A Few Ideas for Enhancing Our On-boarding Experience

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I’ve been thinking about our on-boarding experience at Barrel. We have about 5-6 new hires who’ll be joining the team over the next 4-6 weeks. Training and outlining of expectations are at the top of the list, and we’ve been working hard internally to strengthen those. This weekend, I jotted down some other ways that we may be able to enhance our on-boarding experience. I thought I’d share them here:

A Barrel Timeline
We have a post on Barrel Info Center about how Barrel got started, but it’s a really basic overview and doesn’t highlight much of our achievements and struggles over the course of our company’s history. With our 8-year anniversary just a few weeks away, I think it’ll be worthwhile to start jotting some dates and digging up some pictures to compile a more detailed Barrel Timeline that we can share with new hires as well as our team. I’m sure people will be curious about how things were like at 4 people and then at 8 and then at 16 and some of the ups and downs we faced along the way.

Detailed Team Member Bios, Printed Up
We have brief bios of our team members on our Barrel website, but I think it’ll make a really impactful on-boarding tool to have a printed packet of everyone’s bio and photo to hand to our new hires. Currently, we always send out a bio of a new hire to the team before that person starts, but we don’t provide anything for the new hire in terms of information about our own people (except what they see on the website).

To get things started, we’ll give people a set of questions to help guide their bio-writing and make it a fun exercise. I think our team members will also appreciate getting a packet for themselves once we’ve put it together.

A Guide to How We Share at Barrel
I know that we review bits and pieces of this during on-boarding already, but I think it would be incredibly helpful if we provided a comprehensive overview of how we live our Core Principle of active sharing (the full statement is Inspire each other and the world through active sharing) and what tools and channels are in place. I started on a draft outlining how we use tools like Hipchat and Tawk, our internal link sharing web app, as well as weekly discipline meetings, our blog, our team email list, and BourbON Fridays to share in different ways. The key thing is to provide examples of the appropriate types of information to share through these different tools/channels and to encourage people to do it regularly and often. I think our internal team would benefit from a refresher presentation as well.

I think on-boarding is one of the most important touch points in the lifecycle of someone’s employment. Making the right impression, providing the appropriate guidance, and readily making available the proper resources will go a long way in the new hire’s perception of the company and their place in it. I’m certain that years from now, we’ll still be trying to tweak and enhance the experience.

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