In organizations (professional or volunteer), you hope that you’re gaining members to help add to the awesome efforts going into your goal, right? This means that you need to have a way of adding people to your organization that gives them the basic info everyone needs to know, and preferably delivers some of it in a fun format that enables people to enjoy learning about the new people they’re working with and the efforts you’re coordinating together. This is a process called “onboarding.”
According to Wikipedia,
“Research has demonstrated that these socialization [onboarding] techniques lead to positive outcomes for new employees such as higher job satisfaction, better job performance, greater organizational commitment, and reduction in stress and intent to quit. These outcomes are particularly important to an organization looking to retain a competitive advantage in an increasingly mobile and globalized workforce.”
It is really easy to do this poorly. It is (sadly) uncommon to do it well.
I want to give a quick shout-out to Runkeeper, however. My partner is just joining their team, and he’s overjoyed to discover that their onboarding includes a map of the office with everyone’s desk labeled, and a scavenger hunt list of unique facts about each colleague. By the end of his first week, he intends to know who has a dog named Yaz and who has a fondness for ice luge!
On the Helsinki in 2017 team, we are still ironing out this process, as I’m sure most organizations are. Now I really want to write a scavenger hunt for our next larger staff meeting, though — particularly as we are such a geographically spread team, internationally.