[00:00:00] Emily Thompson:
Welcome to Being Boss, a 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 by Corey from the Being Boss team to talk about onboarding new employees. This is the first part of a two part series, with this part focusing on your first steps after a job, offer acceptance, what to do on your first day and some important mindsets to settle into when it comes to training your new hire.
[00:00:32] You can find all the tools, books, and links 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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[00:01:32] Corey Winter: Long overdue ready for this cause I'm pretty sure this was actually my original idea. We did the hiring process first, so yes, I'm ready.
[00:01:43] Emily Thompson: Right. I feel like we did, we did the hiring one. We did a two part series on hiring these spring episodes 290 and 291. And we did those because in all of the conversations that I have with bosses, it almost always goes
[00:02:00] to hiring, at some point, it is sort of at the root or at the root of solutions, not necessarily root of the problem but the root of a solution.
[00:02:12] Corey Winter: It comes up because there is a problem.
[00:02:14] Emily Thompson: Yes. And it is often the solution, right? Yeah. At least in some capacity, this idea of getting into hiring whether this is your first employee or 10th employee.
[00:02:25] Quite often getting in help in your business is a great way to help you put your time and attention on solving all the other problems and your business. So delegating and growing your team and those sorts of things. So we did a two part series on hiring, and then after we did that, one got so much feedback.
[00:02:46] Thank you to everyone who listened to that and found some inspiration or direction or whatever it is that you needed from it to make some decisions about hiring in your business. And then we started getting a whole bunch of feedback too, sort of like right in line with what you originally wanted to do, which was okay
[00:03:05] I hire them. Now, how do I onboard them? So that they're amazing. So a couple weeks later we are back for another two part series, I think is what, this is probably going to be on onboarding because this, I mean, hiring is hard. Hiring is like, hiring is the piece too, that I think sort of scares most bosses into like taking that first step.
[00:03:27] And honestly, also the 10th step. I see many people who are just as like timid about hiring employee number 10 as they are about employee number 1, it does get easier but I don't know that it's ever just truly easy to hire. But onboarding is like really the next meaty bit of this puzzle.
[00:03:47] Corey Winter: Well, so I beg to differ because for my business, I always thought hiring was the easy thing.
[00:03:55] Like, yeah, I can go out and find someone but what always catch me from actually hiring someone to help me was the onboarding thing. Like how do I actually teach them all of my ways of doing things like that was always the most intimidating part for me.
[00:04:07] Emily Thompson: Yeah, it is. It is an incredibly scary part. And especially for solo entrepreneurs or people who have very small teams, it really is a problem, especially for that first hire.
[00:04:20] The problem is getting everything out of your head and into someone else's head.
[00:04:26] Corey Winter: There's so much in my head, a big head, and I don't even know what's, I don't know what's all in there.
[00:04:30] Emily Thompson: Bosses do have big heads. No. Right. And there's, so there has to be a lot of communicating and a lot of like recording processes and sharing, and it's like nuanced, right?
[00:04:42] Of like, you do this when this is happening but you don't do it unless this other thing is like, whatever it may be. There's a lot going on in our heads. And so I wanna talk about onboarding. You've hired people. You need to onboard them now, what does this look like? I do wanna start this with a little bit of a disclaimer, and then I am not a professional trainer or leadership coach by any stretch of the imagination.
[00:05:05] I've just done this several times. And so I really wanna bring this to you as someone who is, who's like pieced it together, who's figured it out. Is it a hundred percent, right? No, probably not. Is it wrong? No, I do it right enough.
[00:05:23] Corey Winter: And I will say so you have, and the reason I wanted to talk to you about this is because you have hired people in so many different capacities.
[00:05:30] Because you've run so many different types of businesses. It's like, you've, we, you used to run a website design business, like that was in person, but you also had, you contracted out to branding agencies and stuff. You have a retail business, they're actually hiring like traditional crash, register people and stalking people and everything.
[00:05:49] But you also have Being Boss which is online where you're hiring the coaching type of people and the copywriting type of people. So you've hired lots of different things. You've hired contractors, employees, part-time employees, full-time employees. So you have experience across the board for how to actually onboard
[00:06:07] new workers. So that's why I wanna talk to you about this because you have, you've tapped into it. Right. From all angles.
[00:06:15] Emily Thompson: Haven't I though for sure. Thank you for that. I appreciate that because I have done it in a lot of different ways and I think where we're going to really be focusing today is probably more on the employee capacity but I think most of this can very easily be relayed into someone that you're hiring
[00:06:35] as a contractor. If you are hiring sort of expert level contractors, you're hiring, you know, you're hiring a pro in the industry. They're gonna have their own onboarding process for actually onboarding you into their processes and how it is that they're gonna sort of gain information. But if you're looking at sort of a low level contractor, maybe you're hiring a freelancer to come in and do something and you need to onboard them into what you're doing.
