Here at Ignite we know how important onboarding is, so we are sharing these essential onboarding tips in a four part series to help you blow minds in your new role.
As you’re about to start a new job, you need to think about your initial strategies for onboarding. Sure, many companies have some form of training, but the more you take responsibility for your own “best practices” for getting started, the more you ensure your own success. The beginning of any role is a critical time that you will never get back. Read through our onboarding tips to discover how to make the very most of that time.
During the introductory phase with a company, your main aim is to quickly absorb all the information you need so you can start adding value. These onboarding tips will guide you and are the most important primary onboarding info Ignite has gathered over the years to share with our clients. In small part, it’s also based on the book for leaders called The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter by Watkins.
Each Role is Unique: Walk-In With a Fresh Mindset
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that what brought you success in your last role will help you now. A very important onboarding tip is to set yourself up for success! Take a mental break from your old role and prepare to take charge of the new one. How? One way is through intention. Make some space for this and imagine yourself letting go of your previous position and embracing the new one with optimism.
Then reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. Consider your best tools (strengths) and jot them down where you can look at them each week during your onboarding. Consider how you will use them in service of giving the most value. Recall your weaknesses or areas of professional development, then consider a weekly plan to make sure these don’t fall into a blind spot. This plan should include looking for allies who have different but complementary strengths to bolster your weak areas.
What we’re talking about right now is making sure your weaknesses are being accounted for and not slipping into the driver’s seat when you’re not paying attention. For example, if you know you are very strategic but tend to lose focus on relationship building…then make sure from the very beginning that you map out a plan. Ensure you have strategic 1:1s with your peers, direct reports, and with leadership in the organization if appropriate. You might make a goal of meeting with two people a week in the beginning and create accountability by putting this in your schedule.
Concrete Level: Take Away Onboarding Tip
What does this look like in action?
1.) Intentionally let go of the role that was behind you. Let the patterns that emerged in your last role, good or improvable, stay there. Allow yourself to make a fresh start.
2.) Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses.
3.) Develop an action plan to make the most of your strengths and to account for or support your weaknesses.
4.) Weave this action plan into your schedule. Another way to put this….ask yourself how you’re going to keep this on your map? When we’re trying to make changes to our usual pattern, in the beginning, we are at risk for forgetting and slipping back into the pattern. What will you put in place to help you remember until it becomes the new pattern? FYI it’s not 21 days to change a habit. Neuroscience tells us it’s about 2-3 months.
5.) Begin to schedule 1:1s and create a list of questions. These should include rapport-building questions to get to know their personality and who they are, as well as, questions about the company, their goals, and vision. Use your best judgment but have an organized way to make the most of your time together.
Join us in our part two of the onboarding series where we will share our best onboarding tips on how to approach the first week at a new job.