Some of the best onboarding experience we have seen have included when a manager sent a new employee the LinkedIn profiles of some of their new stakeholders and colleagues.
The new employee is able to understand a little more about what each person does or has done and in some cases, is able to build something in common with their stakeholder or colleague by knowing they studied at the same university or once worked for the same organisation (albeit at different times).
It is really important that you spend some time explaining the “informal network” – you know the one that’s not on the organisation chart. This includes the go-to people, the gatekeepers, the people who know what’s happening before it happens. And, don’t forget the supporters and potentially the rivals/adversaries who may need a little extra convincing to get something across the line.
Helping new employee establish networks, build connections and meet their stakeholders doesn’t have to involve a calendar full of meetings. These are just a few easy ways you can start things off.
- Make sure your organisation chart is up to date and easily accessible. If you have a corporate directory make sure that role information is maintained. As well as maintiaing contact information and even alternate contact information. There is nothing worse than starting in a new organisation and knowing who you need to contact, but not knowing how to contact them or who to contact in their absence.
- LinkedIn, Twitter, Yammer or any other networking tool is a great place for new employees to gain insight. Who subject matter experts are, who is quite vocal about different topics and who has a similar question. Introduce new employees to your organisations networking tools early on. It’s also a great idea to link new employees who start around the same time via workplace networking tools – especially if they are not located in the same office or work location.
- Rather than setup lots of meetings with their stakeholders, invite the stakeholders along to a single meeting to collaborate together. This is even more beneficial when you have a number of new employees starting at the same time. It’s a great way to demonstrate team work and open communication.
- New employees work with external stakeholders. Don’t forget opportunities to invite them along to industry networking events, or to join you out on the road. It’s always a good idea to join them for their first couple of external meetings. Remember to brief them on the types of external stakeholders they will be dealing with. Give insight into the current relationship and also the organisations policy on external meeting protocols.