[00:00:00] Emily Thompson:
Hey boss, Emily here to tell you about a super time sensitive training I'm doing live on Monday, August 8th. It's called a Boss Guide To Making Hard Decisions In Your Work And Life where I'm teaching you my best mindsets and tactics for helping you more quickly and confidently move through the mountain of decisions you have as a business owner. Mark your calendar for Monday, August 8th, you can learn more and sign up at beingboss.club/training.
[00:00:34] Welcome to Being Boss of podcast for creatives, business owners, and entrepreneurs who want to take control of their work and live life on their own terms. I'm your host, Emily Thompson. And in this episode, I'm joined again by Corey, from the Being Boss team to talk about onboarding new employees. This is the second part of a two-part series.
[00:00:53] You'll wanna go back to the previous episode to listen to number one if you haven't listened to it yet. And this installment is sending you into the important period of training your six-week review and the expectations that you need for your first six months with your new hire. You can find all the tools, books, and links
[00:01:11] we reference on the show notes at www.beingboss.club. And if you like this episode, be sure to subscribe to this show and share us with a friend.
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[00:02:09] Okay, Corey, we're back for part two of this four-parter, part two of this two-parter that's really part of a four-parter. On hiring and now onboarding.
[00:02:18] Corey Winter: Which is really a part of a 313 parter.
[00:02:21] Emily Thompson: Oh, snap indeed, indeed. Plus all those secret episodes. Well, apparently y'all were back to being bald here. Emily, Corey.
[00:02:32] We are doing, we are doing really second part of an on two episode onboarding series. In the last episode, we talked about a couple of good things. We talked about bringing someone on for their first day, but also what happens before you even bring them on for their first day, all the pre-work you do around HR goodies and then day one.
[00:02:59] And then I started talking about training and really setting you up for some mindsets that are incredibly important to keep in mind when you are mapping out and otherwise going into training your employees and onboarding them into your business in this sort of skillset capacity.
[00:03:19] Corey Winter: But now let's talk about the training itself.
[00:03:23] Let's do it. So they've been, they've been oriented in your business. You have date, you have set yourself up for training them, but now it's actually time to teach them how to do things in your business. So I guess step one is how to find what they need,
[00:03:41] Emily Thompson: Which is funny cause you would think step one is like how do you do the thing?
[00:03:45] No. I don't start there. I don't start there because we talked about this little bit in the last episode, this sort of like careful dance you play between being there and being supportive and teaching them how to do their thing and being a resource for them as you are teaching them how to do their job, whatever it may be.
[00:04:04] And then this other side of it, of encouraging them to solve their own problems. So whenever I am training these days especially, I like to really start my training with how to find what they need on their own so that you are just immediately infusing them with this like, bit of empowerment to find what they need to know on their own without constantly coming to you, looking for you to solve their problem.
[00:04:35] This is a problem that I run into with almost every boss who has a team. And it's also like a very like person-specific, some people are much more comfortable going and finding answers for themselves. Some people just need to be told what to do and how to do it. But the idea here is that you are building it into the culture into how it is that they do their job for your company that they can go find their own solutions, their own answers, their own, whatever they need in order to take whatever step they need to take to and whatever it is that they are doing.
[00:05:12] So I always start with how to find what they need. I talked about this a little bit, whenever it came to day one, things that you can do an intro to the team. I always reiterate this a couple of times throughout, especially if you have a team that's more than you. I mean, that is what a team is, right? Yeah.
[00:05:33] That's what I'm talking about.
[00:05:36] Corey Winter: You can't spell a team without me.
[00:05:40] Emily Thompson: Indeed, indeed. You rearrange letters, but, but it's still true. Still true. So, you're gonna wanna tell them or make sure that they know who to go to, to find the answers that they need. That's not always you when you have a larger team. All too often, I'm talking to bosses with teams who struggle with the fact that some of their team members only come to them
[00:06:06] whenever they have a problem, they're not going to the project manager, or they're not going to the money manager or whatever. They come to you, the boss, the business owner, and what we want to do here is make it so that your team can talk amongst themselves without you being present.
[00:06:24] Corey Winter: So gossip behind your back.
[00:06:26] Emily Thompson: No, no, not that Corey. That's a different part of training. I wanna be there for that. When it comes to, comes to working together with other people on your team, making it very easy for them to know, understand who it is. They need to go to, to find the answers that they need.
[00:06:50] And sometimes that means telling them to go to that person and sort of training the entire team to do that as well. So let's see if someone on the Being Boss team were to come to me about podcast production, I'd be like, I have no clue, go talk to Corey. I'm not gonna go talk to you and find the answer and give it to them.
[00:07:08] I'm going to make sure that they know that they need to talk to Corey. So the next time something comes up around podcast production, they're going to know, to just go to Corey for that because I don't know, even if I do know, and I will do this like I know the answer to the problem, but I'm not the person who used to give you the answer.
[00:07:24] I'm still gonna send you to the person that you need to talk to. So that next time you're not coming to me asking me the question that you should be asking someone else.
[00:07:30] Corey Winter: I feel like it's kind of the ultimate goal with hiring a team isn't it? Like it's to where you don't have to be the source of all knowledge and you can step back.
[00:07:41] Emily Thompson: Yeah, yeah, yeah, it is. So you can take a vacation and still have the entire business run without you because everything they need is within their reach without you touching it for them.
[00:07:53] Corey Winter: Likely you pointed your finger out, like touch it.
[00:07:56] Emily Thompson: I'm just touching it. Like, just go look at a sauna right there. Right
[00:08:03] whatever it may be. So who they need to ask to find the answers that they need and then where they need to find the answers that they need. This is always tech training, number one, but it's very light because when it comes to tech, things can get very overwhelming very quickly. So always like sort of lay this like early blanket of here are the tools that we use and how we use them.
