4 Tips For Onboarding New Staff

We all hire staff from time to time and how we onboard that employee into our chamber workplace is a critical first step!

Everyone is busy, but it's important to take the time to have a formal onboarding process that will position your new staff member to be successful.

Here are four areas I focus on:

  • Job Description - what a great place to start.  Do you have a detailed job description for the new staff member of your chamber?  You might want to even have an operational manual of the duties that the previous staff member has created to help with your onboarding process.  This manual could be broken down into a day, week, and monthly list of tasks.
  • Set Expectations - it's very important to set your expectations upfront. That way there will be no misunderstandings down the road.  I wrote a blog post HERE on that subject matter.  For me there are four: professionalism; positive attitude; strong work ethic; and results.
  • Resources - give that new staff member the proper resources that will allow them to excel in their new job.  What do I mean by resources? Your time, the technology to accomplish the tasks at hand and the ability to learn your organizational structure (staff vs. volunteers) and the mission of your chamber.
  • Feedback - it's critical to be honest and constructive in giving ongoing feedback on how your new employee is doing based on your expectations and the expectations of your members.

I'm reminded of a staffing concept laid out in Jim Collins' book Good to Great. The book talks about a lot of good stuff but I want to highlight where he talks about getting the right people on the bus.

Do you have the right people on your team (bus)?  And are they in the right position (seat)?

Something to think about!

For a great article by The Bridgespan Group on onboarding and supporting a new CEO go HERE.

Membership Shift

In Sarah Sladek’s book "The End of Membership as We Know It," she discusses three shifts that will have a major impact on membership organizations.

While there have been many books written on membership, some with a doomsday approach, this book, for me anyway, just confirms the fact that you need to adapt to change and be relevant to your members.

The three shifts discussed in her book are:

  • Economic recession;
  • Demographic change; and
  • Technology

And by the way, that's not a new concept.  

She goes on to talk about how we need to solve problems and provide solutions for our members.  That's not a new concept either.

I assume you're already doing that!

So while something’s change, others stay the same.

Remember, it's been said here before that you can't be all things to all people/members.  Decide on what kind of chamber you want to be and deliver on that promise/brand.

What is your brand?  For a previous blog post on that go HERE.

If you can't answer that question, you need to go back to your board and members and survey them to see what they want out of their chamber membership.

That's called a needs assessment survey and for a previous blog post on that go HERE.

Once you know what their needs and wants are, fulfill them!

One thing I do know that's not going to change is the need to be a strong advocate for your members before different levels of government.

Explain how the chamber is in the business of advocating and solving problems for their small business which in turn will help grow their business.

Be an advocate!