We asked our most recent new joiners to Status how their experience of onboarding went, and the results were as below.
- Administrative onboarding: 4.6 / 5
- Buddy support - 3.8 / 5
- Cultural onboarding - 4.5 / 5
- Technical onboarding - 4.4 / 5
- Overall - 4.3 / 5
We’re trending upwards from feedback received in prior onboarding surveys, which is great!:
- Q1 2018 - 3.27
- Q2 2018 - 3.6
Unpacking some of the commentary in this survey and some ideas about how to resolve them:
“There are so many online tools, that a comprehensive list somewhere might help not feeling lost. Example communication tools : slack + discuss + status.im + riot (?) + others? , sharing knowledge tools: slack, github, google docs, wiki etc.”
- Idea: @rajanie is working on a handbook page listing all the various resources and how/when they can be used.
- Idea: We published this page on communication best practices to share more about our communication norms.
“A decentralised work place is so different from a conventional company in that a conventional company there is a clear hierarchy, roles and responsibilities etc… In a decentralised org I’ve come to realise is that I have to learn this new skill of knowing how to navigate the organisation and knowing where/when/how to add value. I think or suspect that this learning of how to work in a decentralised org productively (and to unlearn my centralised top-down methods) would benefit from some sort of onboarding”
- Idea: Create “how we work” page on People Ops site with current state of how work happens at Status
On buddy support: “We just had a quick phone call in my second week (no other interaction) - whilst he was nice, I didn’t really get the feeling that he was looking out for me. “
- Idea: People Ops to check in with buddies at the 2 week mark to see how the pairing is going, and offer support in case of any challenges (i.e. buddy no longer has capacity to participate)
- Idea: Encourage new joiners to recognise strong buddies through kudos.
- Idea: Invite proactive buddy signups via occasional call to action in #peopleops versus prospectively approaching buddies.
“Things went quite well. However it’s quite hard to understand who does what, and how project are structured, and how communication happens.”
- Idea: Create visualisation of teams and swarms on People Ops site.
- Idea: Send role survey to all contributors to capture what it is that everyone does, summarise on People Ops site
“Not really much/any discussion about what’s expected of me, or goals. I’ve picked it up, but I had to figure it out rather than being given clear goals/structure.”
- Idea: We don’t want to kill autonomy and freedom by defining prescriptive role expectations for each contributor. We could create a template and share it with all new contributors, and encourage them to go out and have the discussions they need to create a half page objectives overview that’s personalised to them. This is a living doc and can change over time, but having each person map out their accountabilities can aid transparency. This gives each newbie something they can validate with their team members to check their efforts are on the right track.
“There is so much content in status, almost need a map or guide to navigate it all. That said the handbook is a great initiative and thought it really helped. Just keep adding content and improve layout/navigation (maybe add it in status app)”
- Idea: we’ll keep adding content to the People Ops site as topics are suggested, and will make the content indexed and searachable.
“The Slack experience can be a little overwhelming at first, even to the point of being a bit confusing, but it smoothed out pretty quickly.”
- Idea: People Ops has day 1 chats with all new joiners, we can ask during these chats if folks need additional help with Slack, and can screenshare to show them how to navigate the various features and channels.
“Tricky, its great in sense that everything is public, but there is so much of it not sure where to begin. Most effective form of communication has been articles,podcasts from founders. I feel like this is something that is really understood by having conversations with various people in the team”
- [Thinking out loud: Part of me feels it might be helpful to signpost for each new joiner 2-4 people who would make essential 1:1s in their first few weeks to get the lay of the land. That said, I don’t want to offload our responsibility for clear documentation, I just wonder how much of the soft knowledge we can capture in docs/guidelines. Would be curious to know what kind of chats this feedback giver had and what kind of content came through.]
We’d love to hear any ideas you have about how to improve our onboarding (and also please tell us if you have better solutions than the ones we’re proposing)
Full questions and charts are here in Polly.