[00:07:00] Some of these pieces are going to apply but what I'm really mapping out here is that employee process for onboarding where you're gonna have to get a lot of information from them, you're gonna have to do a lot of like sort of culture onboarding because they are coming into your business. But I think many of these pieces can be taken out and used for onboarding other kinds of people that you're working with as well.
[00:07:24] So yes, I've done lots of things. But I do wanna say not an expert if anyone's like, this is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. You don't gotta use it. Take what you find helpful. And leave behind anything you don't. So let's get started though. I'm super excited to dive into this.
[00:07:43] Corey Winter: All right. So actually let's start before you even start.
[00:07:46] So there you've hired them, but they're not actually on the team yet. You gotta start somewhere. So what do you actually do first? You have to, you have to make something for them. Where do you actually start?
[00:07:56] Emily Thompson: You have to prepare, have to prepare. So onboarding a new employee does start before you actually meet with them for the first time after you send them an offer letter.
[00:08:07] And if you're curious about offer letters, just Google it, like there's tons of templates, tons of pointers, things that you can do. I have a little template that I use whenever I am bringing on a new employee that I just, you know, I edited a couple of lines in it. I send it off. I get a yes or no.
[00:08:23] And really before I even schedule my first day with them, there's work that you have to do in your business to prepare. And this is where a new hire process comes into play. Um, I have some templated versions of this around for different kinds of hires, but you're gonna wanna do all the basic things that you need to do.
[00:08:45] Corey Winter: I do. The human resources part of it.
[00:08:45] Emily Thompson: Yes. That word, human resources. Yes.
[00:08:52] Corey Winter: It's actually two words, but yeah.
[00:08:53] Emily Thompson: It's a single phrase that is incredibly important. That is for some reason, one that I always forget. Human resources, HR, everybody. Yes. So you're gonna wanna create a new hire process and get them in on all the things they need to get in on.
[00:09:09] So think of like payroll and benefits, whatever you're using for your payroll system, make sure you put their information in there after they have accepted the role so that you can start gathering from them, all the information that you need in order to pay them and to really schedule them for their first day.
[00:09:25] You'll want to create all of the accounts that you need to create for them depending on their position. So these can be things like email accounts, accounts to tools like your time tracker or, your website backend or whatever it may be creating accounts for them. You'll want to go ahead and add them to any regular meetings that are on your calendar that they need to attend.
[00:09:49] And you're going to want to then schedule your first day with them. And in that email where I'm scheduling the first day, I always tell them, like, I just added you to all these accounts. Like, you're gonna look for an email from our payroll system, from our time tracking system, from all of these things. So, if you're getting those high fives set up those accounts, if you don't get an email from any of these services, let me know.
[00:10:14] And here's our first day and always a thing of like, you don't have to do anything with them yet, but just so whenever we show up, we are ready to hit the ground running. So there's a lot of that that has to be done. Before you even send an email to them to schedule their first day so that they have everything that you need so that when they do show up to that first day, you're all set up and can hit the ground running.
[00:10:37] Some of this information also needs to be gathered per where you are and where you pay taxes and where you're doing payroll and those sorts of things too. So be sure to be very aware of what it is, what specific information you need from them that they need to bring to that first meeting. One of the things that we often have to do, especially.
[00:10:59] I do this most often in the retail store because people are actually physically coming in to do their onboarding is I have to see their passport or their driver's license and social security card. Like you have to verify identification so that you can fill out the proper forms so that you can actually pay them for the first time.
[00:11:18] So they're very specific things that you need to gather in that first meeting. And this is really where creating a new hire process comes in knowing what that is before you go into that first meeting. I keep all of my templates in Asana, I have a different template for every position. Or like a bucket of positions because some of them need different things than others.
[00:11:40] And I have to create different accounts depending on who the hire is. But knowing really the things that you need to do before you even bring them in is incredibly important because you don't wanna look like a hot mess before they even come to their first day. You wanna look like you know what
[00:11:59] it looks like to bring someone onto the team to create the accounts that they need. And you wanna be able to do this quickly and easily. I actually did this just this morning for a new hire that we have at Almanac, where I just went into my template. I sent her an offer letter on Friday. Came in this morning had her acceptance.
[00:12:20] So I go into Asana, I just copy paste a template and I have all of my tasks there. So I created her accounts. I send her an email telling her what to expect. It's scheduled. She sign in, we're ready to go. And I look like a boss before we even get started on our first day. And that's really what you want here.
[00:12:39] Corey Winter: So I will say there are, for like payroll specifically, there are tools that you could use to make this whole process easier. So if you know the idea of setting up payroll kind of intimidate you cause it's all oh my gosh, how do you set up payroll? And like make sure you're taking taxes out and everything.
[00:12:55] There are tools for that. Like our friends over at Gusto, gusto.com/being boss, not a sponsor. They make setting up payroll and all that stuff super easy.
[00:13:05] Emily Thompson: Yeah, we use Gusto. I love them. I set up an account with them this morning. They even send some emails that are like Hey, on your first day, don't forget to bring these things because they know what they need.
