Top 10 Tactics to Leverage When Onboarding Remotely

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Discussions in The Commons Slack community are prolific. Here’s a top one from this past week: tips for onboarding remotely. 💻

Prompt: Hi everyone! I start a new role tomorrow, and I will be onboarding virtually. I wondered if anyone had tips on onboarding and getting to know team members (i.e., good questions to ask?) Building rapport virtually was something I struggled with in my last role, so looking for advice/tips! Thanks in advance :)

Here's a top-ten summary of what community members shared:

  1. Be proactive & set up 1:1s with people you might interact with (tip: be sure to ask all of your 1:1s how they foresee your role interacting with theirs and what their key focus areas are - take notes! This will help you down the line if you're collaborating or if you need their support, as you'll be able to frame your approach in the context of what they care about and uncover ways to help them) - Aya M. & Alex P.
  2. Find out what working styles people prefer. Some want to know what's going on with verbal updates, others prefer written. Some want questions as they come up, others prefer they be grouped together. Sometimes not aligning on working styles can make it feel like you're just not clicking with that person, when it's actually a super solvable issue! - Craig T.
  3. Clearly define your KPIs / deliverables with your manager. Understand their KPIs as well and what they need to deliver, as this will help you unlock ways to contribute and align to their end goals as well as yours. - Shawn W.
  4. Spend time to really get to know everyone as humans first before talking anything about work. Tell your story. Hear people’s story. Make friends. - Shawn W.
  5. Push yourself to be more open in your conversations. Building rapport can be tougher in a remote environment therefore share more details than you instinctively would. For example, when someone asks how was your weekend give a real answer rather than defaulting to "not bad, how about you". - Michael A.
  6. Explicitly state your assumptions to get validation: "From what I'm picking up in Slack, it seems we're focused on XX more than anything right now. Does that sound right?" and "Let me repeat that back to you" both do wonders. - Rachel N.
  7. Ask about things that didn't work: "Have you tried things that weren't successful in XX project before?" - teaches a lot about people dynamics and obviously what not to implement right away. - Rachel N.
  8. If you're diving into a BizOps role, get to know the data and processes intimately and quickly (but don't get too bogged down in materials, as the company will evolve and documentation too will likely change quickly), be execution-focused and talk to real customers. - Albert N. & Alex P.
  9. Set up recurring 1:1s with people you'll work closely with / key teams for at least the first few months. - Shawn W.
  10. And finally, a book reco (here) and resource reco (here - written by the CEO of Ancestry, ex-Facebook). Thanks Deena, Ali and Angelina! 

Want to tap into more advice like this? Join The Commons (by applying to a Sprint) and you'll unlock full access to the community.  

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