I’ve Got a Feeling
Everyone knows that anticipation (and let’s be honest, sometimes fear) when you start a new job. You go from a company or maybe a school where you know all the people, the expectations, how to get things done. Then you go into a new role and your world is turned upside down, new names, faces, technology and products.
In the best case scenario, you’ve gone through a recruitment process that gives you some insight into the team and company but until you walk in the door (or the virtual door, in our case) it’s hard to fully gauge how you will find it and also how long it might take to get back to that sense of normal that you have had previously.
In our case, add in a team growing by the day, now in 9 countries, and it can be easy to get swept up and away and find yourself feeling discombobulated.
When we set out to design our onboarding program, we knew we wanted an experience that was consistent for each person coming in regardless of team or location.
We wanted them to feel excited by the challenge of the work ahead of them and to feel connected and surrounded by a team that would support them to achieve those big goals.
This is no easy feat, but we’ve come a long way. Here, we’re sharing our onboarding programme to show how we are thinking about and scaling our programme with a global remote team.
Before the Big Day
As soon as someone has been hired, the wheels are set in motion for onboarding.
Working closely with managers, the people team will take care of all the basics. Email, Slack, Asana and other logins are set up and work equipment ordered.
Being a sustainability focused company, we aim to purchase refurbished laptops and limit the travel distance for the item so we find local suppliers in each market and purchase directly to be shipped to our team.
It's not without its hiccups – we’ve had one laptop go missing this year and our credit card blocked temporarily for our suspicious laptop purchasing behaviour, but keeping it local has worked out really well overall.
While the logins, equipment and other admin tasks are being taken care of, the manager has one main focus during this pre-onboarding window: 90 day goals. For each person coming in, the expectation is that there is a clear roadmap of what needs to be achieved and how success will be measured.
The manager and new team member can then go through this on day 1 to alleviate any concern on what’s expected over the coming months. Where we can templatize this, we will, so it's consistent for the future.
Experiencing noissue (Our Physical Onboarding Pack)
With sustainability as a core value, we have spent time in the last year refining our physical onboarding packs. We didn’t want to send items that wouldn’t be used, and we also needed to ensure the products we send out meet the same sustainability frameworks we use for our products.
Each of the team receives a noissue sample pack so they can experience the quality of the products themselves, including tissue paper, mailers, stickers and a tote bag - we then see the team use these different products as gift wrap, stickers on laptops, our cards framed and put on walls in home offices!
Depending on the market they will also receive a recycled paper notebook, a pencil that when finished turns into a plant, an iron on badge with their team's design that they can then use on a t shirt, hoodie, cap or other item of their choice, and our most coveted item - sustainable sunglasses from our founder's first venture that started it all!
In 2022 all of our markets will receive the same items with some new ones on the horizon as well based on popular demand from the team.
The Big Day is Here!
It’s time! Equipment has arrived along with a pre-onboarding pack with logins and a full outline of day 1. Planning for the inevitable first day tech hiccup, we outline the day 1 itinerary in full detail and send in advance so people can still join onboarding meetings and have links to key documents without needing to login and see their calendar first.
Our love of lists and planning doesn’t stop there either. Once you’ve logged into our systems, you'll find a comprehensive onboarding project plan.
Designed around our values, in the first week you’ll learn about our customers and communities: who they are, what products we offer, how our customers are using these products (the designs are 😍 ) and our customer experience.
In week 2, you’ll focus on sustainability which is both the environmental side and also our team goals, our metrics, and our long-term strategy. Week 3 is all about creativity: learning more about each team, what they are focused on, and their learnings.
You can’t have true creativity without the full picture or learning from mistakes, so understanding that from other teams rounds out week 3.
Amongst this programme, you will have systems to learn, tasks related to your 90 day goals, projects to join, and you should find it all laid out in your onboarding plan.
Going back to the feeling we wanted people to have coming into the team, it was excitement by the challenge ahead. We set big goals and put in place a lot of structure to support their achievement.
We are not about the endless hustle, or the sink or swim mentality of early start-up life – we aim to put in place thoughtful structure to enable our team to achieve great work.
Wrapping it Up
As you can tell, lists and planning play a huge role in our programme! Around 60% of this programme is asynchronous, so it’s a consistent experience across the world regardless of team and time zones. The other 40% we are conscious of making the time impactful.
We introduce team members on slack with a Q&A so people spark conversations immediately on shared interests and can join our range of social slack channels that they might enjoy.
We share “user manuals” for new starters and existing teams so you get straight to the detail on working styles and preferences within your team and with key stakeholders, and we hold group onboarding calls on key topics so you feel connected to those starting out at the same time as you.
We have the usual buddy programmes in place, and complement this with monthly random matching across the company as a way to meet new people that you might have bumped into if we were in an office setting.
Looking forward to next year, we will keep refining our programme. As we are growing quickly, there are times where we will lapse in consistency, or can better instil our values of community, creativity and sustainability or need to find new ways to operate the programme so we can go from 10 people onboarding a month to 30 or more.
We will continue to gather feedback regularly throughout the onboarding process from our team and we will monitor our data, such as our team's success against 90 day goals, engagement and retention numbers.
We want our program to excite, challenge and support our new team members and deliver real results at scale.
Want to come on this journey with us? Check out the noissue careers page here!