Leveraging Procedures for Effective Training and Onboarding

Feb 27, 2024 | Administrative Professionals, Procedures, Productivity

Procedures are more than just documents; they are a roadmap for new hires, guiding them through the complexities of their new role and the company culture without constant supervision.

Think back to the last time you started a new job. Even if you’ve performed similar roles before, your first days and weeks at a new company were probably a bit daunting. 

You might be using a new phone system or dealing with new project management software. The process for ordering office supplies and setting up the conference room for meetings was different.

If there’s already a procedures manual in place when they arrive, new hires are likely to acclimate more quickly. They don’t need to spend much time asking others for help or trying to figure out how to perform certain tasks. And that helps the business as much as it helps the new employee, since there’s not as much disruption.

When you integrate sharing – and creating – procedures into your onboarding process, it helps ensure a smooth transition for your new team members.

The Power of Documentation

If you have everything documented and ready to go when a new hire begins, it expedites the onboarding process. If you don’t have everything (or anything at all) documented, there’s no time like the present to get started!

If you don’t have procedures in place, one approach to onboarding involves having the new hire document the procedures as they learn. This method serves a dual purpose: it ensures that your procedures are up-to-date and allows the new employee to reinforce their learning through the act of documentation.

Consider recording your training sessions, whether they’re in person or via platforms like Teams or Zoom. This not only aids in creating a comprehensive procedural document for future use, but also provides a reference for the new hire to revisit as needed while they’re learning the ropes.

Onboarding Agenda: A Blueprint for Success

Having a well-planned and structured approach to onboarding new team members helps you ensure the important details are being covered, the right people are involved, and the new hire has a more organized and supportive start in their new role.

The onboarding process needs to be both thorough and flexible, catering to the unique needs and learning styles of each new hire while ensuring they receive all the necessary information to succeed. Here’s a glimpse into our comprehensive onboarding agenda:

  1. Introduction to Team Dynamics
    • Schedule regular daily huddles in the initial weeks, adjusting to fewer meetings as the new hire becomes more integrated.
    • Incorporate them into all relevant team calls, setting clear expectations for participation.
  2. Communication
    • Introduce them to the company’s communication channels and email distribution lists.
    • Set up a branded email for the new hire, complete with an appropriate title and auto-signature.
  3. Cultural Immersion
    • Provide an overview of the company and team culture, including roles and the organizational chart.
    • Formally introduce the new team member to the current team members.
    • Engage them with a new hire profile to foster personal connections within the team.
  4. Marketing and Branding Essentials
    • Share the corporate branding guidelines so they know the appropriate use of logos, colors, fonts, etc.
    • Offer a detailed tour of the website, emphasizing the marketing strategy and customer journey.
    • Share information on competitors and collaborators that overlap with our market and industry.
    • Introduce them to all of the social media channels your company uses and define how you prefer employees or contractors on your team to engage with them online.
  5. Tools of the Trade
    • Familiarize them with the essential programs and platforms used by the company (project management, file management, internal communications, virtual meeting platforms, etc.), showcasing how each tool facilitates team collaboration.
  6. Welcome Package
    • Send a personalized welcome package, including company swag and resources to help them feel integrated and valued from day one.

Incorporating Procedures Into the Onboarding Process

Incorporating procedures into your training and onboarding process not only streamlines the integration of new hires but also enriches your entire company’s knowledge base. By actively engaging new employees in the documentation of these procedures, you reinforce their learning and contribute to the continuous improvement of your operational processes.

Creating a comprehensive procedures manual tailored for a new team member’s position is crucial for effective onboarding and ongoing support. This manual should cover general company policies, team dynamics, and the specific responsibilities and procedures related to the individual’s role.

Other sections will be more specific to your department and the role of your new team member. Below is a list of essentials to include in your procedures manual to ensure it’s both informative and practical:

  1. Company Overview
    • Mission, Vision, and Values: Outline the company’s mission statement, vision for the future, and core values.
    • History: A brief history of the company to provide context and background.
    • Organizational Structure: An overview of the company’s organizational chart, including departments and key personnel.
  2. General Company Policies
    • Code of Conduct: Expectations for employee behavior and professionalism.
    • Equal Employment Opportunity: Statement on the company’s commitment to equality and non-discrimination.
    • Health and Safety: Policies related to workplace safety, emergency procedures, and health guidelines.
    • Remote Work Policies: If applicable, guidelines for working remotely, including expectations for availability, communication, and security.
  3. Human Resources Information
    • Benefits and Compensation: Detailed information on employee benefits, compensation structure, and payroll schedule.
    • Leave Policies: Information on types of leave available (e.g., sick leave, vacation, parental leave) and the process for requesting leave.
    • Performance Reviews: Overview of the performance review process, including frequency and criteria.
  4. Team-Specific Procedures
    • Meeting Schedules: Details on regular team meetings, including purpose, frequency, and expected participants.
    • Communication Channels: Preferred methods and protocols for team communication (e.g., email, instant messaging, project management tools).
    • Project Management: Procedures for managing projects, including planning, execution, tracking, and reporting.
    • Software and Technology: User guides for phone systems, voicemail, online meeting platforms, and other specific software tools, etc.
  5. Role-Specific Procedures
    • Job Description: A detailed description of the role, including key responsibilities and expectations.
    • Task Procedures: Step-by-step guides for common tasks and responsibilities specific to the role.
    • Tools and Resources: Information on software, tools, and other resources essential for the role, including access and usage guidelines.
  6. Training and Development
    • Onboarding Plan: A schedule of onboarding activities, including training sessions, meetings with key team members, and initial projects.
    • Professional Development: Opportunities for skill development and growth within the company, including training resources and mentoring programs.
  7. Performance and Feedback
    • Goal Setting: Process for setting and reviewing personal and professional goals.
    • Feedback Mechanism: Guidelines for giving and receiving feedback within the team.
  8. Emergency Contacts and Procedures
    • Emergency Contacts: List of contacts for emergencies, including HR, IT support, and external emergency services.
    • Incident Reporting: Procedures for reporting and responding to workplace incidents or concerns.

This manual should be easily accessible to new team members in both digital and print formats. Regularly review and update the manual to ensure it reflects current practices and policies.

In the training and onboarding process, procedures are invaluable. They significantly cut down on the time spent teaching a new hire how things are done, allow them to feel more confident and self-sufficient, and provide clear, easy-to-follow instructions for even the most complex tasks. Procedures don’t just help the new hire – they benefit the entire organization!

Would you like some help creating your administrative procedures? Here are some options:

  1. Training on Demand Webinar: Unlocking Efficiency with AI and Innovative Procedures Documentation Tools
  2. Book: Become a Procedures Pro® 
  3. Immediate access to all our current training plus future training for one low monthly or quarterly subscription fee with an AdminPro Training® VIP Pass

All these training products come with access to our exclusive weekly Procedures Power Hours through March 2024. Power Hours are your chance to connect with me and my team of experts to get answers to your questions, troubleshoot any problems, and receive support and accountability as you create your administrative procedures.

 

We Have Even More Procedures Development Resources For You Here!

© 2024 Julie Perrine International, LLC

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Julie Perrine is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures, and Prove Your Skills! With a Powerful Professional Portfolio.

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