or 1Password and I highly recommend signing up for one when you hire your first team member.
With a password manager you can give each team member their own vault of passwords so everyone has just the passwords they need to perform their tasks.
Plus, whenever you need to update a password, it’s automatically updated for everyone the logins have been shared with.
CREATE TUTORIALS & SOPs
It’s best to start creating tutorials before you actually hire someone so the person you bring on board has some direction to guide them when they get started.
The easiest and most effective way to create SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) is to write out the steps or film a screenrecording as you perform the task.
In order to determine what SOPs you need, the best place to begin is to think through the tasks you’re delegating and then what common issues arise around those. This can range from how to use certain tools in your business, to tracking time or labelling files.
You don’t have to document every single process of your business (for now ;)) Your goal is to give your new team member a starting point.
I would say that SOPs & systems are one of the most important parts when creating & growing a team. Systems ensure that each time someone performs a task they follow the exact same process. They minimize employee training time, ensure consistency across your brand, reduce errors and increase efficiency.
I hope this post might help you in creating a smooth onboarding process to bring on new team members.
If you need help in hiring & managing your team, I got good news for you as this is what I do all day, every day for my clients. Schedule a free call to see how I can take day-to-day team management off your plate, so you can focus on the things you love!