Onboarding in a remote-first world
People switch jobs because they believe your company will provide a unique learning experience and opportunity for growth. Like with all first impressions you only have one shot to get it right. The first week is crucial for management and HR to make sure that no key information falls through the cracks, and to show the new hire the awesome parts of your company, not just the paperwork.
A lot of companies needed to rethink their onboarding approach in the new reality of remote-first work. With the absence of office tours, handshakes and face-to-face onboarding, it’s challenging to make the newest member of your team feel welcome.
Onboarding is not a one-person job, nor is it the sole responsibility of HR, which is why product leaders at d.labs designed this template that goes beyond basic job training and serves as a virtual orientation experience to get new hires off to the right start. The template includes all the steps involved in the onboarding to give the person a feel of the upcoming week, but also serves as a central location with all the relevant information, documentation and first tasks, required to navigate through the week.
Try out the New Employee Onboarding For Product Teams Sample Miro board - copy it for your team, or get inspired and customise it with your own building blocks.
Tailor the board to fit your team and the new hire
At d.labs we copy the template board for every new hire and tweak it slightly depending on what team the person is joining. We might customise the board with team and tribe-related information, but by having a repeatable process, we make sure they have all the resources they need.
The board is normally prepared by the person’s manager in collaboration with HR and the competence lead. It was primarily developed for members of product teams (product managers, product designers, engineers, marketers), but can be used in other types of teams as well.
We are well aware that people are different and prefer to learn in their own way, which is why we give them the chance to adjust their onboarding process to make it more hands-on and include a number of introductory sessions in the first week, or decide to do a solo deep dive into the resources first and then set up sessions with key people. The important thing is for them to feel comfortable and not be overwhelmed in their first week, which is why you can use the board to adapt the process to fit them best.
Key components of the onboarding template
One of the most valuable parts of the onboarding process is the Meet the Team section as it puts the names to the faces and helps ease anxiety with early introductions. Sharing some personal information about the people that will work closely with the new hire, makes them more approachable and can serve as an icebreaker for starting conversations.
The board also serves as a reminder for essential introductions with other key employees, who serve as valuable assets for getting new team members on board with the company culture, value, best practices and ways of working.
At d.labs we don’t want to throw the new hire in the deep end, rather we set them up with a number of learning and shadowing sessions with management, peers, other competency leads, kind of like a bootcamp, to learn about the how things work, how things changed over time, what best practices other teams in the company have and get as many insights as possible on what it takes to be successful at your role.
Onboarding is a living breathing process
A lot of the people that joined d.labs remotely still frequently refer to their onboarding board when looking for information on company guidelines, processes etc. reducing the load on HR and management having to answer the same questions over and over again. Using Miro for this process helps us treat onboarding as a living process that anyone can update as things change and more efficient ways are discovered.
You want to keep improving and iterating on the onboarding process, which is why the template includes a retrospective exercise at the end of Week 1. The idea is for the manager and Competence Lead to sit down with the person and get honest feedback on what was good, what is lacking in the onboarding process and what could be improved in the future. With such feedback we are able to tweak the process and make the new hires immediately feel heard and valued by their team.
How to set up Miro for onboarding a new product team member
Here’s a quick checklist to set up your custom onboarding Miro board:
- Replace all text marked in <yellow>
- Reorder, remove, replace or add new frames to the board (copy the placeholder frame on the right)
- Customise any part of the frames with own texts, images and brand visual identity
- This board includes a set of information and activities for an employee's first week, but you can use this board to plan out several weeks of the onboarding period (just add additional frames).
- Watch this board walkthrough video for more information
By following this process, each employee will have their own private board that only they and their managers or other board members can see. Meanwhile, you will always have your template board accessible for the entire company.
Speaking of employee onboarding, d.labs is hiring! Check out our Jobs page.