[00:13:14] It is way easier to use if you have a nice payroll system like that. And I also just really love the ease of doing that piece because I know that payroll in setting that up is oftentimes the barrier that's keeping bosses for making the first hire. Like it's also confusing and convoluting and how do I know how to set things up?
[00:13:39] And I mean, this is a tout for Gusto. They are not sponsoring this podcast, so you have sponsored us in the past. But really I just use them and love them. They make this process way easier, but then you also have to have your internal processes too, of making sure you're setting everything up. And you know, maybe you have an IT person on your team who actually does all the accounts set up, whatever, like, whatever it is, you just need to know your process for bringing someone in so that whenever you show up on that first day, you are really, really ready to go and you can make this process as fast as you would like so that you just look like the boss that you are.
[00:14:15] And then my next sort of task for even before I ever bring anyone in for their first day is I plan training. I just, I create the plan of like, okay, this is the position that they're in. This is also in a template. This is the position that they're in, these are the things that they need to know about this company.
[00:14:33] And so I will map out what that training looks like so that whenever I do again, go in on my first day, I know exactly what we're gonna be hitting, and I can tell them what to expect over our next couple of times together because I've mapped out the training that they need to do. It's incredibly important to
[00:14:50] think about training in the context of onboarding so that you just really have your head wrapped around what it's going to take for you to get this person legitimately onto your team.
[00:15:03] Corey Winter: I do wanna backtrack just a little bit off of one more tip. So when you're creating all of their accounts and stuff, you know, their email accounts or accounts to existing third party software, something that will make it super easy is if you get a password sharing account, something like last pass or one password because then all I get to do is create a new user.
[00:15:25] Assign all those passwords to them in one click. And you have all these new accounts set up for them. Yes. So you save yourself time?
[00:15:33] Emily Thompson: Yes. We implemented that at being boss a year ago. Sure. Yeah, somewhere around in there. Super helpful, especially for those of us who have businesses who run on a bunch of saas.
[00:15:45] Not just the sassy kind of sass but the software as a service kind of saas, you will have lots of accounts. I mean, think about, you know, your Adobe accounts, your website accounts, your time trackers, and like shared things too. Like what do we share? Like our podcast hosting platforms, like the kinds of things that.
[00:16:05] Corey Winter: Zapier, SoundCloud, our community, just all of other, all these accounts that we can use one login for.
[00:16:15] Emily Thompson: Yeah. So we have, we use 1Password, also, not a sponsor, but could be one day. Y'all hear that 1Password. We use 1Password to do all that. And so yeah, it becomes really easy to create a new hire, a one password account.
[00:16:29] They have access to all kinds of things and can store their own passwords in there as well.
[00:16:33] Corey Winter: Plus thinking in the future actually makes it easier to off board people cause then you don't have to go and change all these passwords because you've just fired this person. Yeah. You have experience with that.
[00:16:44] Having to change passwords because someone quit unexpectedly.
[00:16:48] Emily Thompson: Indeed. Or, you just need to let someone go and still need to change those passwords super quickly. We definitely used to have a Spreadsheet, basically of all the things that we had to go to and change passwords for. And 1Password has made it really easy for us.
[00:17:03] Just go in, remove that user, done.
[00:17:07] Corey Winter: All right, so I'll say one last tip here. Split tech into a couple of days.
[00:17:11] Emily Thompson: Oh yeah. Okay. Yes. So when it comes to planning your training, And, you know, this is different for me. I can see the like physical business side of it right. At Almanac I'm hiring sales associates who come in.
[00:17:25] There's not a lot of tech involved but there is a little bit, and there is a little bit and often with the kind of person who actually isn't very tech savvy. So I still need to split tech for those, for training those employees as well, but also for someone who's coming in for a tech based position, maybe you're getting a new social media manager.
[00:17:47] We recently did a hire for a product and inventory manager at Almanac, very tech based, very tech based position. I have found that if you bring someone in to learn a lot of tech in a day or two. It's overwhelming. For 90% of the population, it's gonna be real hard. Yeah. Really, really hard for them to understand not only how each one works, but how they all work together.
[00:18:18] So one of the things that I've started doing over the past probably year and a half is whenever someone come is coming in to learn a couple of pieces of tech. And we can talk about tech stack in a little bit when we get further into training, but most of our businesses run on a lot of tech even Almanac that has a physical retail store, the back end, like the system run.
[00:18:39] I mean, the system of the business runs on tech. So I will split tech training into multiple days and go at it pretty slowly so we can build on it and keep from giving them that deer in headlights look. That happens when you spend, four hours onboarding into four different tech tools and they just look at you because they've stopped soaking in stuff three hours ago.
[00:19:03] I split tech into several days of training, even if it's like small and easy, it still is just better for retention, if you split it into a couple of days.
[00:19:16] Corey Winter: Yeah. And you might not even realize how much tech you actually use in your business until you're onboarding someone like I was looking at our list of software and websites and accounts that we actually use.
