Essential Onboarding Procedures to Institute in Your Law Firm
Onboarding new employees is an integral part of running a law firm.
You need team members to take some work off your plate and you need a consistent way to bring them onto the team. If you don’t institute a solid onboarding process, you will be more stressed and overwhelmed than you were before you hired help.
Today we are sharing our top tips for onboarding. Melanie herself has perfected the art of documenting her onboarding procedures and now has a large, well-oiled team. They’ve grown fast and even gone remote.
The three aspects of onboarding that we will discuss today are culture and connecting with other employees, logistics, and job responsibilities. Applying all of this information will allow you to get your onboarding procedures set in stone and ready to use when you’re hiring new employees.
The first thing we recommend is that, with every new hire, you start with some kind of welcome gift. It doesn’t have to be huge or expensive–just a small token that shows you’re looking forward to them joining the team. This will get the new hire excited and feeling more comfortable.
Additionally, sharing any written documents you have that explains things like your company’s vision statement, mission, or values is helpful. Bringing these things to the new team member’s attention as early as possible will be very helpful. If you don’t have formal statements just share stories about why the company started and what it looked like when you first started compared to now.
A more standardized way to share about your culture is with an org chart. It can be as basic as a sheet of paper that says everyone’s names, who reports to who, and what each person’s job responsibilities are. As a new team member, meeting tons of people and trying to keep their names and their faces straight is challenging and an org chart helps.
Next up in the onboarding process is communicating all of the necessary logistics to the new team member. For example, you should create their logins before their first day of work and send them all to the new team member. Similarly, if you’re transitioning a position from a former team member to a new team member, make sure to change the names on those accounts for the new team member before they start.
Another thing to provide new hires with before they start is the tools that they need to do their job. For example, if you’re remote, mail them their computer in advance. You could also have an orientation call with them in advance where you start talking about their work environment, what they have set up at home, if they need anything to make them feel more comfortable, and more. Checking these things in advance will make the process and transition much smoother.
Training and Job Responsibilities
When it comes to new team members, you want to make sure that you’re sharing the documented processes and procedures that you already have in place. Any written procedures, video recordings, or checklists you have should be sent to them.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by recording any trainings you do via Zoom. Save those recordings either for future training of new team members or transcribe them for written procedures. This will help your new team member have an easier time training because they can refer back to the documented information and not have to ask their trainer as many questions.
Additionally, when you’re training a new team member, actually give them something to accomplish on the first day or two. Break up their training into smaller chunks and have them learn a process, then do it, learn another process, and then do that, et cetera. This will help them better retain the processes that they’re learning. You’ll also be able to start getting a return on your investment earlier.
Lastly, once you are done with the training process, schedule regular check-ins. Even though you may be officially done with telling them their job responsibilities, it’s sometimes not until they dive into the actual application of these procedures that they figure out what their questions are.
If you want to learn more about onboarding best practices, check out Episode 052: Onboarding New Employees – Benefits of All the Procedures you Have to Date.