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What is onboarding and why is it important?

When I first heard the term ‘onboarding’ I’ll admit that I had absolutely no idea as to what it was. It was my first week at Fluid and I was told I would be taken through a 4-week onboarding process to help me settle in. Was I apprehensive? Quite.

Fast forward a month, I’m almost at the end of the process and am now a fully-fledged onboarding expert. Well, maybe not quite an expert, but a fan, nonetheless.

So, what exactly is onboarding? Fluid has been onboarding staff since 2018. Gail was the onboarding guinea pig, and since then 23 Fluiders have been through the process over the last two years. In a nutshell, the process of onboarding is created to integrate a new team member into the Fluid family and familiarise them with the business and services.

Onboarding is an important process, but even more important in the current climate, in my opinion. This inescapable pandemic means that the Fluid family are all working from home, so it’s even more vital to put new starters through a proper welcome process for them to fully get to grips with the business and its people.

My first week at Fluid was also the first week of the new year. A time where many people are catching up on work which has built up over the Christmas period, and working hard to get back into the swing of things. Despite this, I had the pleasure of (virtually) meeting every single team member within my first few days.

Calls were set up with each team (how could we have done this last year without Microsoft Teams?) and I was introduced to each person individually in order to understand who they were and what their job role was. It was the perfect opportunity to put names to faces and learn about each team member, finishing every call with a fun fact about each person. Some facts were quite questionable, but I digress...

My first week came and went in a flash. My team leader, Ben checked in on me every day to make sure I was settling in ok and I was even lucky enough to receive the now famous 'History of Fluid' chat with Phil at the end of my first week.

Week two was as enjoyable as the first, and while I was getting to grips with my role within the team, I was also introduced to some of our wonderful clients.

Michelle set up a quick call with me to chat about Fluid happiness, which is Fluid’s internal wellbeing programme. This was a breath of fresh air for me and well and truly cemented my settlement into the Fluid family.

Now in my fourth week, my onboarding process has included regular catchups with my team leader, chats with multiple members of the Fluid team, and twice-weekly whole team meetings, which are a given even after this process finishes.

Before my first day at Fluid, I received a very informative and concise welcome pack, but I honestly thought that would be the start and end of the welcome process. I’ve never been through an onboarding process before and although it seemed as though it might be a little overwhelming at first, I’m hugely grateful for it now.

I can see that Fluid is a company that cares about its people, which is why so many of its team members have stuck around for so long. Each member of the Fluid family proudly represents its brand and agency and are therefore their most important brand ambassadors. If you don’t consider onboarding for your employees, are you missing out in harvesting some of your greatest brand advocates?