[00:19:27] And this is not a complete list but right now I'm looking at a list of 40 different accounts that we have. That's not even, that's probably not even the tip of the iceberg. Yeah. So just imagine trying to teach someone all of that in one day, They're gonna forget something important.
[00:19:40] Emily Thompson: Yeah, for sure. And like the real key here is even if someone does understand how the software works, it's gonna be really hard for them to understand how it all works together.
[00:19:53] Right. How all of like how those 40 items or even 4 items like connect and play off of each other to make the entire business run. So that really is, that's one of the things that I learned a couple of years ago that I have adopted and has made the ability to onboard people into what it is that we're doing significantly easier is if I just really spread that tech onboarding across a couple of days, but you know, if we're meeting
[00:20:22] two times a week to do some onboarding pieces. You're looking at that taking up to three weeks, honestly, sometimes, to onboard someone into just the tech side of how it is that you do your business.
[00:20:37] Corey Winter: And, I think the overarching theme of this little section is systems and processes. Yeah. Like those are gonna be key for onboarding people.
[00:20:48] So having a document or a video or something of all of your things that you do written down, so it's set in stone so that if they ever do forget, once they've been onboarded, they can always go back and have something to reference.
[00:21:01] Emily Thompson: For sure.
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[00:22:10] Corey Winter: All right. So you have created all of your in-house HR stuff. Yep. You're ready for them to come in? Yes. What happens on day one?
[00:22:18] Emily Thompson: Okay. Day one, I like to heap. Kind of fun and lowkey, personally, this is also very much so just reflective of how it is that I like to work with people. I like to build. I like to build care, relatively careful relationships with people.
[00:22:34] I like to onboard them into the feel of what it is to work for the companies that I build in a way that's not just like, here's your email account. Call me at four. If you have any questions or whatever, it may be like, I like to bring people in really kind of get to know them, make them feel comfortable and safe in a space where we can like ask questions and I don't know, not like goof off in a bad way.
[00:23:06] But relate to each other in a way that makes building the skills on top of that significantly easier because we're building in some vulnerability from the very beginning. So oftentimes, and depending on the higher, I don't do this necessarily with my sales associates. But anyone who is really any higher up on the ladder than a sales associate, I like to start with, start the day with a personal meeting.
[00:23:31] So sometimes this is breakfast. Sometimes it is just a zoom call where I'm like, we're gonna get on for two hours, but I'm going into it knowing very much so that the first half hour is just kind of chatting and getting to know each other and starting to build, a relationship that makes everything else happen significantly more easily.
[00:23:54] I know that a lot of people, a lot of people don't do this. This is not your vibe. Love that for you
[00:23:58] Corey Winter: I was gonna say, I don't think we had that when you hired me.
[00:24:01] Emily Thompson: I mean, Corey, it was 10 years ago. I'm a very different human being now.
[00:24:06] Corey Winter: I feel left out.
[00:24:08] Emily Thompson: Very different human being now than I was way back then. You were one of you were not the first hire that I ever made, but you are probably the first, like more professional hire that I have ever made.
[00:24:26] Way back then. Isn't that cute? That's cute. So anyway, I do things very differently. Would you like me to take you to breakfast, Corey? We've had breakfast many, many times.
[00:24:37] Corey Winter: Well, I'm just saying it's the principle. On my first day, you would like get to work.
[00:24:42] Emily Thompson: Right. Here you go, Corey. Right there that time, I tried to give you booze and realize that I couldn't do that.
[00:24:50] We don't need to talk about that here. It's fine. So, okay. So I do like to start though with something a little more lowkey, a little more, like let's just sort of get to know each other a little bit before jumping into the things and even the jumping in is relatively soft, I find because one of the things with properly onboarding and properly training people is that that's kind of, I'm even saying those words kind of in two different ways, onboarding, I'm talking cultural onboarding.
[00:25:21] Right, of really getting them into what it feels like to work for you. What's important to you as a company. How it is that you work together as a team, those sorts of things. I feel like that's a piece that is often overlooked because it feels like a waste of time. Like I just “wasted half an hour”, you know, just like
[00:25:40] kind of shooting the shit. Right. But for me, I see that half an hour to an hour as an investment in more easily relating and being vulnerable to questions and those sorts of things, as we are diving into the training that makes the training more effective than if I just came in, Hey, I'm Emily. Let's get to work. Without like opening the door to being more easily relatable.
[00:26:06] So. I do cultural onboarding first, where it is a little bit more personal. And again, like I'm not digging into people's business, like personal business or anything like that. But I do want to, I do want us to both feel like humans who are literally starting a life together because when you're hiring people, that's kind of what exactly is happening.
[00:26:28] Right? You are starting a life together in some capacity. And so I wanna feel like we can both relate as humans to each other first and foremost.
[00:26:38] Corey Winter: Yeah. So you're not hiring robots?
[00:26:41] Emily Thompson: Not yet. Okay. Right. Not yet, but we are Corey.
