How to build a kickass team part 5: The train track approach
Imagine for a second that you are walking into your first day at a new job. Sitting down at your new empty desk and no one is there to welcome you, run through onboarding with you, training you. They don’t even have the equipment there for you to get started on your day. This is something that happened to one of our employees at a previous workplace. This experience was one that didn’t leave a great impression on our employee.
To avoid this sort of situation you really need to be sure that you have proper onboarding. So that you aren’t kicking things off on the wrong foot with your new employees. You have already sold them on the company during the hiring stages. Now you need to make sure that you are continuing to reassure them that this was the right decision.
It’s a team effort
One of the best ways to ensure that you are onboarding the employee in the best way possible is to have multiple team members jump in. Get them to train that new employee on different aspects of the business. By doing this you are getting that new employee interacting and getting to know your team right off the bat. Allow your team to shine and show what they know about what they do on a daily basis to the new member.
At Entreflow we put aside 2–3 days for onboarding. The first day is normally a meet and greet with the team, going through the set up of their email, time tracking and task management accounts. Also showing them what they have to take of daily. Then they continue on to doing training of the ample amount of systems that we use. Then they get a third day to really dive into everything and ask questions. So that they can start working on the right foot.
You need to make sure prior to the employee’s first day that they are going to have all the skills and tools to really understanding all the software that they are going to be using. They might come onto the team and not know how to use your very industry specific software. In this situation it might be best to send the new employee to the software team itself. Have them take the employee through the training process. They more often than not will have the best training materials on their site so that they can get trained up quickly.
Next part to this is the tracking portion. Once a month for the first couple of months you are going to want to do an informal check in with the employee. Just see how things are going, answer any questions they may have, and support them.
On top of this you are going to want to make sure that you are also doing a proper 3 month review. At the end of their 3 months, see how they are doing. Make sure that the job is what they expected and allow them to give you some feedback. The more feedback that you get from your team, the better you are going to be as a leader and the better the company is going to grow. From there you are going to want to continue checking in with them maybe every 3 months. Just to see how they are progressing and make sure that they are still having a great time.
At least once a year with every team member on your team you are going to want to do a 360 review. This is important because this is your opportunity to give your team feedback on how they are doing. As well as give them the opportunity to review you and how it is working with you. You really need to be looking at your team from both sides so that you can really grow yourself, your team and your business to the best of your ability.
One caveat though is that you need to be prepared to take that feedback and get into action on it right away if it is reasonable. It really shows your employees that you care about making your company an awesome place to work. If you are hearing the same piece of feedback from more than one employee than this is a really strong sign that you need to be taking action on that piece of feedback right away, if it is reasonable of course!
One on One’s
One on one’s are also another great tool to check in and track how your employees are doing. This is a great time to ask different things. Use what we love to do which is the “start — stop — keep” method. This allows you to ask your team what they think that the team should start doing, stop doing or keep doing. This is an informal way to check in on the performance of your processes and procedures and track how your team’s happiness is doing.
There is a lot of software out there to help you. Documenting, storing, and planning informal and formal conversations and reviews that you have with your team. By keeping track of this information it helps with your compensation plan. You are easily able to see what kind of non-cash or cash increase is due for each employee! It also aids in the culture piece of your company. Because it allows for your employees to see where the company is going and see if their goals align with the company.