[00:08:32] Don't get overwhelmed because we're actually gonna go through and learn them all specifically and then sort of end it with this other like overarching hills, here's how it all works together. So I like to start with, start with big picture. Yes. Start with a very light, big picture. Get into the individual pieces and then really set the big picture at the end.
[00:08:51] Okay. So light, big picture looks like we use Asana for task management, Slack for communication, notion is our brain, Dropbox saves files. Right. Those are our four biggies at Being Boss, at least Almanac has like another set. But like, if you ever are looking for what you need to do, go to Asana.
[00:09:13] If you ever need to find a file, go to Dropbox. If you ever need to find some information regarding something that we're doing, it lives in notion. And if you ever need, what was the other one? Slack. Oh, if you ever need to like contact someone, Slack. Right? So that, like that very overarching here's the tools that we use to find what you need.
[00:09:36] Go give them a search. Also, literally, some training on search bars goes a long way.
[00:09:43] Corey Winter: I was gonna say, I feel like part one of tech, sub A is how to use Google.
[00:09:48] Emily Thompson: Yeah. Or just like Shopify, our website has a whole support section. Or, Asana has a whole support section and whenever it comes to you mapping out your processes, you can literally have a doc that you give them.
[00:10:06] That's like here's how we use all the tools. Here's literally the support link for every single one of these tools in the event that you ever have a question. Oh, that's smart. Right. So you can just deliver that to them. And they have this doc that they have. That they can reference, to find a support doc of support docs.
[00:10:27] That's exactly what that is. Exactly what it is. And also literally showing them how to use the search bar in notion or in Dropbox or whatever it may be. This can also be something around, train them as to how you name files. If you guys do not have a process or how you name files, you must.
[00:10:46] You must, you must. Yes. Yes. Right? And so then it becomes, if you ever need to find something in Dropbox, just here's how you find it, right? So step one is how do you find what you need? And again, this is sort of a very overarching, relatively light, but with the idea of you are immediately empowering your employees to find what they need on their own or to get with the right people.
[00:11:11] Corey Winter: I like that making that the very first thing they learn. That's smart. Yeah. It's like, you've done this before.
[00:11:17] Emily Thompson: A couple times, a couple of times to varying success.
[00:11:24] The idea behind news is great, but also people are also just different. People are just different too. And that's something you will be learning, engaging. So if number one is how to find what you need. Two is teaching them how to do their job. Yeah. Right. So you've given them like, you've shown them the bucket of information that is your business, right?
[00:11:49] Like here's just all the things that you need, anything you could ever need is here. Here's how to find it. So let's get down to how we take all of this stuff and sort of bring it back into you and your job and the role that you have. So this is where like all those individual pieces of training that you have planned out comes into place.
[00:12:12] And I like to do this in a way that you are building skills. We're gonna start with some very base layer things. Maybe it's going to be something like Asana training or task management training. And sometimes it's literally also has to look like here's what you're gonna do every single day. The first thing that you do whenever you clock in at work is you are gonna open Asana and you were gonna see what's on your task list because y'all, if you don't tell some people this, they will never open up Asana and look at their task list.
[00:12:40] It's a whole wild thing. And it, and it's one of those things that I say this, and I know that sounds really simple, but we all take for granted how we show up and do work. Yeah. Right. Or even, even if you are, it's very different if you're hiring entry-level or like not quite entry-level, but like early-level mid-level and then like a high-level higher, like an expert in what they do.
[00:13:05] But even sometimes experts struggle with the like day to day, I have to show up every day and I'm gonna check my Asana, check my email, check Slack. Right. They're gonna not do those things or whatever the process is for how it is that you run business. You need to define that sometimes literally in, first thing you need to do every day is check Asana.
[00:13:24] Corey Winter: Well, I'm gonna story time. Corey story time. Oh, love it. Yeah. It's actually shameless self-promo as well. So I started my own podcast, Eat Sleep Nerd. Go look it up anywhere you can listen to podcast. Indeed. So I'm, I started this podcast, with my brother and our mutual friend, and they're not a part of this whole entrepreneur life whatsoever.
[00:13:46] Like they're corporate drones and in a good way, they love their drones, corporate drones. But with my history and podcast stuff, obviously I was getting everything set up for us and it blew my mind that they did not have Google calendars. I could not invite them to recording events because they did not have Google calendars and they don't know how to use Slack because they've never had to use Slack.
[00:14:13] It was just blowing my mind that they were not in the know of all this stuff that we use on a daily basis.
[00:14:18] Emily Thompson: Yeah. And again, we take this for granted. We show up every day, I'm looking at my Asana, I'm checking out my Google calendar. I'm chatting it up on Slack, all the things, but this is how we live our lives.
[00:14:31] Right. So every day of our lives for a decade, plus, this is how we've lived our lives. But for a lot of people that, especially these like remote small business jobs, they've been working corporate or they've been working retail or whatever. And so getting them in to this and literally how it is that you show up to work every day is
[00:14:54] part of the training and this is one that I just have learned a little late, a little more lately than some of the other ones. But it's incredibly important. What do you want them to be doing every single day? At the shop we literally have open and closing procedures, which is basic, but the things that I have on there are basic like, yeah, lock the door, unlock the door, turn on and off the lights.
[00:15:22] Those sorts of things, but also check Slack because we check Slack all day, every day, but someone who's been working retail is not, in the process of checking it on Slack every day. So we literally make it part of our processes to do some of those simple check-ins. Yeah. Got to. I love that for you though.
[00:15:42] Right? Welcome, Corey. Yeah. Welcome to people who don't work the way we do. Yeah. It's weird. Google calendar. Yes. We take it for granted and we take it like we are so productive because of these tools and it is our job to onboard our team members into this sort of level of productivity so we can all work together and get our jobs done, building skills.