[00:26:48] Corey Winter: All right. So what kind of cultural things are you trying to like integrate them with?
[00:26:54] Emily Thompson: Sure. So I always start with like, about the company. History, how we started, what this looks like, why things matter, so that they can gain some context. Again, if someone's coming in to do social media, they're gonna wanna know that context. If they're coming in to do product inventory management, they're gonna wanna know how that works, sales associate, gonna wanna know it.
[00:27:17] Whatever it is that you are bringing someone in. How and why you started the business matters to how they do their job, or it should matter to how they do their job which is why you should make it available to them as to why and how it is that you do the thing. Another really important piece of this is getting very concise on your mission and your values.
[00:27:40] Why and for whom do you do what you do, your mission. And what does it feel like your values or like, what are the things that you are here, like standing up for, the principles that drive you and your actions in supposedly everyone's actions in the company, mission and values. This is always a really open conversation too, of like what these values mean
[00:28:05] to you, those sorts of things so that you can start really onboarding them into the team and like, this is not just my definition of these values but how do you define these values and how are you going to be contributing to the team? Living up to and serving these values to the people that we serve.
[00:28:23] So this is another part of the conversation. We're it really is open to both sides. This is also where an employee handbook can come in. If that's something that you do have, we're really getting them to go through all of the things, all of the policies at Almanac, we're going over retail policies to some extent at this point as well, of how it is that we relate to our customers and those sorts of things.
[00:28:46] But very lightly, you can do more of that in the training, but just sort of lightly touching those things here in the cultural onboarding or the culture onboarding. And then identify other sort of culture nuances that you have in your business. One of the things that I always talk about is shitty ideas.
[00:29:06] Right. That's something that we do a lot around here. Lots of shitty ideas getting thrown around at Being Boss and at Almanac. And just letting them know, like I am open to any and every idea, no matter how stupid you think it is because you never know when a great idea is an idea that you thought was dumb.
[00:29:25] So share it. No shame, no shame. So things like shitty ideas. Another one that I do at both businesses and I think is really important for every small business to do is just what I call all hands on deck, where we are a small team, and there is nothing that isn't in someone's job description, basically. We jump in and we do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.
[00:29:51] In general, we have these job descriptions that keep us, sort of in our own lanes but when it comes to a heavy holiday season or a crazy deadline or an interesting opportunity, or just like someone is sick, whatever, it may be all hands on deck. We do what needs to be done to get the job done, regardless of what your “job description” says is your job.
[00:30:11] So bringing people into that, so there just is this understanding that we are, it's not like a completely level playing field, but kind of. I've cleaned toilets. David recently cleaned the toilet at the other shop, and I was very excited that I didn't have to clean the toilet, but I would clean the toilet.
[00:30:29] Corey Winter: That's what your child should be for.
[00:30:31] Emily Thompson: Oh, you'd think it would not be a clean toilet, it would not be clean at all. And then another thing that I do is always go ahead and schedule that six week review, which we'll be talking about more because I do see this early onboarding process as a six week process.
[00:30:49] And I do a six week review, always with this thought in mind that like, this is almost a trial period and for not some positions, it's very purposefully, a trial period, where I'm like, you're gonna come on for six weeks. We're gonna see how we like this. And at six weeks we can decide if we're gonna continue or not.
[00:31:08] That's oftentimes a situation that I will do at Being Boss with sort of like mid-level experience people that I bring in. Especially if they are changing how they're working. So if this is the first time they've been remote, if this is the first time they've ever worked with a small company, if this is the first time they've, sort of, maybe they're leaving their sort of boss business behind to get a job.
[00:31:34] In those cases I will do a six week review, that is very much so six week trial. And then we're gonna decide if this is a real job at six weeks. For sort of lower level higher, so I'm thinking sales associates here. This is a little more like you're gonna come in, we're gonna train you. It's gonna be fine.
[00:31:52] The life cycle of those jobs tend to be significantly shorter anyway, so the six week review for me is just a hardcore check in not necessarily a six week trial but I do schedule that six week review at this point, as well as a part of just like, this is the culture that I have. We're gonna check in with everybody at six weeks and see how things are going.
[00:32:15] Corey Winter: Okay. So it's sounding like day one so far has really just been orientation. Yeah. Like I haven't actually like learned how to do anything yet.
[00:32:23] Emily Thompson: Indeed. I do day one and depending on the role and where we are, if this is like a remote zoom situation, I may give a task for them to go do. If it's in the shop, we may spend two or three hours afterwards doing a bit of training and onboarding but really day one is about is the orientation for sure.
[00:32:44] That's a really great word for it. Okay. Another thing that I like to do in this too, which really gets into that training piece is to introduce them to the team, to some extent or another, it may not be in person, but it is like a go through of like, here are the people on the team and here's what they do.
