Onboarding Myths That Are Holding You Back from Growing Your Team

You’re making waves outsourcing, hiring help, growing your team but what happens after we send that offer letter? 

Onboarding is a crucial part of the team-building process that so many entrepreneurs gloss over. And I get it. We hired because we needed help. And let’s face it, most of us wait until we desperately need help. By the time we find that dream hire, we are beyond ready to throw them into the water and tell them to start swimming. 

Now I’m all for learning on the job, but I always believe in slowing down to speed up. Why? Well, did you know that effective onboarding can increase productivity by 70%? So instead of putting all of the onus on our new hires, it’s within our best interest to reevaluate precisely what we’re doing in our onboarding so that we can set new hires up for success! 

Myth #1: Onboarding Can Happen In a Day (Or Even a Week!)

If I could, I would wipe this misconception from the face of the earth. Here’s the truth: nobody and I repeat… NOBODY is 100% onboarded after a 1-day orientation. Now you may be thinking, “But Tianna, we’ve got a full 8-hour day planned out. And I’ve built out the agenda. There’s nothing left to cover after this!” Hear me out. 

Remember the “It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert” theory from Malcolm Gladwell? Imagine you’ve hired a bonafide expert like a Social Media Manager, Client Success Coordinator, or Podcast Manager – they’ve put in the 10K hours to be incredible at what they do. And yet, despite their robust skillset, they will still lack expertise in your company

Sure, they may have industry experience and know-how, but the power lies in the nuances. I’ve worked with many a CEO who didn’t anticipate how long it would take team members to pick up on their company’s nuances. Hint: it takes an average of 90-days. 

Myth #2: You Have to Plan the Onboarding By Yourself

The best thing we are forced to learn as CEOs is how to ask for help. Not only are there tons of free resources on onboarding and training (check out this podcast episode), but you can enlist the help of your existing team and the new hire themselves! 

  • Your Existing Team: Ask current team members what information they believe new hires need to know. Have them think through their own onboarding experience and be honest with you about what was lacking! 
  • Your New Hire: When you hire someone good at their job, they often come in with questions. They have a desire to sink their teeth into past projects, documentation, etc. Ask your new hire what information would be valuable to them and incorporate that into your onboarding process. 

Myth #3: Once The Technical How To’s Are Done So Is Onboarding

Not so fast! Onboarding is about way more than platform tutorials and document tours. This is the myth that damages brand consistency and company culture the most! Of course, we want to ensure those SOPs are on point, brand guidelines are updated and your new hire understands how to interpret the client pipeline in HoneyBook… but as the CEO, it’s crucial that you also build in a major dose of culture into the mix.

I recommend dedicated conversation and training around a couple of key topics: 

  • Company Mission & Purpose
  • Company Vision (10-year, 5-year, etc.)
  • Strategic Goals 
  • Core Values

Myth #4: It’s Impossible to Onboard Virtually 

It’s 2021, isn’t it!? Thankfully, virtual onboarding is not only possible… it’s also incredibly efficient. My clients love creating an onboarding experience that is heavily automated and trackable while also being extremely intuitive. 

After mapping out your 90-day onboarding experience curriculum, I recommend popping the key milestones into your favorite project management software. Use whatever is most comfortable to you. Bonus points if your platform can link to wherever you store company files (i.e., your Brand Guidelines). Duplicate the board for each new hire, reassign due dates and unique job-specific pieces of training. 

Wallah! You never have to reinvent the onboarding wheel again. 

Myth #5: A Heavily Automated Onboarding Process Takes the Place of 1:1 Connection

Am I a huge advocate of automating and streamlining the onboarding process? Absolutely. Do I believe that it takes the place of regular touch-points and feedback sessions with your new hire? Nope! 

There is a ton of learning that can happen without live meetings every hour, but at the end of the day… we’re all human. Any intentional onboarding process is marked by weekly (if not daily) check-ins via phone, voice memo, or video meeting. Now don’t stress; this doesn’t last forever. But, if we prioritize live connection and collaboration at the right times your new hires will onboard more successfully and become ingrained in your company culture in no time! 

Improving Your Onboarding Process Is Just One Piece of Your Team Building Puzzle

At this point, you may be giving your past (or non-existent) onboarding processes the side-eye. That’s okay! Most entrepreneurs revamp their process after the first few hires. We only know what we know, am I right?!

It takes a lot to build a powerful team that will help your company hit its biggest goals. But as you continue to grow and scale, you can continue to improve your team’s performance and achieve greater impact as a company.

I’m rooting for you and your team! Happy onboarding! 

If you’re considering revamping your onboarding process as you continue to expand your team and scale your company, you should apply to attend my exclusive private training. You, me and a select group of your peers will be covering exactly how my clients have revitalized their operational processes while simultaneously strengthening their internal company culture.

 

Tianna Tye

Tianna Tye is the founder of The Leaders’ Circle and the premier Team Dynamics Consultant for entrepreneurs committed to building high-performing teams so they can scale their business and reclaim their zone of genius. As a trained Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, Tianna’s expertise in hiring & onboarding, team dynamics and transformational leadership make her a CEO’s secret weapon for managing all things on the “people” side of the business. When she’s not creating content via her podcast TyePod or facilitating curated team retreats, you can find her cuddling her two dogs and her firefighter husband with a nice glass of Cabernet.