Making the case for Preboarding (and the best tools to help get you started!)

preboarding

A lot of work goes into hiring the right candidate and onboarding them to the team: from the recruitment process to negotiating and signing the contract, adding a new member to your team is a process.

Once the candidate has accepted your offer and the start date is selected, next comes the important step of onboarding. From giving office tours to filling out dozens of forms, a portion of the onboarding process is filled with formalities and box checking. 

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A new hire is the most gung-ho within their first few days at a new company, and likewise for the team welcoming them! Yet so much of their time is spent filling out paperwork and learning your email systems during that time – it seems like a waste of enthusiasm, doesn’t it?

Onboarding should motivate new employees and help them become productive within their first few weeks. Capitalize on that excitement and get down to business during the onboarding process by allocating the less impactful tasks (like filling out forms) to be done outside of the office, so that you can make the best use of time with your new hire in the office. 

Let’s talk about preboarding.

If onboarding is what happens during the first two weeks at a new company, the preboarding is everything that happens before. From the signed-contract date until the start date, there is a window of time that is often left unused. Why not use this time to preboard your new hires?

Your candidate likely has questions ranging from “what’s the dress code” to “what time should I arrive on my first day?” to “will we go out for lunch or should I pack mine?” While these may seem like silly, non-issue questions, they can be added on to the list of things your new hire is wondering about. And you can do them a favor be removing that ambiguity before day 1! 

When you preboard your employees, they don’t have to balance learning how the company works and learning how their job works at the same time – which can be a lot to take in all at once! And when done correctly, preboarding can answer all of their questions before they ask – saving you both time. If you prepare them ahead of time, new hires will start with a basic understanding of your company’s operations and be positioned to focus on getting settled into their roles on their start date.

A great way to do this is by creating a Preboarding Checklist. To create this, you can start by  asking yourself a few questions:

  • What does an employee need to know before day 1 in the office that they can learn remotely? (History of the company, logins for the tools you use, introduction to the product, mastering sales pitches, etc).
  • What role does your team play in this process?
  • Are there meetings they can schedule in advanced?
  • Are there sales phone calls/pitches he can listen to from home?
  • Any urgent projects he can be briefed on so that he can give insight?
  • What questions do you anticipate him having? Make a list of the answers (“on your first day, you can arrive at 9AM, I will meet you in the lobby“).

Using the right tools to preboard

Pre-boarding is a great way to take care of administrative tasks and things that truly don’t need to be done face-to-face, so that he can get started on the tasks at hand from Day 1. Have your employee begin training from home before he starts with the company. There are tools available that allow you to create training courses that can be accessed anywhere. Here are a few we love! 

Docusign

Docusign is a tool that lets you sign documents virtually, erasing the need for in person paperwork. By using Docusign you can send your employee all the forms needed to fill out when onboarding and have them complete everything before their first day, freeing up time for more important business! 

Trello 

Trello allows you to visualize any project, making it super easy to navigate an onboarding process. And because it’s extremely user friendly, your new employee can get started even if they’ve never used Trello before. To make things easier, Trello has created an onboarding template for you to use, for free!

360Learning

Want to begin training your new hire on something specific? 360Learning is a Learning Engagement Platform that allows you to create courses in less than an hour on any topic. You can upload internal content, share external links, and even embed videos or interactive activities right within the course. Best of all, 360Learning is designed with human interactions baked into the courses so your employees will be engaged throughout his training. He may even chat with some of his future colleagues (and you can track his progress as he goes!). 

Google Hangouts

Not to be forgotten, Google Hangouts is an awesome tool for connecting people virtually. It’s free to use videoing function will allow for your new employee to meet important people over a quick video chat, so that when he starts he’s familiar with all the necessary people. And since there’s 0 commute time required, he can actually be more productive having these chats remotely vs. in person! 

Preboarding your employees before their start date is similar to researching a country before you visit it or checking the fridge to take stock before you go to the grocery store – it’s preparation. And you can never go wrong being overly prepared. 

On top of saving you and your team time, your new hire will appreciate making his first day as impactful as possible.  Starting at a new company is exciting and marks a significant change in a person’s life: letting them get started on the right foot will be monumental in their success with you!

PS. If letting people train themselves in an onboarding setting sounds interesting to you, just imagine how awesome it would be with sales training, product launches, or more! Request a demo now!

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