Armed with an obsessive love of color-coding and all things related to organization, I’m on a mission to help you maximize efficiency in your business and life so you can spend time on what matters most to you.
Equally right and left-brained, I’m that unique business owner who can think like a creative, but act like an administrator. This blog is where you’ll see me bring that dual-brained magic to life, taking the left-brain side of life and breaking it down for your right-brained self.
The day has finally come. You’re ready to make the next step in growing your business by growing your team. Beyond the normal fears of finding the right person and getting great ROI for the support you’re investing in, you’re probably wondering… how do you onboard a new team member well?
There are, of course, all sorts of options for onboarding new team members to your business but my favorite is (surprise, surprise) with Trello.
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Now, I obviously believe Trello is an amazing tool that you can use to organize just about anything in your life and your business, but I especially love it for creating a seamless onboarding process because it fits so perfectly into how Trello is designed!
If you’re not aware, Trello is built on a Japanese productivity system called the Kanban system. It’s based on the thought process that every task is in one of three categories — to do, doing, or done — and as you work on things in your life or business, they move along that flow from to do to doing to done.
The boards, lists, and cards of Trello’s framework can be used in a ton of different ways to organize and manage things, but it’s especially helpful for organizing things that have different steps in a process… like onboarding a new team member!
The first step for creating any new system or process in your business is to map it out. You don’t need anything fancy to do this — an analog notebook, Google Doc, or document in Evernote works just fine.
To ensure your onboarding process is comprehensive and creates a seamless process for both you and your team member, there are a few questions you’ll want to think through.
What legal or administrative things do you need from your new team member? This could include things like them signing an NDA, filling out a W-9, getting access to accounts via LastPass, or being added to certain tools as a team member. List both the administrative items for all team members and the administrative items broken down by roles you hope to add to your team in the future.
What does your new team member need to know about the business? Think about things like your values and core beliefs, communication policies and processes, boundaries and expectations, and who on the team is responsible for what.
What does your new team member need to know about their role? Whatever their new role is, whether it’s a general admin VA, a social media manager, a content writer, or something totally different, there are going to be tasks, tools, and processes specific to their role within the business. Outline this as much as possible for the roles you’re hoping to add to your team now or in the near future.
Answering these questions helps you think through the general onboarding process for all team members, as well as additional pieces you’ll need for individual roles when you add them to your team.
Once you’ve mapped out the onboarding process, it’s time to create your new Trello board!
Name it whatever you want, but keeping it simple and obvious like “Team Onboarding” is probably best. You also want to make sure the visibility settings are set to “Team,” so everyone who’s added to your Trello team will have the ability to access it.
After creating it, it’s time to go ahead and add the lists that will designate each step in the onboarding process!
I recommend always starting with an admin list first. You can call it something fun like “Before We Get Started” or “First Things First,” but whatever your title preference, this is the list that will contain all of those admin things new team members need to take care of ASAP like a W-9 or getting LastPass access to various things.
Next, I recommend a “How To” list. This isn’t necessarily an exhaustive list of all your systems and processes, but rather how tos for company specific things like how to use Trello (since not everyone may be familiar with it), how to communicate with your supervisor, how to report hours, how to submit feedback, or how to report time they’ll be out of the office. The idea here is to give your new team member information on all of the things they may need to do to ensure good communication between you, them, and anyone else on the team.
After that, I recommend a “How We Do Things” list, which is where you get a bit more into the nitty gritty of processes. You can organize this however you want, but I recommend having at least one card for all the main management areas of your business — communication, content, clients or customers, data, project & tasks, and financial.
Fourth comes Company Culture. This is where you put information about your values, core beliefs, and anything else that’s important to making your business feel like your business!
Finally, I recommend a Meet the Team list, especially if you have a bigger team where you might not be your newest team member’s direct supervisor. This list should include a card for each team member that provides more business-related information like contact info, office hours, and responsibilities, as well as some personal and fun things like personality test results, guilty pleasure movie, or favorite snack.
Pro Tip: Add “Fill Out Your Card on the ‘Meet the Team’ List” as a task on the “Before We Get Started” or “First Things First” list!
Beyond these five lists, you can add any additional ones that make sense for your business and will make the onboarding process as seamless and simple as possible!
Now that you’ve mapped everything out and created the structure, it’s time to flesh out your new onboarding board!
Go ahead and add all of the details to cards on the admin list, have current team members fill out their info on the Meet the Team list, and create all those tutorials that show how to use Trello or communicate with your supervisor.
Once you’ve done that, you’re good to go! Whenever you have a new person join your team, you’ll be able to direct them to the board and feel confident that they have all the information they need to get started!
Pro Tip: To ensure your onboarding process always stays up to date, add the task of reviewing and updating it to a regular maintenance routine within your business like a Monthly Duty Day or Quarterly CEO Day.
Have you ever on boarded a new team member before or been onboarded to someone’s team? Share your tips for making the process smooth and simple in the comments!
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