[00:33:01] This is something at Almanac that's in our employee handbook. At Being Boss, we have a notion database that has photos of everybody. So I can go through and be like, this is this person's position, if you ever need them, like, here's how you get in touch with them. And I'll go through the team. I also like to do, I like to do some sort of gift.
[00:33:26] Corey Winter: What kind of gift?
[00:33:27] Emily Thompson: 10 years ago? At Alma, I mean at Being Boss, it depends. Usually, sometimes it's an Almanac gift, I can send them something from Almanac does the client in employee gifting for Being Boss, but sometimes it's little something, a little more personal.
[00:33:45] Maybe something came up in the interview, or something that I will send them a little something at Almanac. We do a fun thing where everyone on their first day is to pick out a crystal. Oh, that's cool. Right. And so everyone gets very excited and then it's always fun for me to see what people choose.
[00:34:05] It's like, you know, oh, it's like a test. It is like a test.
[00:34:09] Corey Winter: Oh, that's sneaky. I like it.
[00:34:11] Emily Thompson: Everything I do is a test y'all. So we let them pick out a crystal, which is really fun for everyone. And it is a little bit of a test and to see what kind of support they feel like they need in their life.
[00:34:23] One or what they think is pretty. Yeah, it's also fine. And then yes, there usually is some sort of little task for the day but it's not overwhelming. Right? Sometimes it's even like a little research base. So there have been times that at Being Boss where after the first day, I just, actually, this has been an Almanac thing.
[00:34:44] I have not done this at Being Boss. At Almanac, I've done it after this orientation. I tell them to spend an hour or two, literally just going through our entire website. Like go through, look at all the product listings, sort of make notes; what are you seeing that's broken? What do you see? You know, that we're doing well, go read the policies.
[00:35:05] That's at the foot of our website, sort of see how that side of our business works. Because again, they just got onboarded into, onto you as a boss. The company both like very practically, but also just very culturally, and they may be getting that deer and headlight situation even after this.
[00:35:27] So giving them sort of a test and especially something self-directed can be really great, especially if you're working remotely with people. Give them the opportunity to dive into the thing, at the store, this usually just looks like our first sales associate shift, where I'm gonna be taking them through crystals and showing them all kinds of things there.
[00:35:46] But it's like, it's pretty light. I'm not giving them a ton of stuff to do on day one. I want them to just really soak up everything that we've talked about thus far.
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[00:36:40] Corey Winter: All right, so they have been oriented. Yes. Is that the word for that? Yep. But they haven't actually learned anything yet, so they, they have just done their like little test task. It's time to actually learn things. So are they doing any training on day one or do you always reserve that for a second day?
[00:37:00] Emily Thompson: Sometimes they will do training on day one but training is important. Actually, I wanna like really set the stage for training. I was reading an article once, it was in like Forbes or entrepreneur, one of those magazines. And I've seen iterations of this elsewhere, where they were, they had done a survey of a bunch of business owners.
[00:37:21] And I feel like, again, if you were to do the survey any day, do a bunch of business owners, you would get the same answer where the biggest struggle is finding, I don't remember what the word, it wasn't quite quality employees. It was like invested valuable employees, like employees that really brought value to your business.
[00:37:44] It was in somewhere in the realm of that, it was finding employees, it wasn't finding funding or, marketing, or it wasn't any of the things that I feel like many business owners would think would be regular. Except if you're a business owner, that the hardest thing is finding valuable employees.
[00:38:06] But the context of this article was really, or that set the context for the article, which was really about how the thing that business owners don't invest enough in is training, is actually making valuable employees. That training really is the missing piece. And so whenever I'm even thinking about the conversations that I have in the C-suite, which is my weekly mastermind group with six figure, six and seven figure bosses.
[00:38:38] Sure we talk a lot about training, but at that level you got you. I mean, we talk a lot about hiring but at that level you have your hiring processes down path, right? It's more of a limiting of like, I need to hire again whenever we’re talking about hiring. What we're actually talking about is training because training is in most cases, the missing ingredient between someone who could be a great employee and someone who actually is
[00:39:05] a great employee. And this is like an extremely nuanced situation, this training area because just as much as you can under train, I think you can overtrain as well, right? Your face though. Right? Very unexpected, but totally think. And I'll talk about that in a second. But training is something that like, if you are going to invest the time and energy into hiring.
[00:39:32] Invest the time and energy into training so that the person that you're bringing on is actually going to be great at their job. There's also a little bit of nuance here in that some people need more training than others. Some people are the kinds of people who like, just throw them into a raging fire and they'll figure it out.
[00:39:51] Whereas some people really need their hand held to like, figure out how to get to that fire so that they can put it out. And so that's even part of that, like part of the hiring process is figuring out the kind of person you're hiring so that you can play an appropriate training. And similarly, as you are sort of navigating the first phases of training as well, adjusting for the kind of person that you're working with because it is incredibly nuanced but also incredibly important and worthy of your time and attention to figure out how to get a ride for your business.
[00:40:25] Corey Winter: So I feel like the hiring process, you're finding people that have the skills that you want but then the training process is actually telling them how to use their skills in the way that you need.