[00:16:04] So I do like to start with some like day-to-day stuff, start building into the most commonly used pieces of software. If it's, if we're looking at tech training here, but also, how about the most commonly used processes? How about that? Because that could be tech something like literally we use Asana every single damn day.
[00:16:26] So here is how you use Asana, here's how we use Asana. Here's what it looks like. Here's some sample projects, here is your to-do list, all of those sorts of things.
[00:16:34] Corey Winter: So let me ask you a little sub-question. So such as with Asana or any other third-party software that you use, Asana, for example, how involved do you actually get with how Asana works?
[00:16:48] Like you're showing them how you use it. But how involved do you get with actually showing them how Asana just works in general? Or do you just go show them support tutorials, go read these, and then we'll reconvene and show you how we use it?
[00:17:00] Emily Thompson: It's a little bit of all of those things. So it's definitely like a, here is Asana and what it does, like it is a project management software where you can create these projects and you create todo lists and it sort of takes all of your todos and puts them in this list.
[00:17:13] And so there's like a very sort of overarching, and then there is very like, here is a project that we do as you can see here, David and I are working on these things and they're tasked out and there's these things and descriptions and all of this stuff. And you'll see how it comes over here. And in my daily to-do, it is just like a list.
[00:17:32] A like, what’s the word? Timeline list. So it's very much so how it works overarching, how it works, how we use it specifically. And then also, yes, there's always support. So if you are confused, go do this, this, if it's, if there, if I'm hiring someone who is going to be using Asana because not all of my hires use Asana, which is a whole other interesting thing for building in trainings and things as who needs Asana, who doesn't need Asana.
[00:18:06] I always ask them if they're familiar with project management software, like that's actually a precursor, like a requirement, a required skill for those jobs is that you at least have used them before and know how to use them. Because in general, I'm not gonna be training whole project management software for the roles that I needed them.
[00:18:29] If it's an entry-level, something, someone that I'm bringing into the back-of-house team, where I need to teach them a little more specifically, I can and will, but in general that's a required skill to even come on board. So things like Asana, hold on, there was another nugget there I wanted to get into.
[00:18:46] Oh, no things in the store. So Asana being the most used process, right? In sort of back of house at Almanac or at Being Boss, front of house at Almanac, it's literally doing a crystal walkthrough, which is the most fun thing ever because like, is this one a wand or is it a cluster or is it a sphere?
[00:19:11] And those things sound pretty like make sense, but wand versus a tower, how are those things different versus a point which is like a whole other situation. Different kinds of crystals, what they're good for, like in the store that's the process that is the most used by the sales associates. So the training looks like the first bit of training that we do is not even like how to use the POS system.
[00:19:35] Right. It's not tech at all. It is a crystal walkthrough. Also, like in train them on our products.
[00:19:43] Corey Winter: Well, and in general, it's just. Yeah, I was gonna say in general, for any retail business, it's familiarity with the products like just teach them what you sell. So they know if a customer asks them what this is, they actually have knowledge about it.
[00:19:54] Emily Thompson: Indeed.
[00:19:54] And let's say I had taught them Shopify POS first, point of sale or like register system. But, and so someone brings them a crystal, but they don’t know what that crystal is, like I've taught them something useless in this moment because they haven't learned a more core skill, which is actually identifying the products that we sell, which is where whenever you're planning training, plan training in a way that it builds on each other.
[00:20:22] So I'm not teaching someone or at Being Boss, we're not teaching them podcast production, like in terms of like editing a podcast that they don't even know how to check their to-do list to see what podcast needs to be edited next. Right. So you're building on the skills so that they can, they can get the foundations that they need.
[00:20:42] And then you go up from there.
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[00:21:51] When it comes to training cause I feel like even in those examples, did anyone feel overwhelmed?
[00:21:57] Corey Winter: I did. You lost me talking about pointy and towers and what?
[00:22:00] Emily Thompson: Yeah, it's incredibly overwhelming and that's another thing that's like sort of a take it for granted things. Bosses hold a lot of stuff in their heads.
[00:22:11] Like a stupid amount of stuff is up in our knock-ins that we are trying to get out to other people. Other people have varying capacities for all the stuff. And so number one is, as you are training, being really aware of who's getting it and who isn't as fast as you're wanting to give it because some people need significantly more time in order to like, get up to speed, to learn the next thing.
[00:22:37] Whereas other people can get it pretty quickly, but you still need to be really mindful of onboarding people onto things slowly and in a, at a speed that they can actually retain. And it is not the speed with which you probably most want to give it because it all makes sense in your head. I love that for you, but it's gonna take several moments for a portion of what's in your, in your head to make sense in someone else's head.
[00:23:08] Corey Winter: Yeah, just to use another example. So I teach drum lines for a hobby and high school drum lines, specifically band campus, where we always teach the kids how to play and March and everything. And we always have to tell and remind the upperclassmen, like the sophomores to seniors, that it's gonna be very slow-paced, and they're probably gonna get bored because we're having to pace the learning process to the freshmen that have never done this before.
[00:23:36] Because if we throw everything at them at once, it becomes overwhelming and they just don't learn anything. Like they reach a capacity agreement for how much they're learning. So we have to take it super slow because they're trying to learn how to, how to hold sticks, how to wear a drum, how to move their feet ahead of seniors and the juniors, and stuff like, whoa, we know how to do this already.
[00:23:55] Why are we doing this so slow? So like we had to pace everything for people that could get easily overwhelmed.
[00:24:01] Emily Thompson: Yeah. And even if they have done it before, and I think, great example with drum line, but let's say you you're hiring a social media manager, who's done it for another business and maybe it's very similar business to yours.
[00:24:16] It's still gonna take the moment to, like, you're probably using a different scheduling tool. You're definitely, have a different marketing plan. All those things like you still need to give people a moment. Experience will absolutely, influence how fast you're able to train someone. If they have tons of experience doing the thing, it could be very quick and easy.
