BY YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR COUNCIL
Entrepreneurial Q &A: What is one unusual element of your onboarding (e.g., having new hires read the founder’s blog) that helps communicate culture to new hires?
A: Meeting with the founder. “As the founder of the company, I sit down with each new employee and go over the eight pillars that are the foundation of Webfor (which includes our purpose, mission, vision, values, brand promise, etc.). We also discuss our servant leadership philosophy. It’s a really important part of the onboarding process for new team members and definitely helps provide a clear vision of our culture.” Kevin Getch, Webfor
Subversive learning. “Observing a culture is anthropological research. Joining one, however, is no spectator sport. At the second interview and later during the onboarding brainstorm session, newbies dive into their department’s group dynamic with meetings where they hear from their department peers, ask and answer questions, and get challenged to adapt to our culture in order to engage successfully.” Manpreet Singh, TalkLocal
Sharing customer stories. “When a new team member joins Wave, we share customer stories that show the struggles that small business owners face, and the impact Wave can have when we create great solutions. Hearing these stories makes you passionate, because you see that you’re on a worthwhile mission. Everyone here is doing important work that will truly change the lives of hundreds of thousands of small business owners.” Kirk Simpson, Wave
Inviting them to our private Facebook group. “We have a private company Facebook group that we invite new hires to join prior to their first day to learn our culture. We encourage them to read through previous months of resources uploaded, articles shared, event photos from Warrior Dash runs or panels employees have spoken on, and we tell them to spend the extra time to read the comments to learn the personalities of those at the company.” Faithe Parker, Marbaloo Marketing
Case-based training. “During our orientation, we use case-based training in a group setting where we discuss scenarios that our employees could encounter. Each scenario focuses on one of our core values. Based on new employee surveys, this has been effective in communicating and teaching TLN’s culture to our new hires.” Tamara Nall, The Leading Niche
Having them listen to sales and customer calls. “Understanding the customer is everyone’s job. So everyone from accounting to engineering is required to get on sales calls to hear the challenges and solutions for our customer base and also to listen into calls with account managers to existing clients. Customer intimacy is the key to every business’ success.” Trevor Sumner, Perch Interactive
Establishing their penchant for play. “We typically invite new team members to show us their skills at ping pong or another game of their choosing. We have a laid back and fun culture and we like to make sure new team members are comfortable in that environment.” Ross Cohen, BeenVerified
Having them read the wiki. “We have our new hires read our company wiki. This gives them a chance to see how ideas develop and where product specs come from. It also lets them grasp the different players and personalities.” Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.