[00:40:39] Emily Thompson: Yes. Okay. Sometimes it can even be about developing the skills. One of the things that, at Almanac, when we're hiring, if I'm hiring a key holder or a sales associate, like those, I want, unless it's an entry level, which we have hired entry level sales associates.
[00:40:54] I want them to come with the basic skills of knowing how to count down a cash drawer or like sell a product, right? Like you have the skills and I bring you on and show you exactly what you're saying, how to use your skills for my business. Right, but for a job, like our candle making position, we put that as a will train.
[00:41:14] Like I just need you to basically know how to follow a recipe and how to show up for work. Yeah. Right. I'm gonna teach you the skill of candle making so that you can make candles for our business. So sometimes training is skills and sometimes training is just how to use your skills for my business that you already have.
[00:41:35] So, yes, but training is incredibly important. So if you're gonna take the time to hire, make the time to train, it is not a waste of time though I think you can spend too much time on it. And what this looks like is I actually, learned this one firsthand. About a year, year and a half ago where I really wanted to make sure that I was super training someone to come in and do their job.
[00:42:01] And I think this is a mix of like I made the mistake of probably over training or training a little incorrectly and do also just the type of person that this was. Right. I think just those two things came together to be a little bit of a perfect storm. And that I did a lot of handholding to onboard onto or otherwise train onto some systems that we used to run Almanac and ended up breeding this little like situation where
[00:42:32] they expected me to answer all of their questions because I had been there handholding so hardcore that I had trained in this rely or this, them relying on me to actually do the thing, right. So like, I held too much hand that’s what I did. That whole position in general did not end up working out, for other reasons down the road.
[00:43:00] But it is a thing where you have to sort of find the place of training and empowering and then stepping away and giving them what they need, including the expectation to just do their job. Okay. So this is, it is like an interesting process where you start really hands on and then you wean them off of you as you go.
[00:43:25] A couple other little mindset things. Training is a really easy thing to systemize. So like you were saying earlier, this, I like the most terrifying part of hiring is actually training them because of all the things in your head that you need to get into their head. That is what this is about but all of those things for the most part can be systemized.
[00:43:49] Yeah. So it's creating videos on how it is that you do things it's just creating the process of how you want to onboard them onto the tech in your business or whatever it may be. Some checklists and Asana, some, you could even make your own like, “eCourses”, right, for your business using docs and videos of how it is that you do certain processes and the more that you can systemize and document these things, the easier the training is, for sure.
[00:44:22] Corey Winter: And a win-win is that when you make these processes, you can actually find holes in your systems. Yeah. As you're making all this training. So you can actually fix things along the way. Yeah.
[00:44:33] Emily Thompson: So a little bit of like pre footwork before you actually bring people on to hire, it's gonna save you a ton of time and energy and they can go back to see things in the future as well, which is important.
[00:44:46] Another key sort of mindset I want people to keep in mind as they're training is that you'd have to find this very careful balance between giving your employees, your new employees room to ask questions. Like they can come to you with a question, no matter how ridiculous or like, whatever it may be, but that you are also encouraging them to solve their own problems
[00:45:11] in general. One of my favorite ones for this, and I love to say this to you, Corey, it's one of my favorite things ever is like, is get with support.
[00:45:20] Corey Winter: No. Yeah. Okay. I wasn't sure where that was going.
[00:45:23] Emily Thompson: Right. Just get with support and it's not just you, everybody, right? They'll be like, you know, how do I do this thing in this piece of software?
[00:45:30] And my answer is not, this is how my answer is always get with support. Find the help doc, whatever it may be, so that you're encouraging your employees to go use the tools that are at their disposal. Because as you are beginning the training process, you are the person that they're asking and you can definitely offer them insight so that the training process is easier, all these things, but as you begin weaning, weaning them off of you, encouraging them to use the resources they have at their disposal to solve their own problems.
[00:46:00] And then they can work significantly more autonomously, which is what most people want, in general. So there's like a, that's a careful little journey you have to take them on. Like being very, being very present and helpful as you are beginning the training but then weaning them into finding their own solutions to their problems.
[00:46:27] I also, there's one more sort of mindset I want to put in place for this and I've gotta stop, if anyone's hearing me click this binder clip, Corey, I'm surprised that you haven't yelled at me yet. It's just, I'm just fidgeting in my hand and I can hear it clicking and it's making me nuts. So sorry.
[00:46:45] Corey Winter: I can't hear it, but maybe I wouldn't post and I'm gonna be very upset.
[00:46:48] Emily Thompson: Sorry about that. I put it down now. The last piece of this last little mindset that I want to sort of go ahead and put in everybody's head. Is that a long time ago? I just accepted that an employee's performance really meets its threshold at six months.
[00:47:06] Corey Winter: So what you're saying is that there are learnings throughout those six months, but once they get to the six month mark, if they're not meeting, what are you trying to say?