[00:24:39] If they have medium experience, probably gonna take a while. If they have none experience, it's gonna take quite a while. And so you do have to gauge for some of those things as well. I also think it's really important as you are training people, especially onto like SaaS tools and to like tech pieces is to intersperse training with using the skills that they've learned.
[00:25:00] Or otherwise just poking around. I love to encourage people to just go poke around. So Asana is one of our project management software. I always do the training and I'm like, for an hour or two this evening, I'd love for you to just poke around. Like, just go see all the things that we're doing. See the things we have done.
[00:25:16] See how we use this tool, what it looks like, go poke around. Because another thing with the poking around, it's not just go see how we use it, but it's actually encouraging them to go look and find things for themselves, right. Go familiarize themselves with things that aren't even related to what they're doing, but with what the entire company is doing.
[00:25:37] So they can start sort of expanding their capacity for understanding what the company is doing. Not just what you're doing. So using the skills at the shop, we'll often do some light little crystal tests. Like, I'm gonna pretend I'm a customer and I'm gonna go get some stones and you're gonna tell me what they are when I get them up there and see how that goes.
[00:25:57] Doing some test checkouts of the POS, getting a new social media manager to create some sample posts for you for the next couple of weeks. Whatever it may be, giving them things related to what you've been training them on so that they can be building that foundation of the skills that you were learning.
[00:26:19] And, so they can get the practice through which they're able to build the next level of skills that you are gonna be teaching them.
[00:26:27] Corey Winter: A lot of people learn by doing. Yeah. So like you could talk to me all day showing me things yourself, how you'd use them, but I'm not gonna actually absorb anything until I actually go and do it myself.
[00:26:39] It's like, you can throw information at me, but until I'm actually like doing it, it doesn't actually sink in.
[00:26:44] Emily Thompson: Yeah, for sure. So this is actually even, I can't remember if I added this in the hiring one or, one or not, but one of my favorite interview questions is, are you a thinker or a doer? Right.
[00:26:58] Because that's like one of those precursor questions for even this space of like, are we gonna have to like think through why this is important and how it works and like all of those things, or do you just wanna stick your hands in there and see what happens? Right. So you can, even through the hiring process, you can really get in there with some of those, some of those like personal nuances that allows you to make the training more effective as well.
[00:27:24] Cause yes and I would imagine most of the kinds of people that we are hiring for our businesses are those kinds of people. Right. Just let them go do the thing. I always tell them like, you can't break it and if you do, it's fine, I've broke shit too. And like giving people, I guess, permission mess things up, but mostly just like nothing's too precious for you to not touch it and see how it works.
[00:27:50] Yeah. In most cases. As to say that, Corey starts twitching. Okay. Whenever you're doing hi or this training part as well, I need to reiterate this cause we mentioned this a little bit in the first, in the last episode is that videos really are your best friends. Best friends. So if it's using a tool or, I actually recently had someone on the team create a video for me around how to prep files for print.
[00:28:23] Whatever it may be using something like loom. I actually just like to use QuickTime. So QuickTime is a audio little app on your, it comes standard on all Mac computers. It has a screen recording features. You can record your screen and just save it to Dropbox. And we have like a training folder on Dropbox that just like is a bunch of these like QuickTime videos of how it is that we upload the podcast, of how it is that we schedule social media, how we create marketing plans, how we, do all the things that make the business.
[00:28:58] So that you don't have to do any in the moment or you don't have to do a lot of in-the-moment training, you can schedule in your project management software, podcast production training, and just link to all the Dropbox videos that they need to watch to know how to do it. The really great thing about videos is that they can go back and watch it.
[00:29:20] So maybe they didn't absorb it in the moment when you were telling them how to do it, or the first time they watched the video, but whenever they go to actually do the thing, they can bring the video back up. And see how it is that they do it. You also don't have to be the person who records all the videos.
[00:29:36] This is my favorite thing about videos is I get the Being Boss team, especially to record a lot of our videos. I get team members to record the videos. So maybe I do show up and I do the initial training of like, here's how we do the thing, any questions. And they get in there, they do it a couple times.
[00:29:53] And there's usually a task that comes later. That's like, now you record a video of that thing so that if I ever need to go back and do it, if you stop doing it for three months, need to go back and do it, remember how to do it, or if we onboard someone else to do it after you, or while you're doing something else, videos are already there.
[00:30:10] So you don't even have to be the person to record your own videos. It's very exciting. My last thing that I wanna say about training, and then I wanna move into reviewing because I do see some of these reviews as being some of the, it's part of onboarding. But as you were doing training. Be present as much as you want to be, but not too much because you can't let go of things.
[00:30:38] Do not be afraid to check work and don't be mad when things aren't done correctly. They are learning also when things are not being done correctly, fix them with them. So show up with your person and be like, I've read through this thing, here's the things we're gonna fix. So they can see the process of being edited of seeing how to do things correctly, which is gonna make it much more likely for them to do it correctly the next time.
[00:31:07] And otherwise check in consistently, we're gonna be talking about reviews and checking in more, but don't be afraid to check in often and not in a like, micromanage way, but in general concern, how are things doing? How can I help? What do you need way? Because this training process, again, this is what sets you and them up for success long term in a way that just helps both of you.
[00:31:42] So not checking out whenever the training is going or is about done or whatever it may be is really important. This is a time when you can absolutely check in more than you should ever have to check in again.
[00:31:57] Corey Winter: All right. So we have gotten through the initial training. Now, what's the timeline of this?
[00:32:03] So the whole day one was the orientation, they learned about the company. And then you started training maybe later in day one or day two. So how long is this training taking in general?
[00:32:17] Emily Thompson: I think it depends on the position. I mean, at Almanac, if I'm training a sales associate, two shifts. Two shifts more or less.
