Part 2 of the Social Business For Real Work series

The Challenge

Starting a new job can be a daunting experience. New employees are usually bombarded with information but are still often left with lots of unanswered questions. And existing employees are left wondering who this new person is that they haven’t been introduced to.

The Social Business Advantage

  • A dedicated community for new starters helps people joining the company access all the policy and procedure documentation they need, and digest it at the right time.
  • It also provides a place to ask any questions they have, and see what other new starters have asked.
  • A well-constructed welcome community can convey the company culture far more effectively than traditional induction meetings.
  • Member profiles enable other employees to find out about new starters and what they are working on.

Example

It’s Carol’s first day at the company in her new job as a marketing manager. The HR team adds her as a member to the company enterprise social network, and invite her to the “Start Here” community. As well as containing the usual policies and procedure documents, it helps Carol get a much greater sense of company culture. The welcome message from the CEO sets out the company’s vision. The HR Director’s welcome guides new starters towards other useful resources and communities in the network, including the “Employee Library” which holds a wider range of procedure documents. Before she started at the company, Carol had a vacation already booked. She can’t find details about how to book vacation days, so asks in the forum. The HR team monitors this forum regularly to ensure everything gets answered.

One of Carol’s first tasks is to set up her member profile page. This is a useful exercise in learning how to use the enterprise social network, providing a checklist of getting started items and making suggestions on content, communities and network members to follow. It also helps existing employees find out who Carol is, and what she’s going to be working on.

Make It Real

  • Create a induction community for all new starters.
  • When new members are added to the network, don’t add them to too many communities straight away. Direct them towards the new starter community, and use this to lead them towards other important areas of the network.
  • Ask senior managers to contribute welcome messages to the community, and keep them up to date.
  • Encourage new starters to ask “dumb newbie” questions in the starter community, to avoid cluttering other parts of the network. Keep these forums so that subsequent new starters can learn from them.
  • Ensure the HR team regularly checks the new starter forums to ensure questions get answered.
  • Assign tasks to new starters for any items where explicit confirmation of completion is required (e.g. agreement to key policies).
  • Make sure all new employees fill out their member profile, including a bit of information about themselves and what they’ll be working on.