[00:47:16] Emily Thompson: I feel like, like, they're going to, they don't peak. Like, I don't wanna use that word. Okay. Because it's not like you get there and then you go down, but like you have met or they have met their level of performance in that role, in general, in six months.
[00:47:34] Corey Winter: Like if they're not gonna get there in six months, they're not gonna get there ever.
[00:47:37] Emily Thompson: Correct. And it's gonna take 'em six months. Like it's likely, like you'll, it'll start feeling really great, usually about three, four months, but in really understanding how, what they are doing in your business, sort of relates to all other parts of the business and having that sort of like broader perspective of how this all works together, which makes them better at their job.
[00:47:59] I have found that it takes a solid six months for someone to get there. So whenever I am onboarding, so whenever I'm training someone. I really do think of it as a six month process. And the bulk of the training is happening in the first month to 90 days, but they're not gonna like really hit their stride and like really be as valuable as they can be in that position for six months.
[00:48:26] And that's really important because a lot of people expect the, you know, a new, they want instant gratification. Yes. Yeah. They want their new assistant, their new social media manager, their new, whatever it may be to just be MA’s balls, you know, after training in 90 days. But in my experience, I like, I feel like someone is a whole part of my team.
[00:48:48] In a way that is like very contributing and it's working together with other pieces of the puzzle in six months. So that's like all whole thing everybody needs to get six whole months, everybody.
[00:49:02] Corey Winter: So do you always give people six months or is that just kind of like the maximum amount of time that you're willing to give them?
[00:49:11] Emily Thompson: I don't even see it as like giving them that time. And for me, it's just a mindset thing of like, I'm not going to be disappointed until six months. How about that? Okay. Right. Of like I'm going to understand that you are still to some level still just learning for six months, and that means I'm gonna be a little more available to answering your questions or working with, or getting on to have an additional training pitch.
[00:49:38] You just can't figure out how this tool works or whatever it may be. Like I'm gonna be a little more open to doing those things for six months. Six months there isn't expectations. And in my experience, it like it is there that they're doing their job in the capacity if they can do it. If someone is not meeting your threat, your measurement of success at six months, and they're probably not going to.
[00:50:00] Quite likely. And that's either because you haven't trained well enough or been there to support them in them getting into this role, or this is not the role for them. Also for me, usually at about six months, the role kind of starts morphing. A little bit, right? So maybe we've brought someone else onto the team
[00:50:21] that's gonna take something that they don't want to do, which we'll talk about in a little bit, or they're gonna start picking up other responsibilities because they're so plugged in now that they can handle this other thing that is related to what they're doing or maybe not at all. So the role often stops, starts morphing at that period because they've just,
[00:50:40] They've gotten it, whatever it may be.
[00:50:43] Corey Winter: Yeah. All right. So we're nearing the end of this episode. Do you have any more mindsets before we move into actual training?
[00:50:52] Emily Thompson: Maybe no more mindsets, except maybe just super iterating this fact that as you were hiring, we talked about this in those hiring episodes.
[00:51:07] Well, for me, I hire people that I like, I can tell more or less has the capacity to learn the skill because you can teach skills all day long, but you can't teach a good attitude. You know, I see as a mother of a teenager. Right. So you, and that thing that we set up, that mindset that we set up in those hiring episodes sort of comes full circle here in the training.
[00:51:44] Of like you bring in someone that you like that has a thirst for success in your industry, or has a hardcore respect for what it is that you do, how you do it for whom, like you hire for those things and you hire it, knowing that you can teach the skills. This is where you teach the skills.
[00:52:08] If you don't teach the skills, you ruin everything you hired for, right? If they do not feel confident in their role because they have the skills that they need and the support that they need from you and the team, any of those things, they're gonna lose the good attitude. They're gonna lose the love of the industry.
[00:52:27] They're gonna lose the love of the skillset they're learning, all of those things. So this training piece is as important, if not, maybe in some cases more important than the hiring process that we've talked about before. So all of that to say, come back for the next episode.
[00:52:45] Corey Winter: I was gonna say, I think this is a perfect opportunity for a cliff hanger cause we're not actually gonna talk about training itself in this episode.
[00:52:52] You have to come back.
[00:52:53] Emily Thompson: Not yet. That's in the next episode, I just really wanted to set us up for how important this is. What happens before you even bring them on. Incredibly important. It makes you look like a total boss and capable of doing your job, which is giving this person a new company to work for where you are going to be meeting the needs that they need for paying their rent and their medical bills and all of those things.
[00:53:18] Like you want to look like the boss that you are because you've done this work.Day one is really about some cultural onboarding and really just sort of infusing them with the feeling of what it’s like to work for your company. Whatever, if it's fast paced and hard, you do that, love that for you. If it's like warm and cozy and I want us all to love our jobs, that's how I do it.
[00:53:43] Yeah. And then you start mapping out the training with these mindsets in mind because this training piece is imperative for making this whole thing worth it which we'll talk about next episode.
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