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Successful Marketing Onboarding

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The onboarding of new Marketing employees has a significant impact on both employee retention and benefit to the organization, no matter if non-profit, B2B technology company or a law firm.  Many exiting employees cite the lack of an effective onboarding program as a contributing factor in their decision to quit.  New employees want to be trained well at their start so that they can be a valuable asset to their new organization as soon as possible.

You want your onboarding experience to be consistent for all new hires.  Start off your new working relationship with momentum.

Before the new employee starts, the hiring manager should have an onboarding plan specific for that individual in place.  I have found that a 10 week training is effective so a 10 week onboarding plan should exist.  Every position in the company should have a different onboarding plan.  If it is a new position or if a previous onboarding plan does not exist for an existing position, several members of the existing Marketing team should meet and come up with the items that should be on the onboarding plan for the new employee.  The plan should include meetings and training that the new employee should attend, who they should meet or talk to, and tasks for them accomplish.  The plan should be documented and in a public place so all can review the plan when necessary.  On the new employee’s 1st day the hiring manager should review the onboarding plan and the job description so that the new employee is confident in what they will be learning during the onboarding period.

The onboarding plan should be broken into 4 different areas:

  1. Company Related – This training is usually done be HR and is usually the 1st training that occurs.  This training could consist of the following:
    • Company values, mission, culture and branding
    • Enterprise-wide objectives and goals and how the new employee can contribute to these goals
    • Company offerings such as the products the company sells or the services it offers
    • Target market for the company and how the organization makes money
    • Company terminology and acronyms
    • Organization of the company and how decisions are made
    • Policies of the company such as travel / expense policies
    • Specific office items such as office alarm setting
    • Review of the tools that the company uses (expense software, wiki,  status reports, etc.)
  2. Marketing Related – This training is usually done by the hiring manager and includes the following:
    • Organization of the Marketing team and discuss more specifics on individual team members
    • Marketing team objectives and goals and how they relate to the organization’s goals
    • Review of how the Marketing Team operates including status reports and staff meetings
    • Review of all the marketing activities that the team produces so that the new employee understands what the team produces and the benefit to the company
    • Review the tools that the team uses (website content, social media, marketing automation, project management, etc.)
  3. Specific Position Related – This training is usually done with the person that is most knowledgeable on the position and includes the following:
    • Review the actual tasks that they will be doing.  This could be shadowing the person while they do it or reviewing the written process
  4. On Your Own Learning – This is done by the hiring manager and is a list of items that the new employee could review on their own when they won’t have a person available to them.  These could be any of the following:
    • Company collateral (brochures, case studies, data sheets, white papers, eBooks, etc.)
    • Company blog posts
    • Company website
    • Recorded webinars
    • Recorded company meetings
    • YouTube channel videos
    • Intranet
    • Buyer personas
    • Marketing plans
    • Company goals
    • Competitor review
    • Written procedures or how to documents

Make sure that a team lunch occurs that 1st week so that the new employee gets to know their teammates better.

Provide breaks in the training so that the new employee does not feel like they are drinking from a fire hose.  Don’t exhaust them.  Pace the training properly.

Also the hiring manager should make a list of people in the company and outside the company (partners, vendors, etc.) that the new employee should meet or contact.  Decide on the format for each of the contacts (group or 1on1, formal or informal, by them self or with another marketing person).  A list of questions should be created for each individual that will be contacted.  The new employee should take notes during these conversations so that they can be reviewed with hiring manager and shared with others on the team.

At the end of every week the hiring manager should review the onboarding plan with the new employee and make adjustments.  HR should survey the new employee and hiring manager periodically to see how the training is going.  Hiring manager should sit down with the new employee and come up with some longer range goals that should be included in the employee performance reviews.  Provide the new hire a chance to share comments on the training and to ask questions.  And in the one on one sessions a standard topic should be what additional training does the new employee need.  An important part of a manager’s job is making sure that the right training resources are available to a direct report.   Remember to have the new employee update the project/task management system with their completed tasks.

A good onboarding plan is beneficial to the new employee and the company.  After you have hired the right individual you want them to stay in the company.  You want them up to speed as quickly as possible.  Be a good manager and do your part.  Create a plan, review the plan regularly with the new employee and make any necessary adjustments.  You will be glad you did. If you follow what is in this post your onboarding process will instantly become more efficient, more effective and better at keeping your employees productive and happy with your organization.

Let me know your onboarding or training thoughts for new marketing employees.

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  1. November 13, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Good one! I found this content really very helpful and understandable.

    • November 13, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      Thanks. Glad it was useful.

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