How we onboard n00bs at Fyle
My name is Yitzhak, and I work with People Ops at Fyle. As part of my job, I help people seamlessly onboard and integrate with our company's culture and vision. I am also responsible for tiresome 10km runs. People know me for cracking silly jokes at Fyle.
But what is People Ops, you ask?
I've always been a firm believer in not attributing Humans as Resources. And, boy, was I happy when I joined Fyle! Here we have no HRs. Instead, we have People Ops; this is our way of humanizing the Human in Human Resources. Read on to know more about our culture and how we welcome noobs at Fyle.
How we add the employee in Employee Onboarding
At Fyle, we believe attracting the right talent is only one side of the coin. The other side is to do with having an efficient and seamless onboarding process in place. A well-thought onboarding process helps new folks to stay in the know of things. It also ensures businesses have their teams working in tandem with the vision of the organization.
When people join a new workforce, they may be nervous. Thus, the integration of new team members into an organization's culture and processes becomes essential. Also, helping them unlearn and adapt to new circumstances decreases potential misunderstandings and misconceptions at the current workplace.
But how do successful businesses achieve this? - By creating an effective, simple, and seamless onboarding process. Here's how we at Fyle strive to ace the onboarding process.
Paperless employee onboarding
Most successful organizations have veered away from impersonal and mechanical approaches to onboarding new joinees.
L’Oréal, for instance, is approaching Employee onboarding as millennials would – through an app that contains quizzes and games along with some learning materials. The company’s Fit Culture app aims to teach new members L’Oréal’s culture, which is essential in every onboarding process.
Whether you go digital or paperless, here are some basic guidelines we’ve employed at Fyle to ensure smooth integration of new team members.
Must-knows for People Ops personnel
Coming from my experience as a People Ops personnel, I have learned that our profession is all about effective, empathetic, and proactive communication. Here at Fyle, we make it a point to stay in contact with the new members long before they join us.
During our conversations, we let them know about our culture, work environment, the way we function, and other operational things. We also send them onboarding forms 2-3 days before they join. This helps them finish up these chores remotely and from the convenience of their homes & on the day of joining they have absolutely no worry on missing a doc or a baggage to carry. This is how we ensure they are not buried under heaps of forms on their first day.
Here are some of our other key takeaways:
- Send a pre-employment checklist email
We've learned that sending this email a few weeks before the start date gives new team members ample time to prepare and work on the requirements. This also helps them understand the specific processes and documents they need to submit as part of the formalities.
Also, ensure you include a deadline for each requirement to let them know what documents they need to bring on their first day. We've seen that helping new joiners with context before they enter the workplace instills confidence in them.
- Surprise new joinees with a welcome email
One day before the start date, sending a personalized email welcoming new members works magic. Adding details such as how excited everyone is for him or her to be part of the team helps them feel valued. Also, including essential information such as where to park, the location of their workstation, their immediate manager’s name and contact details, and their work schedule enables them not to be lost on their first day.
Here’s an example of how we welcome new joinees via email at Fyle:
Also, ensure you don’t forget to include other details that are important for new team members. For example, they may need to bring their own coffee mugs or other personal items. Letting them know in advance will help them feel at ease on their first day.
- Keep the immediate manager in the loop
If the team manager were involved in the recruitment process, he or she would know who the new team member is. Still, People Ops needs to endorse them to the team formally. This also helps the manager to be present on the day new folks report for work.
An environment change often seems daunting for a new staff member. Put them at ease by simplifying processes, showcasing transparency, and providing them enough information and context about how things work at your organization. This also directly talks about the work culture that you endorse.
- Follow up and collect onboarding feedback
It’s essential to make a follow-up call a month after their first day. Ask them how they are adjusting to the team and get a general pulse of the whole work environment. This also gives new joiners the confidence that your company has a culture which is always open to identify and fix problems.
Also, getting their thoughts on the entire onboarding process helps you fix loopholes. During the call, ask them what went well, what could have been better, and other best practices that they have seen in their previous organizations. This helps you imbibe the best that industries across the globe have to offer to their teams.
- Provide necessary hardware and software access
At Fyle, we ensure to prepare everything well in advance. By everything, we mean the tools that new team members will need to perform their duties. Doing this shows your team that you value their time and effort.
Also, coordinate with the IT department weeks before the team member is set to start. You should also notify the facilities department so they can make a key-card badge in advance. This way, they'll have a smooth start on their first day, adding to the overall excellent onboarding experience.
- Welcome new members with an Onboarding kit:
A great first day will solve 80% of all generic onboarding issues. Always plan a personal onboarding kit specific to position and department. You can also add in some goodies that you know they will like. This signifies the amount of time and effort taken to make the new joiner feel comfortable on their first day.
At Fyle, we welcome new members by having their work station set up with a few personalized goodies like Tshirt, hoodie, stickers, badges & notepads. With this, we hope for them to start feeling comfortable right from the start.
Must-knows for immediate managers
The first day of work can be tough, even for the most outgoing person. As the manager, it is your job to make them feel comfortable enough to start learning and contributing. When People Ops endorses the details of a new team member, take note of the start date. Also, put it on your calendar to make sure that you are available on that day.
If you are a frontline manager, you might understandably be caught up in your day to day responsibilities. But, ensure you delegate some of these tasks to a senior member of your team. For instance, new joinees may need to be enrolled in the company’s clock-in program on the first day. Ensure you have items like this covered.
In our experience, the one thing we have learned is that - New folks need to know that they have you (or another team member) to turn to on their first day or even the first few weeks of their employment. Thus, ensure that they don’t feel left out.
Additionally, here are some other things we do at Fyle:
- Schedule a welcome huddle
Schedule a team huddle to welcome new joinees. You can include it on the agenda of your regular team meetings. Or, you can simply get everyone on the team to gather around for a few minutes when new members arrive. You can also have everyone introduce themselves to help break the ice. By doing this, you make the new folks feel welcome.
- Set up a building tour
You can assign someone on the team to show new members around the building. Knowing where the facilities are and where certain departments are located will make them feel more comfortable. It also does not allow them to waste time getting lost around corridors.
- Conduct hands-on training
Most people will feel lost when starting a new job, no matter how experienced they are. Also, each company has particular methods of doing things. Hence, it is essential to train new folks on this. This helps avoid wrong assumptions and costly mistakes in the future. You can either handle this training by yourself or assign the task to another expert team member.
- Conduct one-on-one meetings
Schedule a meeting two weeks after their first day & in the meeting, try to understand how they are doing and if there’s anything they need help with. Individual sessions are also an excellent venue for feedback and coaching. They also help in creating strong professional relationships between managers and team members.
It is in the onboarding process that new team members learn the tools, information, and behavior required to succeed in an organization. Aside from increasing productivity, proper employee onboarding can also increase retention by 25%.
All these numbers may sound intimidating, but an effective, well-thought onboarding process can produce culture-driven teams which are crucial to the growth of the company. We believe we’ve made this happen; you can too.