[00:32:25] I'm also though encouraging. And here's the thing with training is encouraging ongoing education, which can be done in a myriad of different ways. But sales associate one week, I'm gonna work two or three shifts with you, or someone's gonna be working two or three shifts with you for a week.
[00:32:42] And then, you know everything you need to know, we just can do our jobs. If it's a high-level something, or even like a mid-level something where you're bringing someone in, especially if it's a position that has never been filled before. So I'm even thinking of, about this time last year we brought a project manager into Being Boss and they had never done a project management role before.
[00:33:05] Specifically they had done some project management things in another role previously, that was a lot of training that we did of like, here are all the tools that we're using here is why we use them. And here's, how we're gonna build your skillset to fill this role. Similarly, you live with a product and, inventory manager that we brought on to Almanac, a month and a half ago, I would say there's still probably, I mean, I guess we're about six weeks in, but I could see another two to four weeks
[00:33:40] of training for that role because she had never done this job before we had never filled this position before. And just some things have been going on at the shop that has equated to it taking more time than usual.
[00:33:53] Corey Winter: So in that, in that last example, sounds like not only were you training them, you were kind of training yourself because it was a brand new position.
[00:34:00] Emily Thompson: Indeed.
[00:34:00] Yeah, yeah, yeah. And that's a fine thing too. I feel like a lot of people think that they have to, they have to have it all figured out before hiring for this position in particular, as I was doing the onboard or doing the interviewing for it, I was very clear to say, this is a brand new position that we have never done before.
[00:34:19] Whoever ends up in this role is going to have to help us figure it out. Is that cool with you? Because some people love the idea of creating their own role and figuring it out. And some people just wanna come in and do their job and not have to think about it. So that was part of the hiring process was making sure we had someone for that role that was down to help us figure out what this role was going to be and build the processes for us because those processes didn't necessarily exist before.
[00:34:44] Six weeks for me is that test period for everybody. It's also, it's just the time that you're just in it and you're way more communicative. And I, I do love the idea of setting up this six-week period from day one of like, we're gonna be like, business besties for the next six weeks of I wanna know what you're doing.
[00:35:04] I wanna know how you're feeling about it. I wanna know what's working, what's not working, those sorts of things. I'm gonna be checking in with you a lot. And the next six weeks you can just go do your job. Right. And that way you're setting this container creating a nice boundary for I'm gonna mama hen you a little bit.
[00:35:21] And not in a way that's like, I don't do it in a way that's micromanaging at all. I think you can probably talk to anyone that works for me, period. And I don't think anyone would actually call me a micromanager. Is that I feel like that's true? Sure. Would you call me?
[00:35:36] Corey Winter: What?
[00:35:37] Emily Thompson: Corey, I don't even know when you're working those days.
[00:35:42] Corey Winter: Yeah, you're not a micromanager at all.
[00:35:44] Emily Thompson: I'm barely a manager.
[00:35:49] Barely. So it's not on that level, it's really of like a very nurturing, space where they are very obviously learning. And then I really just let them go do their job. So that first six weeks is that period for me, it's about being there to nurture and help and assist and make sure they have everything that they need.
[00:36:11] And then at six weeks there is a check-in and this check-in is like the end of that, that not trial period, but kind of probationary period. Yeah, sure. We get, that sounds so scary. I would never call it probation. But that kind, I think that word is used for this sometimes. Yeah. And this check-in is really important for me because it is like, it's not a final check-in cause you've been checking in along the way.
[00:36:43] You will continue checking in, but it's like the milestone check-in, right? But up until that point, you're just making sure they have what they need, that they're getting the support that they need, that they have the tools that they need to do the job that they need to do. And it is, oh, another thing that I'm doing consistently during this time, and really at that six-week mark is I am doing a review of amount of time worked and amount accomplished.
[00:37:12] And I'm not doing this to be nosy, at all. Like I don't care in general, I'm doing this to be informed because everyone's going to be working differently. And I can tell you bosses, no one's gonna work as efficiently as you are, on most of the tasks that you assign because especially if this is something that you've been doing for years on your own, you know how to do it, like, know it like the back of your hand, all of these things, it's going to take other people longer to do the thing
[00:37:38] that's just second nature to you. I like to do a review of things done and time spent so that I can have a better understanding for tasking and project managing and like managing expectations in the future. So if I know it takes me, I haven't edited a podcast y'all in years. Thank you, Corey.
[00:37:57] But if it takes me 1.2 hours to edit a one-hour podcast, but it and I were to project manage Corey on that, I'd miss the mark because maybe it takes, actually takes Corey 1.5 hours to edit a podcast that's one hour long. And I actually don't know, Corey, I haven't looked at your shit in years.
[00:38:22] Corey Winter: You're keeping track of me.
[00:38:24] Emily Thompson: That's you, just doing a great job. But there is like, there is a discrepancy there that you may not be planning for when it comes to expectations you have around how much people are able to do in a week, how much time it's gonna take to get something done. So I always do a review of time, just so I know I have an understanding of how long it's gonna take people to do things because they're not me doing it, or they're not the person who has been doing it.
[00:38:52] And I need to make some adjustments. Sometimes it is better. We recently hired, or not recently, I guess a year plus ago, we hired a new candle maker to replace a previous candle maker. And the new candle maker makes candles faster than the previous candle maker. So, like we were able to make some adjustments around some things with like how many candles we're able to make in a day, etcetera.
[00:39:14] And it's because I look at time for the purpose of project management, not micromanaging and being a pain in the ass. There is a huge difference there. So anyway, there's a big-time review that happens for these six-week reviews. And these six-week reviews are always a time that I sit down with the new hire for a legit, very purposeful conversation, not like an in passing, like how you're doing whatever.
[00:39:43] Like we're sitting down. This is a meeting that we are having together to have this review. And it's very two-sided, it's not just me going, how you doing? It's like, how are you doing and how do you think I'm doing? How is the team doing? Do you feel like you have what you need? The six-week review was really important for opening the door to continue opening the door and continuing to proving there is an open door, right?
