#43 - 22 Nov 2020
Virtual onboarding and offboarding; virtual whiteboards; renegotiating your first vendor contract
8 Steps to Creating a Virtual Employee Onboarding Program - Bruce Anderson
Preserving Culture When Someone Leaves the Team - Mark Wood
Whether people are leaving or joining, as managers we have to be deliberate about the team we’re helping build. Wood points out that when someone leaves, you have the opportunity and responsibility to think about what behaviours that person had that shaped the team, and what you’ll do to replace those - asking other people (maybe including yourself) to do some of some of those things to fill in the gap, hiring someone who will do similar things. You also have the opportunity to think about what behaviours make sense to end or change and take steps there, too.
When onboarding, new employees are no longer immersed in the team’s culture they were when you were all colocated, so you have to take active steps to make sure they understand how your team works and get up to speed quickly. Make sure there’s quick wins lined up for them, communicate endlessly about the things that are important, make sure you’re building horizontal communications between team members not just vertical communications between you and them, and make sure you (and other team members) are modelling the behaviour you expect to see from them.
Since no longer being colocated with our team members and research communities is going to be the norm now, we have to continue to improve how we run events that used to be highly interactive and based on whiteboards or flip charts or the like.
Miro seems like a perfectly good distributed whiteboard application - there are others which also seem perfectly good, but Miro is the leader at the moment. Here are two concrete sets of recommendations for using Miro for long multi-day workshops (by Tune), and one for running sprints and retros (by Miro themselves).
There are other tools which are good for more specific applications - for strategic planning type workshops I’ve had good luck recently with Axis to generate prioritized service catalogues and do things like audience-sourced SWOT analyses.
Managing Your Own Career
Renegotiating your first vendor contract - Will Larson
Eventually we all have to negotiate or renegotiate our first contract with vendors. This short article won’t give any secrets that will win you huge concessions. It will hopefully make the process less stressful by providing a game plan and by setting some realistic expectations, on their side (your vendor wants money, and is willing to make some small trades on the margins for the exact amount of money, but not much) and yours (you should absolutely be able to assume decreasing marginal costs, reasonable timelines, and to see issues seen previously addressed).