The buddy is the role in charge of onboarding new team members. The onboarding period last 2 weeks, and the main goals of the buddy in these amount of time are:
- organize and support the new team member study about the tech stack
- explain our internal processes and transmit the cultural values that make Agile Lab work and evolve step after step
The list of the topics that should be covered by buddies during each onboarding can be found in the onboarding section. The list highlights what to explain, but not how to do that, on which aspects put more focus, how to handle new team members with different seniority, and so on.
It's ok to not having a common way of explaining things, because it allows buddies to use their creativity, experience and empathy to design the best experience candidate after candidate. In Agile Lab, we leave total freedom to people about their way of working, but, at the same time, we strongly believe the socializing ideas and using collective intelligence to solve complex problems elevates our practices to the next level.
That's why we introduced the "buddy internal sharing", a recurrent meeting where buddies can discuss old onboarding experiencse and brand new ideas for the future ones.
These are example questions that can perfectly fit this kind of meetings:
- "How do you explain the handbook? Do you just say that is a process collector or do you bring some example to the table?"
- "How do you onboard an engineering manager?"
- "How do you onboard a new team member already proficient with our tech stack?"
- "How do we introduce our culture in smooth way to people that comes from a rigid corporate culture?"
- "Did you ever onboard two new team members at the same time? Do you think it was productive?"
- "Are you able to create high engagement at the end of the onboarding weeks?"
- "Are two weeks enough to onboard new team members?"
Of course, this is not the list we use as the agenda of the meetings, it just brings you an idea of the kind of topics discussed in these sharing sessions.
Buddies should periodically discuss these kind of topics to iterate, getting feedback, and crafting the perfect onboarding experience for new team members.
Leadership in Agile Lab starts from day 1. Keep in mind that first impressions count.
- treat new colleagues as peers, be their mentor but let them express their leadership skills too
- put a lot of focus on the company culture and values
- it should be clear not only WHAT is self-management, but WHY we decided to adopt such a methodology to carry on with our daily work
- don't give solutions before people struggle with the problem. The tradeoff between struggling and spending too much time on that task is up to you
- provide good examples of how the onboarding training topics can be useful and applicable in real-world use cases, this is a source of great motivation
- constantly stimulate creative and critical thinking, always in a goal-oriented way
- appreciate the good, fix the bad
- make people feel part of the team since the first conversation
- only care about technicalities
- review the work in a "yes or no" fashion, without discussing the good and bad
- are not empathic
- only talk about work kinds of stuff
- have the webcam disabled during the video calls