[00:40:08] In terms of communication and expectations and support. So in this meeting I'm doing, I'm asking a lot of questions and things like, do you think this is a good fit for you? And for me, do I think it's a good fit for you? Here are the reasons why I may or may not believe that it is. I'm always going through the, like what's working, what's kind of working, what's not working exercise, which we do have a worksheet for.
[00:40:35] We'll have to include it in the show notes. If anyone wants it. It's a really great one for identifying what's working kind of working and not working so you can make adjustments accordingly. I always ask what they love doing most and what they don't love doing. And not for the purpose of changing roles at all.
[00:40:54] Sometimes we all have jobs that we do things we don't like to do, but it does help me understand where they're at, where they're passionate about things, why something may be taking them longer. Maybe they don't like doing it so it just is a slog. Maybe it's something where in the next couple months, maybe I wanna bring on a new hire to take that thing off of their plate so they can focus on the thing that they are loving and that they are great at.
[00:41:16] So getting some feedback as to what they're loving doing and not loving doing. I also really like to ask if they have any skills that they feel are underutilized. Like they've been in the business for six weeks, they were like, they're getting, they're getting a little, a little more into what it is they're doing.
[00:41:34] They were hired on for a specific job role, but maybe they have skill sets that could be used in other areas. And this can be a really good chance to see. I oftentimes don't find that this question is really answered until the one, until I do an annual review, which I do in December of every year for both teams.
[00:41:54] It usually takes a little longer for this one to come up, but sometimes an interesting nugget will show up in the first six weeks. I also always ask them what support they need and whether this is in the roles. If they need new tool, a new like piece of software, I don't even know, like what could we do to help make them feel like it's easier for them to do their job.
[00:42:18] And then otherwise just how can we make things better? And I always ask this question. I mean, there's like the very vague, like what can we do to make things better? But I like to ask this question too, in terms of processes. So like, you're opening the store every day. What can, what is missing from that process?
[00:42:35] What is being done that doesn't need to be done? What, like, how can we make that process better? Because what this starts getting them into understanding is that they have the ability to shape processes, to best suit themselves and the business because you, as the balls are not like I'm, actually I couldn't tell you
[00:42:58] last time I opened the store, it's been a hot minute. Okay. It's been a hot minute. So like when it comes to the process of opening the store, I don't know what needs to be done and doesn't need to be done. I created that system as I was doing it, but we're two months into this new store. It could be totally different now.
[00:43:16] So I can go to employees and ask them how the systems can be better optimized or whatever, to actually better because I'm not doing it, they are. And this gets them into this understanding that they do have control over their jobs, over the processes that they do. And it's not about just coming in and clicking the button.
[00:43:36] It's about coming in and doing things in a way that's smart and effective.
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[00:44:27] Corey Winter: So for the six-week review, is it an exit ramp? Like is there an optional exit ramp here because you're asking them, is it a good fit? And you're asking yourself that is it a good fit? So, I mean, they could obviously say I quit, I don't like it here. But do you ever fire someone at this six-week review?
[00:44:46] Or do you give them more time to see if they can fit into the role?
[00:44:50] Emily Thompson: Oh that's a good question. I've never fired anyone at this point, but this is, this can be an exit ramp for sure. And for a lot of people, especially, whatever, I think remote roles, especially at Being Boss, maybe someone is leaving a boss business and coming to work, like getting a job with Being Boss, or maybe this is someone who's leaving a corporate job and just trying their hands and working with a small business or whatever
[00:45:13] it may be. Sometimes this like six-week exit ramp is the thing that makes them realize, okay, I can just try this out. And if I don't like it, I have an easy out. Right. And so, in which case, I love that. Yes. Let's like, because you have different working habits that I'm gonna have to adjust to, or I'm gonna have to like wait for you to adjust to them or whatever it may be.
[00:45:31] I also love that it's an exit ramp for me. I have never had to fire anyone at this point, I've never had anyone quit at this point. No. Okay. But I do think that this has been a deciding factor or help people decide to try a new position with a new company or whatever it may be. I would say that at six weeks if I'm not feeling it, I would fire them.
[00:45:53] Yeah, for sure. I don't think I'd try longer. I feel like, at six weeks it's either working or it's not working, but I haven't had to do that though.
[00:46:03] Corey Winter: You had to fire anybody for the six-week review.
[00:46:08] Emily Thompson: No, I've never had to do that either. I've definitely fired people after the six-week review.
[00:46:12] Maybe they met the six-week milestone, but then later ended up being a hot mess, that has happened. Interesting. So I've definitely hired, fired people after just because someone meets the six weeks doesn't mean they're like perfect for the job forever by any means. Okay. But it's usually pretty good sign.
[00:46:29] All right. I have one more thing for the six-week reviews before we move on to the sort of last piece of this. And those were a lot of like the questions. Right. And, but that's kind of the purpose of like sitting them down and having a legit meeting. Yeah. I feel like a lot of bosses may struggle with the idea of asking these questions of someone and getting good answers.
[00:46:55] But in my experience, if you have done your work of creating sort of an open and relatable workplace and relationship with a new hire, and again, this doesn't mean you have to be best friends. Like there's a difference. You can be really great teammates, without knowing every detail of someone's life.
[00:47:13] I also think that you can know lots of details about someone's life if you want to, and still keep it very professional. But in my experience, if you maintain that openness and start building a good relationship, that is one, of mutual respect and mutual support, and trust in that we're both just gonna show up and get our jobs done.
[00:47:36] And everybody gets paid and goes home happy. Then you can absolutely get really good vulnerable answers to those questions. Like, I've definitely had people show up and be like, I could really use couple of these things for more support, or I wish that we did this. Or have you ever thought about doing this or whatever it may be.
