An Effective Onboarding Structure

When new teammates enter the company, they are assigned a buddy. Someone who helps them get up to speed with our habits, processes, vocabulary, unwritten rules (if any), and who explains the overload of inside jokes we crack every day.

This is a very important task, usually carried out by seasoned sparkers. This page is practical guidelines for both the buddy and the employee about what to focus on to make sure the first month in SparkFabrik is always a valuable experience.

The process

As with every process, onboarding has inputs and outputs.

Inputs are the involved people and a set of clear goals.
The output is a new teammate who can autonomously find their way within the company, providing valuable work and participating in the whole team life, with little to no friction.

There are prerequisites, of course. To make sure nothing is missing, it suffices to follow this handy checklist.

Once they are fulfilled, the next step is to set the goals and schedule check-ups.

Goals

For the first two weeks

For the buddy:

  • Clarify the workflow of our projects for the new employee
  • Present and clarify any doubts about the tools that allow access to this workflow (git, GitLab, our branching model, etc)
  • Clarify how we track time on Float and how we communicate on Slack
  • Test the employee declared skills and proficiency level

For the employee:

  • Gain a basic but complete understanding of the mentioned workflow and tools
  • Have a clear idea of the social geography of the team they work with and of SparkFabrik in general
  • Knowing how to track their time and communicate using the right channels

For the first month

For the employee:

  • Have contributed a significant improvement (epic, milestone, etc) to the project they're working on
  • Celebrate the achievement by showing their work to the company, with a quick internal talk
  • Consolidate its position in the team as an autonomous part of the productive process

Checkpoints

Two weeks after joining

HR will schedule a call around this deadline with the new employee and their buddy to:

  • Check the progress on the mentioned goals
  • Take note of the actions necessary to fill any gaps
  • If some goal is not complete, set a reasonable deadline for the completion
  • Sharing second phase goals plan, in practical terms (which increment, how to present it to the company, etc)

One month after joining

HR will schedule the onboarding final meeting with the new employee and their buddy to:

  • Have a retrospective of the first month
  • Collect any feedback and define possible corrective actions
  • Highlight difficulties/impediments and provide insights to improve the onboarding process
  • (Optional) Set goals for the quarter to come (related to the project/team, possible training goals set by the CTO, etc)
Last updated on 2 May 2024