Checklist Alert: New Staff Onboarding

Jun 10, 2016

Whether you work at a school site, district office, or nonprofit, this time of year is often when new team members start hopping onboard. What a perfect occasion for a checklist!

On a recent trip to The Management Center for my usual skulking around for Togetherness resources,  Operations Manager Jenny G. let me peer over her shoulder at this juicy checkity-box checklist.

Click to see the whole document

And then, of course, we talked turkey.

Maia: Why did you bother to create this document?

Jenny: I want our onboarding process to be as smooth as possible for new staff.  There’s a lot to remember, and I want to make sure I don’t forget anything.  Hopefully, it also sets the tone that they feel supported during the transition, as well as throughout their time on staff.

Maia: How do you use this document?

Jenny:  It helps me break down the various steps of onboarding into smaller, bite-sized pieces:  there’s the prep work before the person starts, the initial orientation during their first week, and the follow-up that happens after orientation.  My goal is to anticipate questions before they’re even asked and give folks what they need in real time, rather than reacting to their requests.

Maia: How does this document benefit you?

Jenny: More than anything, having this checklist means that I don’t waste brain space trying to remember everything I need to cover during onboarding. It’s a LOT of stuff! This puts me at ease, which means I’m calmer and more attentive to the staff person’s needs throughout the process, and I can do a better job of welcoming and supporting them.

My favorite part of this conversation is how Jenny realizes the checklist serves her, not just the other way around! And depending on how your organization functions and the number of new hires you have, I could see making all of these steps into a table or chart, with a timelined checklist down the Y axis and each new employee name across the X axis. This would allow for a bigger picture view of how everyone was progressing. If you are a smaller organization, you could give the checklist directly to the new person to help them monitor their own entrance!

Thanks to Jenny and the folks at The Management Center for letting us into their world.