[00:47:55] I've definitely gotten really incredible feedback from a six-week review that has made me a better boss that has helped me create a better business that has made them more successful in their role. So you can get good answers and if you're not getting good answers, I think, I mean, it's not necessarily a sign that you're not doing your job well, but it can be.
[00:48:17] Yeah. Or it could be that this person just needs more to get to that place. And that's fine too because these are questions that I ask in every annual review that I ever do. And the longer I work with a person, the better these answers.
[00:48:36] Corey Winter: I don't feel like that's true. Every like annual review you have of me, I feel like I never really know how to give you a good answer.
[00:48:46] Emily Thompson: That's so funny. Okay. So here's though I know cause I feel like for you putting you on the spot, you're like, I don't even know, but can I tell you that usually for the month afterwards, you generally have more ideas that you share because I prompted you at that point.
[00:49:04] Corey Winter: you've been working me like a puppet.
[00:49:06] Emily Thompson: Always Corey.
[00:49:10] So, and I would say in general, you are very, like, you rarely need to be prompted to give me this feedback to again because we've been working so long together and all of these things that usually there's just one more meeting on our schedule. In general, if you need something that's gonna support you, or if you wanna make things better, you're gonna tell me.
[00:49:29] In general. That's also a thing, but yeah, Corey, I know that meeting with you is gonna be mostly pointless.
[00:49:41] But I can expect some good stuff otherwise, for sure.
[00:49:45] Corey Winter: So you're doing this onboarding process and you're doing this six-week review. How do you make this whole thing easier?
[00:49:52] Emily Thompson: Systems y'all, systems and templates. Literally, before I got on this call, I created like a one-sheet checklist and like, just like writing paper, to take into the store to start doing my sales associates onboarding.
[00:50:09] There's like day one, all the things that we talked about, the like trainings necessary and places for people to sign off in those sorts of things. Like it is a little paper process for doing this exact same thing because I've been onboarding sales associates, and I keep forgetting this like one important piece of the process.
[00:50:26] So I put it on a piece of paper. I'm gonna take it with me to the shop. You can do this with Asana templates or project management templates. You can do it with email templates, with Slack message templates. You can create all kinds of templates and training. So those video pieces are so important.
[00:50:46] I feel like the more we build that library of trainings, the more boss I feel, because I know it's gonna be so much easier for anybody to do anything in the future. So the more you're creating templates, the more you're creating like video trainings or just like recording. Like having a list of all of the best Shopify support links for every time we have a problem with this thing, just here's the tutorial on how to fix it.
[00:51:08] It's fine whatever it may be. The more you can log this stuff, the more you can systemize it, the easier it's gonna be for you to hire again and not just hire, but make the decision too higher when you're actually ready and need it as opposed to just waiting around until it's far too late. And then you're kind of screwed and you're onboarding someone while you're in the middle of market season.
[00:51:30] And oh my God, that blows. We don't want that. It sounds like you've experienced that. A time or two, a time or two. So process this out for yourself, create templates, create trainings, all the things, and you can do it while you do it the first time. And you can reiterate it over and over again.
[00:51:48] Literally I'm hiring two new sales associates this week. And I have been updating my processes as I've done this, to make it easier and better and more specific for this specific role, all the things, because you're gonna keep hiring, this is not the last hire you're ever going to make. You're gonna need to do it again and again and again, and depending on the kind of business you're in, you may need to do it a lot.
[00:52:13] One of the things that I'm realizing at Almanac is I'm gonna be probably onboarding one sales associate a month for the rest of my life, at least like legit. And that's just like, that's the nature of that role in this industry. And I get that, but I better have this on lockdown because I'm gonna be doing it all the time.
[00:52:32] And not only that, I don't want to do it all the time. I wanna hand it off to someone else in the future. So I'm processing it now. So it's easier for an assistant store manager or something to do it for me in the future. It's all about systems y'all.
[00:52:47] Corey Winter: I can picture you like eventually getting so tired of onboarding people that you go and make those cheesy training videos.
[00:52:55] Emily Thompson: A hundred percent, this is a crystal point.
[00:52:58] This is a crystal tower. I'm totally gonna be doing that. Are you kidding me? It's gonna be real good. I keep thinking of the Delta ones, which aren't even like employee training, but like put on your seatbelt y’all.
[00:53:14] Corey Winter: All right, so I'm assuming at this point, you're past the six-week review, they're kind of getting more, more familiar and comfortable with doing their job.
[00:53:24] What happens over the first six months?
[00:53:26] Emily Thompson: So I do, I see this total onboarding and I mentioned this, I think in the last episode, it's like, it's a six-month process. This is gonna take folks six months to really dig it in. I do think after two, three months, they should be like, they should be doing their job, but they might be asking more questions or like hiccups here or there, like maybe not doing it as efficiently as they could be, whatever it may be.
[00:53:52] So over the first six months,I'm like, I'm still more available, a bit more available. But still things like go get with support or go ask Corey or like, go somewhere else to find the information that you need, or just like, how would you fix that? If something breaks, like, what do you think we should do?
[00:54:13] And encouraging people to find the answers for themselves. But what you'll find is over the first six months, they'll start progressively, working more autonomously. They'll be solving their problems in their own. They'll be doing the basic processes without a hitch. And that's when, that's how you know that what you've been doing, that the training that you did, that the hiring that you did of finding the right person really, really worked.
[00:54:38] And in my experience that six-month mark is you just hit the sweet spot of like it's really working. Your relationship is really great. But there are some other things that you can be doing as well. You should always be very mindful of what motivates people on your team. And also just be very aware.
[00:54:54] That's not necessarily the thing that motivates you, right? So like how do, how do you need to motivate them and reward them and be excited for them and how are they gonna want to do really hard tasks that like really challenge them? Or are they gonna feel more productive and effective if they are just doing the same thing over and over again, but they're doing it like a boss?
