How to Successfully Onboard a New Team Member

December 1, 2020

Jalene Smith


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You have finally taken the step to expand your team and hire someone to assist you and your business. First of all, congrats!! This really is a massive step to growing your business and giving yourself more time to focus on something else or to just take some work off your plate.

 Now you are starting to onboard them and thinking, how do I even get them set up?! Having already so much happening in your business, you don’t want this to take up even more time. Sorry to tell you, you’ll at least need to carve out an hour to make sure you have your processes and policies in place.

 Right now, we’re going to focus on the first 90 days, and this works whether you hire an employee or a freelancer. These tips come from our onboarding video series that can be found in our Rebel Office Resource Library. It covers step 1 of hiring all the way to the last step of fully integrating someone into your team. One thing to note is that there’s obviously a bit more work to do if you’re hiring someone as an employee in terms of covering all the legal aspects, which depend on where you are and what type of business you’re in.


Pre-start date

 First is listing out all the systems you use, the logins and everything else they’ll need to access them. If there’s a system they haven’t used before, it’s also a great idea to find some instructional videos or pre-record Loom videos to get familiar with these tools.

 The next thing to do is think about communication channels. What’s going to be the easiest thing for both of you to use? Whether it be text, emails, Slack, phone calls, project management software like Asana or Clickup. Think about how you will communicate and track tasks that you’re assigning to your new team member. As well as how they will let you know any questions they have or give you updates on the task progress and completion.

 Now break down their job description. What are the top 3 things they have to fully understand and do by the end of the 90 days? What’s the operation process for each step? What do they need to know to get everything done, and what do they need to know about how you currently do things and run your business?

 Ensure that you schedule out time with them during the first intro week and set up a communication schedule for the weeks after to make sure they’re on track. Address any issues that come up and, more importantly, make sure they can receive the support they need.

 Make sure you have prepared written documents such as contracts, policies, NDAs and media releases ahead of time. Don’t forget to send them off and get them signed as well.

 Also, get all payment details and pay rates finalized ahead of time and in writing. Document the pay structure you both decide on, whether it’s paying them beforehand, afterwards or every 2 weeks. If you’re hiring a freelancer, then let them know what day they need to submit invoices and when they can expect payment by.

 Give them expectations of when you expect them to work and what their working hours are. Do you need them to check emails twice a day? Or manage projects between 8-4, Mon- Fri. Or do you just need them to have the task you’ve assigned them completed by a specific date, and it doesn’t matter when they do it.

 Clear expectations produce precise results!


Intro week

 This will be the first week that they are working on tasks, getting acquainted with your business and figuring out their role. During this time, it’s essential to be available for them so that you can answer any questions they’ll have, guide them along the way and ensure that you’re both on the same page while you onboard them into your company.

 You’ll need to make sure you schedule a 30min- 1hr call with them to go over everything and get those communication channels flowing! Also, prepare a check-in at the end of the week. Whether it’s an email of all the tasks they’ve completed and any additional questions they have. Make sure you have time set aside to review their work and give advice and communicate on what they did well and what they can improve on.

 Remember, this is a learning process for both of you!


Month 1, 2 & 3

In the first month, you should break down a 3-month plan. Hop on a call with your new teammate and plan out what support they need, what they need to do, how they know they’ve been successful and when you’ll be reviewing it. There’s a development plan in our Rebel Office Resource Library to help track all of this because I can imagine by now you also might be feeling a bit overwhelmed.

 Make it realistic! They most likely won’t get everything nailed down in the first month, and you don’t want to overwhelm them. So make sure you both agree that the goals you’ve set are achievable.

 This still applies even if they’re more knowledgeable, it’s crucial to do this and have your top 3 priorities, so there’s clarity on what they need to accomplish for you to help your business grow.

 I recommend trying to set an end-of-the-month review to go over what was done during that period and make any necessary adjustments for the following month.

 Remember, this process brings clarity, and we want you to have clarity about managing this process and feeling confident when you onboard new team members. You’ll have access to hiring and onboarding templates as well as lots of training videos to walk you through the whole process in our Rebel Office Resource Library. Go on and check it.


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