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How to create onboarding material that matters

Onboarding new hires is all about preparing and providing the right material.

It’s essential to give new employees everything they need to understand their role and responsibilities, such as guides on your internal tools and how to use them. This blog post is for you if you’re looking for a structured approach to creating understandable and manageable organized onboarding materials.

When preparing materials, it’s important to think through balancing standardized and scalable formats without losing your personal touch along the way. Now more than ever, people who join a new company want to feel valued and guided as an individual. In fact, many new joiners are unsatisfied with their onboarding experience because of the lack of individualization and support. This is why we at audvice want to share three best practices to help you create onboarding materials that matter, just as they have for us.

Need a screen break? Listen to the rest of the blog post by clicking on the play button.

#1 Company Knowledge Base

The first thing you will want to provide new joiners with what is your knowledge base or company wiki. A company wiki transforms your company‘s knowledge into one searchable hub. Your employees can access, maintain, and edit it, depending on their roles and access permissions. The core benefits of a wiki are that it centralizes and preserves knowledge, saves time, and facilitates collaboration, so both new joiners and existing employees are given everything they need to perform their jobs successfully.

In summary, your wiki acts as your company's single source of information and helps staff find the information they need without having to ask around.

Structured approach to creating understandable and manageable organized onboarding materials for a smooth and fast onboarding process.

It is important to find a structure for your wiki appropriate for your company’s needs. audvice’s wiki is split into a central home section and other sections corresponding to different departments, namely, analytics and research. This organized structure facilitates every single team member’s daily tasks. Subjects to include in your wiki are your mission, vision, and values, employee handbook, company processes, strategy, roadmap, departmental information, visuals, pictures, other necessary files, and so on.

Wikis are a vital part of your onboarding process as they provide a comprehensive overview of existing information in your business in a format that resembles your internal structure.

However, this large amount of information can be overwhelming at first glance, so you also need to consider how it will be delivered to your employees without getting them lost in a multiverse of files. At Audvice, we have found a very effective approach that suits us perfectly: we provide some information as text when we see the need for a visual aid, supplemented by other information as recorded speech using our playlists.

Now, what are playlists? 🎧

Wikis are a vital part of your onboarding process as they provide a comprehensive overview of existing information in your business in a format that resembles your internal structure.

Playlists are a collection of multiple tracks or sound bites, like voice messages, through which you can share pre-recorded information in your own voice.

You won’t have time to walk new joiners through your knowledge base, but recording a playlist once and re-sharing it saves a lot of time and effectively provides any necessary context. It’s possible to convey far more context through speech than through writing.

Moreover, people remember information better when they listen to it.

These playlists are also easy to update and maintain simply by editing individual tracks, making their management a low-effort activity.

#2 Onboarding checklist

There are two types of onboarding checklists. The first is internal, so you, as an employer, perform all the tasks necessary to ensure new joiners have a structured and smooth entry to the company. The other one is an onboarding checklist for the new joiners themselves.

To help you prepare this second checklist, we’ve designed this template which covers all the essential points. Let’s dig into it now.

The ideal onboarding checklist gives new joiners an overview of their first few weeks of employment, allows them to grasp what matters quickly, and helps them settle in with ease. The choice of what you include in it is, of course, dependent on your company and its onboarding goals. For instance, audvice uses Notion to set up onboarding boards for our new colleagues.

Our operations department has created a generic template for these onboarding boards and adapted them to the role of every new joiner.

Now, what do you include in the onboarding checklist?

It makes sense to begin with, a general introduction to the project management tool. Then, you want to provide them with all the tasks they need to complete, ideally split into the different phases of your onboarding process, e.g., setting up their laptop and logging in to all tools or overviewing and scheduling their initial meetings. This onboarding checklist is also a great place to provide them with access to your company wiki.

We keep a “Meet the Team” playlist in our audio knowledge base which is our workspace in the app. One of the onboarding tasks of every new joiner is to listen to it, record their own introduction, and add it to the playlist.

A lot of these tasks will be technical and organizational in nature, but we also use the Audvice app to add a more personal component to the onboarding checklist, besides meetings and independent work.

For example, we keep a “Meet the Team” playlist in our audio library, which is our workspace in the app. One of the onboarding tasks of every new joiner is to listen to it, record their own introduction, and add it to the playlist. This way, the new joiner can get to know the whole team before joining the first meeting.

We think encouraging new colleagues to have an introduction track alongside other team members makes for a nice welcoming ritual.

#3 Add context

If you have implemented a company wiki and designed an onboarding checklist, you’ve already made it quite far. Now all your technical information is available, but what if most of your employees are busy doing their daily work and the new joiner also wants to get started independently? This is where one of our favorite use cases for Audvice comes in.

We record guides as playlists that tell our new joiners more about their onboarding tasks, why we want them to complete them, and perhaps most importantly, a little more information on how they can do that. Similarly, you could record a playlist on how they can manage their onboarding checklist and what to pay attention to. This way, you won’t have to repeat yourself when it comes to your tools, and your new joiner can listen to the playlist while sitting in front of their laptop and playing around with the tool.

It’s a great idea to record such playlists for all your tools, as settling in with different and often new software can be quite challenging at the beginning of a new job. Adding a little more context here and using the power of voice will be of great help to your new joiners.

Voice also provides a more personal connection. According to the author Michael W. Kraus, speech communication is the most effective way to create empathy and convey it to your listener.

Again, we are referring to the differentiated approach to onboarding, which keeps engagement, retention, and productivity high right from the start. More hours spent in meetings aren’t the solution to this problem, as this will cost too much time on both ends. But simply recording playlists talking about any part of the onboarding will automatically help your new joiners feel more connected to your company and valued as an individual.

To summarize, you must store all your company knowledge in a single, searchable location.

You have to ensure your new joiners know what tasks they must complete in their first week and how they can perform them. And finally, you want to ensure your onboarding materials express a personal approach.

If you want to learn more about our product and how it can help you create personal yet scalable onboarding materials that matter, you can get started for free today!


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