Onboarding is a critical part of a strategic talent management program, but it is often overlooked by busy managers who believe that it’s human resources’ responsibility. success factors.com
What is Onboarding?
For many summers, I worked at Woodman’s, home of the fried clam in the tourist town of Essex, Mass. The summer season is crazy busy and the environment is fast-paced and at times, hectic. The summer is where we drew most of our new employees, and unfortunately, they were usually just thrown into the craziness without proper training.
More recently, Woodman’s decided to draw up a training manual to help ease the training experience. The goal: 1) get all new employees on the same page and 2) help facilitate the process for the new employees so once the craziness starts, they can feel prepared.
This same concept applies to bringing new marketing professionals up to speed when they come aboard. This process is called “Onboarding.” Many times, new marketers are thrown right into the fray without proper training. What I have put together is something to help ease this process–a training manual blueprint for the new employee’s first 1-2 weeks. Not only will it help the marketer, but it might also provide some new insights for your marketing team.
Onboarding refers to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective organizational members and insiders. Wikipedia
The Onboarding Blueprint
Day 1: Give the Overview
Bring new employees up to speed on the basics: what the company does, its size, its target market, which marketing channels it uses, etc. Sound familiar? This is probably your corporate deck. Invest an hour or two and walk through it with your new marketing person.
The Homework: Make sure the new employee goes through your website to write up three to five findings where the messaging and language might not match the corporate position in the presentation. You want that fresh perspective and there is no better day to do that than day 1.
Day 2: Review Success Metrics
Train on the KPIs that Marketing is responsible for and explain how those apply to the new hire. For example, if monthly MQLs are what the CMO uses to benchmark success, make sure the new webinar manager is creating webinars that push new leads to MQL.
The Homework: Have the new hire review past reports and ask for new insights. While learning the KPIs, maybe the new hire will notice that webinar attendance had dropped 5.6% in the past quarter and suggest improvements.
Day 3: Introduce the Employee to Sales
Giving Marketing the perspective of Sales helps build the ever important alignment. In order to assist with this alignment, you want to have the new hire understand what goes on in Sales and what kind of leads the sales team is looking for in order to drive the most success. Maybe have the new hire sit in for some sales calls and meet with 3-4 Sales reps, including the business development reps and the outside team.
The Homework: Ask the new hire to write up a one pager on what marketing can do to improve its relationship with Sales.
Day 4: Train on Marketing Technology Platforms
Do a run-through of the marketing automation software and other digital marketing technologies such as webinar management tools to give the new employee an idea of technologies used at the organization.
Ease the fear of creating new emails or target lists by bringing in your marketing operations guru to provide the overview. The idea here is not to go deep with training but to provide an overview of all the technologies the marketing team utilizes. This helps promote cross functional expertise.
According to the report, 36% of organizations find “ramping up new sales reps takes too long” as one of the top reasons why their teams are failing to reach their quota goals. Marketing Profs
The Homework: Ask the new hire to list out five problems each of the technologies solves while also noting how the technologies work with one another. You may gain a few insights on technology gaps at your organization.
Day 5: Shadow Someone
Have the new employee spend a day or half a day with an experienced marketing employee in the same department. This should give the new hire a comfort level with the job function he or she will be performing.
The Homework: Take notes from employee shadowed and review.
Day 6 (And Beyond): Deep Dive into Training
After the first five days, the new employee should have a pretty decent idea of what is happening at the organization. Now it’s time to dive deeper into the new hire’s specific function.
The new hire should review any documentation on processes and begin diving into the day-to-day technologies. For example, a new marketing operation manager would dive into the marketing automation platform to learn how to import lists, set lead scoring, adjust nurturing and more. Many digital marketing technology providers offer some online training, so make sure the new employee takes advantage of that.
The Homework: The deep dive is the training.
End of Week 2: Review and Reinforce Goals
After a week plus of training, the new hire will feel like he or she is drinking from a fire hose. The new marketer will not retain everything so now is a good time to provide a refresher on goals, KPIs and other top points. As a manager, this step offers you the peace of mind to trust your new hire to follow process accurately.
The Homework: Ask the new employee for a quarterly plan.
In order to successfully bring your new employees on board, training is needed. Whether you use a blueprint like above, or create your own, set up your employee for success with proper training.
And if you’re ever in Essex, come stop by Woodman’s for a fried clam.