Onboarding new team members

Onboarding checklist

When a new team member starts at freistil IT, there's a lot of stuff we have to get sorted. Their work computer needs to be installed, service accounts have to be created and so on.

That's why we create an onboarding checklist on Asana for every new team member, using the "(T) Onboarding" template project.

Since as a distributed company, we need our team members to be self-dependent, we make the new team member the project lead of their own Onboarding project. It's their responsibility to go get the project finished in week one. Each task description mentions a team member who will be happy to help, but it's up to the newbie to contact them (either directly or by scheduling a call.

Getting to know the team

In week one, new team members should have the opportunity to get to know everyone on the team. While daily business will take care of this in part, we use a method that is more intentional. It is called "personal maps" and is described in detail in "Personal Maps: Improving Team Collaboration". Basically, it's about creating a mind map covering several aspects of your life that you'd like to share with the team. For example:

  • home
  • education
  • work
  • hobbies
  • family
  • friends
  • values
  • goals

We do this in 1:1 sessions, so a newcomer spends 30 minutes with each of the other team members talking about their respective personal maps.

It's important to note that sharing a personal map isn't a presentation like "Hi, I'm John! Let me tell you what's important about me." It's up to the partner to do the first step. Share your personal map so your partner can download it, then simply let them read it and react to it. Usually there is more than enough stuff on every personal map to easily fill 15 minutes.

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