If you have a new employee starting at your company, it’s important to give them the tools and training that will help them get up to speed right away. But your team may not always be organized enough to do that, which means your new recruits could spend months trying to gather the information they need from all over the organization. They may find themselves going on wild goose chases searching through project management dashboards, chat archives, and HR manuals for the information they need, taking hours to find content that they could have found in minutes if they’d had the right guidance.
In a recent survey from Starmind, more than 60% of respondents said they had trouble finding the information they needed to complete their jobs—and that number is likely to be considerably higher for new employees who are still getting their bearings in a new environment.
How can you help your new hires hit the ground running?
Start by creating a checklist that provides details for all the tools they’ll need to take part in training and team collaboration. Depending on the employee’s role, this list might include tools and details such as:
- Shared folder/drive
- Team sync meeting details
- Chat tools - channels based, 1:1 based, and meeting based
- CRM, sales and ordering/billing systems
- Work documents - spreadsheets, slides, and text documents
- Meeting platforms
- External research platforms
- Project management platforms
- Reporting systems
- Customer support/help center
- Training system
- Email aliases
While some of the tools may be self-service, others are likely to require hands-on training to help your new recruits understand the features and capabilities. Consider creating a “scavenger hunt” that requires the employee to complete specific actions in each platform so that they can become familiar with the tools in a low-stakes environment and ask questions as they go.
That said, training doesn’t happen in a day or two, and it’s natural for your new employees to have plenty of questions about how things work as time goes on. They may feel uncomfortable asking questions of their teammates if they know their colleagues are busy with other work, so it’s important to provide them with one universal resource where they can ask questions and review Q&As that other employees have already written about the tools, technologies, and processes at your organization.
A knowledge-sharing tool can fill in the gaps and help new employees gain immediate access to the institutional knowledge that will help them provide value to the company faster. In Stack Overflow for Teams, employees can collaborate on building a universal knowledge base that provides relevant and up-to-date content on any questions that may come up within the company. It can serve as a valuable entry point for new employees, who can review existing content to gain perspective on why things are done in certain ways, or how to troubleshoot specific tasks. If they can’t find an answer they’re looking for, they’re able to write their own questions and tag team members or specific teams to request an answer. This way, information won’t be shared just once between team members—it will be permanently archived so that anyone who needs access to the content in the future will be able to find it.
By providing new team members with a detailed onboarding checklist, a process for digging through it, and a place to ask questions after initial onboarding is complete, you’ll be able to help them understand your company at a deeper level and become valuable contributors quickly.