[00:55:15] You know? So like you need to learn those things about your team so that you can maneuver them in your business in the way that you most wanna maneuver them. One of my favorites is finding out what everybody's love language is. Corey, I know that you are a words of affirmation kind of guy.
[00:55:31] Corey Winter: I have an overinflated ego. Uh, so yes.
[00:55:35] Emily Thompson: At least you're self-aware, right? So anytime I can like tell you you're doing a great job, I know that I'm doing my job and like making you feel like you are an effective and helpful member of the team. So love language is really important. And otherwise just like getting to know what's important to people, in our meetings, our team meetings
[00:55:58] I know that Corey needs Corey's story time. Love that for you. Tell us all kinds of crazy stories.
[00:56:04] Corey Winter: I like how you think I need that time. Like it's a requirement for our meetings from you to that time.
[00:56:08] Emily Thompson: I mean, everyone, did you hear that ego comment a minute ago? Corey needs Corey story time.
[00:56:17] That's true. Right? I need it too, Corey. I need it too. So you learn your people and you help them and you support them. I think again, all too often, people think of hires and sometimes this is the case. Sometimes people do not want to sort of live, work and work life and all of those things.
[00:56:38] And I think I've definitely had team members who come in, they do their job, they leave, and that is it. But in my experience, especially the kinds of business that I run. It's a little deeper than just a job. Just a little, maybe not like crazy, not everyone's in it as much as I am, but like they wanna know what's happening in the industry.
[00:56:57] They want to know, how we're feeling about things, what our plans are. Like, whatever it may be. Some people want to be really involved and I like to let people be as involved as they want to be. Yeah. And that requires work, both learning who wants it and also giving it to them in some capacity.
[00:57:16] So you do those things over the first six months. And then I always feel at six months, they are just a part of the team. You know how they work, they know how you work and you can just do your job.
[00:57:26] Corey Winter: Is there any further like review meeting, like after that first six-week review meeting, do you meet with them?
[00:57:33] Like have a little sit down at all after all of that?
[00:57:35] Emily Thompson: No, not unless it's needed for some reason or another. I do annual reviews of everyone. So every December, end of the year, I do an employee review, with everyone who works for me. And so we sort of do that and it's a constant check-in, but no, that's, that's it for me.
[00:57:55] Unless it's otherwise needed.
[00:57:57] Corey Winter: I will say, I mean, you can definitely have those check-ins. I know at Betty Tero, whenever they hire someone new, they do a 30-day, a 60-day, and 90-day check-in. So basically once a month for the first three months. So, and there there's options for that.
[00:58:10] Emily Thompson: Yeah. However, works best for you.
[00:58:13] I work closely enough with everyone, at least at this point though I could definitely see this being a thing at Almanac in the future, I work close enough with everyone that like, we're having lots of meetings all the time. There's lots of opportunities. I'm always like how you do and how's your workload, what can we do whatever?
[00:58:30] But if it's someone that you're not that like really is a remote sort of autonomous employee, who's not in weekly meetings or whatever it may be. Yeah. I think planning some additional check-ins for that would be important.
[00:58:42] Corey Winter: Cool. All right. So any final thoughts as we wrap up this onboarding episode?
[00:58:47] Emily Thompson: Yes. One final thought, two final thoughts. One, do it, just do it y'all. If you need to hire someone, do it, expect this, this is a whole other side of your business that you are building, right? This sort of hiring and onboarding and training process is if you haven't done it before if you haven't done it correctly or well before, like you have to look at this as a whole other set of processes that are an imperative part of your business.
[00:59:12] Congratulations. Two, don't fuck it up. And really don't sabotage yourself. I feel like one of the most common things I see with bosses period, is they get in the way they will delegate something just to take it back. They will fudge up the training because they like, actually don't want them to do it, or like, they're never gonna do it as well as I am, etcetera, etcetera.
[00:59:37] You're right. They're not, or actually you're wrong. They likely will. They won't to begin with more than likely, but they will get there, but they will only get there if you let them make some mistakes along the way. Yeah. And then you empower them to like own their mistakes and fix their mistakes and laugh about their mistakes.
[00:59:56] Cause God knows I've made some mistakes, along the way. And you sort of couple times, couple times it's happened. So just don't get in your way. Right. Do this in a way that feels good for everyone. And do not sabotage yourself and them by refusing to be the boss that a team needs to run your business with or without you.
[01:00:29] Corey Winter: And congratulations, you have a new team member. Woo, woo.
[01:00:31] Emily Thompson: Yay. No, schedule a vacation. Oh, actually, yo can I add that too? I wanna add that, one of the things that I always do as a way of like making sure I am holding myself accountable to training people in the amount of time that I need to train them is anytime I ever do a big hire.
[01:00:49] So like mid to top level or upper level, especially if there's like one or two coming at the same time, as I will always schedule myself a vacation. And even if it's just like a long weekend, there is something to me about like, I'm gonna get you trained. You're gonna know how to do this, and then I'm gonna leave for like a day or five.
[01:01:09] Corey Winter: Yeah. Like take the reigns, I'm leaving.
[01:01:12] Emily Thompson: Yes. And it's both like, it's both a test. Like, did I train them well? Can they do it? And two high five, you did it. You have a team in place so that you can take a little vacation. So that's actually one of the things that I'm doing, I have scheduled off a week in four weeks to finish up some training that I'm doing and getting these new people that I'm onboarding this week in place.
[01:01:37] So that David and I are taking a whole week off for vacation. Actually, I'm in a staycation if I'm being quite honest, right? I'm not going anywhere. I can't actually leave the store just yet, I'll be close by as needed.
[01:01:54] Corey Winter: Let go, Emily. Let go.
[01:01:55] Emily Thompson: The next one? I'm leaving. Okay.
[01:02:01] But yeah, schedule a vacation because you have built a team.
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