Here are a few ideas, and more than a few Slack apps and extensions, to welcome new employees and bring them up to speed quickly.
BY NIAMH LINEHAN
Getting new hires fully briefed and trained up can be a lengthy process. But by connecting various tools with Slack, you can run an effective and organized onboarding program that gives new employees immediate access to the tools and information they need to make a roaring head start. Here’s how.
GIVE NEW FOLKS A FRIENDLY WELCOME
As the primary space for collaboration in Slack, Slack channels gather people from across the organization, allowing coworkers to get to know each other better and build the kind of trust and rapport that leads to frequent collaboration. Start by launching a new hire or welcome channel (we call ours #yay), and encourage new employees to introduce themselves. You can then urge others to create a welcoming environment by responding to these messages–whether through text or emoji.
Another idea is to use Donut, an app that randomly pairs up teammates and invites them to meet over coffee, donuts, lunch, or what have you. Simply create a dedicated channel for Donut (like #newbie-donuts), and employees can opt into and out of the program by joining and leaving the channel as they wish.
OFFER SECURE ACCESS TO YOUR ORGANIZATION’S TOOLS AND SERVICES
With the warm welcomes taken care of, it’s time to move on to the formalities. Okta–which provides identity and access management, or in other words: secure access, authentication, and single sign-on to software applications–lets employees securely connect to the suite of tools and services that you use at your organization, including Slack.
Enterprises use Okta to manage access to Slack and other applications, which increases security and maintains compliance across devices.
GIVE MORE CONTEXT INTO PROJECTS AND PROCESSES WITH SEARCHABLE DOCS
The first few weeks of a new job are all about learning the ins and outs, both in terms of work that’s currently in progress and the history of past projects and initiatives. When you use Slack to connect file-sharing systems–like Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and One Drive–documents are automatically indexed and searchable. That means that instead of starting with an empty inbox on day one, new employees can browse through channels for the background context they need and even pull information within files and documents right into Slack.
CREATE AND SHARE RICH TRAINING MATERIALS
With the Guru app for Slack, you can turn the wealth of knowledge exchanged between teammates in Slack into a robust repository of resources and training materials perfect for helping new hires learn how to navigate their new jobs. All new hires need to do is type the /guru slash command in Slack to search for and find all kinds of essential messages and documents, including answers to frequently asked questions like “What’s the Wi-Fi password?” and “Who is our benefits provider?” Another great example we’ve seen comes from sales teams who use Guru to build out libraries of sales-specific materials like pitch decks, instructional videos, and recordings of successful calls that anyone can look up whenever they need.
For concepts that require more detailed instruction, Loom is a good way to go. You can use it to record quick instructional videos that show both yourself and what’s on your screen, making it simpler to support new hires with step-by-step instructions. Videos shared in Slack can be played instantly, making it that much easier for new hires to get up to speed.
CHECK PAYROLL, REQUEST TIME OFF, AND LOOK UP COLLEAGUES IN SLACK
A good onboarding program teaches new employees where to find answers to their questions. Good software surfaces those answers seamlessly. When you connect your Slack workspace to apps like ADP (and soon Workday as well), employees can find immediate answers to questions about things like payroll, benefits, and the status of time-off requests.
Try adding a few of these apps to Slack to create your own custom onboarding experience for new employees. You can find more apps supporting HR and Culture in the Slack App Directory.