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 or even have the equipment there for you to get started on your day. This is something that happened to one of our employees. 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 a proper onboarding plan in place so that you arent kicking things off on the wrong foot with your new employees that you are bringing in. 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 for them to join your team. 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 and 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 as well as allowing 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 and showing them what they have to take of daily and then they continue on to doing training of the ample amount of systems that we use and then they get a third day to really deep 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 and have them take the employee through the training process as they more often than not will have the best training materials on their site or have webinars of some sort 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 to just see how things are going, make sure that they are doing ok, answer any questions they may have and support them in any way that they may need. 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 to 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. By taking action on the feedback right away 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 are also another great tool to check in and track how your employees are doing. This is a great time to ask different things and maybe 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 alot of software out there to help you with documenting, storing and planning these informal and formal conversations and reviews that you have with your team. By keeping track of this information it helps with your compensation plan as 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 what the company is trying to achieve.