All onboard! Brock Fisher on how a great onboarding experience can set you up for success

Imagine walking into your new workplace on Day 1, greeted with a warm welcome and everything perfectly set up for you - that's the power of a great onboarding experience. Kolmeo's Brock Fisher has some tips on how to develop a winning strategy for new team members.

Rarely does a day go by that we don’t talk about customer service or customer experience.

But what about employee experience? How does it feel to join and work at your business?

Let me be very clear – having a procedure manual is definitely not the same as having an onboarding program.

If you’re relying on your mystical manual to do most of the heavy lifting when someone new starts their work journey, then you’re leaving a lot of opportunity on the table.

There’s three primary elements to setting up a winning onboarding strategy:

1. day 1

2. key service delivery, business and cultural aspects

3. personal upskilling

Crafting a great onboarding experience starts before Day 1.

Through the interview and offer stage, are you subtly gathering enough information about your new hire to create some wow moments?

You can make that first day really pop by simply knowing what their favourite tea or coffee order is, and having one ready to go when they arrive.

If they have a favourite treat or snack, or perhaps the more health conscious might prefer fruit, then have a selection of those ready to go too.

Small gestures, but very high value.

You got merchandise? Then put a ‘swag pack’ together for your new starter.

If the director wasn’t the person doing the hiring, then book a catchup in that first week so there’s a chance to start building rapport, for the business story to be told, and to chat face-to-face about their passion and vision for the business.

Perhaps the simplest way to build goodwill, is to have spent the time upfront to ensure that your new starter can log in, and has a proper, clean workstation to use.

If you experienced a Day 1 like that, how are you feeling on the way home?

Day 1 becomes the springboard into a structured program that could run anywhere from three to six months depending on business context and complexity.

A great onboarding experience will be very clear on the key business and training items that need to be covered, and whose responsibility it is to organise, demonstrate or explain that particular item.

Crowd sourcing your onboarding is a great way to not only spread the workload, but it also helps to build familiarity and rapport between new and existing team members.

This is the time to outline the standards your business delivers to, and is a key alignment piece to help ensure your work is consistent and the standard is similar as all your key touch points head out the door and into the hands and minds of customers.

Haven’t put a program like this together before? No problem, you can crowd source that with your team too.

If they started again today, what would be the handiest things to know?

The final aspect of the onboarding pathway is about equipping everyone with the right personal skills needed for success.

To thrive in the property management environment is rarely about amassing more technical skills than the next person, but is about building really useful interpersonal skills to help navigate the complexities that come with huge volumes of personality and relationship management, conflict resolution and de-escalation, and also the importance of self-care and resilience.

These skills rarely present in any of the formal training needed to enter the industry, but are the most impactful, empowering and confidence building gifts you can give to any property management practitioner.

It’s important not only to find effective providers in this space, but also a repeatable means of delivering that sort of personal development content as your team grows, so that everyone is speaking the same language and is equipped with the same skills toolbox.

And if you have had a great training session with your current team, how can you ensure that future starters also get the benefit of those learnings and knowledge?

Recruitment is hard, and vacant portfolios are a business and staff killer. Make the most of your recruitment efforts by setting up for onboarding success.

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Brock Fisher

Brock Fisher is Executive Manager, Industry & Partnerships at Kolmeo, a property management software business focused on solving for all the people in property – the renters, the owners and the property managers.