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I want to share that Jen and I have worked this week to flesh out an updated cadence and set of procedures for the onboarding of new agents (and partners).
In the past:
Training was in charge of the agent experience entirely from the moment their credentials were created until they were ready to be handed off to Operations. This means that a lot of essential knowledge about individual trainees and their status lived in our heads; processes were fluid, easily massaged, and largely unstructured. Eg: it might take Agent X 2 weeks to troubleshoot credentials issues, complete Delivery Training, and get into the Reserve Force, while Agent Y has no onboarding issues, finishes Delivery Training in 2 days, and starts operating on ITCs within his/her first week.
Why we need to change this:
The Reserve Force and I are packing up and moving to Operations. For the time being, Jen and Karla will remain where they are and will continue to hold down the fort, taking over Training Bounties, Learning Syncs, and lots of other responsibilities. A more structured training path is necessary so that we can scale and continue to collaborate effectively.
The new plan:
ONBOARDING WEEK AND AGENT COHORTS ARE HERE, Y'ALL. When new agents are hired, they'll be added to a cohort.
- All newly onboarded agents start work on Mondays with ONBOARDING HOUR hosted by Jen and Karla. During Onboarding Hour, new agents get in the Training Zoom room for the first time, make sure all their credentials work, set up their schedules for the upcoming week, and get enrolled in their Udemy modules. They're given deadlines and expectations for when Delivery Trainings should be completed along with contacts -- who to reach out to when they need help throughout the week.
- New agents attend the Huddle on Tuesdays. This will continue to be hosted by me, their first and future DM in Operations. Jen will take over hosting Welcome meetings for new partners on Tuesdays. Check out the decks linked here for an overview of what we cover in these meetings. OH! And... new agents attend their first Learning Sync on this day. Learning Syncs will now be facilitated by Jen, and she's already upgrading this process in huge ways.
- Wednesdays are for Case Studies. These 30-minute syncs are a time for us to publicly debrief a week's worth of agent mistakes across the company and learn from our errors collectively; an effort to take a giant leap towards truly only making each mistake one time. These will be hosted by me for the time being. Right now, the invite is open to (and attendance will be required from) ALL trainees -- from brand-new onboards to RF agents about to graduate to full-time Ops.
- Another 30-minute Learning Sync is on the agenda for Thursdays and DELIVERY TRAININGS are all due from all agents in the most recent cohort by EOD (which means they've had about 3.5 total days to get it done). Agents who fail to meet this requirement without communicating with the training team will be offboarded.
- On Fridays, agents will attend their first all-hands meeting (if there is one that week) and receive Delivery Training grades and feedback from Jen and Karla. They'll be expected to make adjustments to their deliverables if necessary over the weekend in preparation to join the Reserve Force the following Monday morning. Agents who submit less-than-stellar deliverables (we consider these to be "exams") could be offboarded or held back a week and required to join the next cohort in order to re-do their Delivery Training (which means another week of unpaid work... do you see all the built-in motivation here?!).
In summary, there will now be a more clear distinction between Training Phase 1: Delivery Training, and Training Phase 2: Reserve Force. Agents must pass Delivery Training within a specified timeframe in order to be promoted to Reserve Force and will have lots more structure and support in place as they do so.
While I know we seem like we've got it all together over here, we still have a few missing pieces, and these are on me.
- A more regular and transparent process will be established for grading and issuing feedback for Delivery Training. I'll work with Jen on this.
- Updated onboarding email templates will roll out this week from the tip of the hiring funnel aaaaalllllll the way down to our very enthusiastic "WELCOME TO TRAINING!" email which will communicate this detailed information to new agents. I'll be working with Dilip and René on this.
- Our hiring cadence will evolve to match the pace of the Onboarding Week model, which probably means that offer letters will stop going out by EOD each Thursday and resume each Monday morning, ensuring that agents land in cohorts appropriately. I'll work with Dilip on this.
- Now that we clearly have agent onboarding and training down to a science (or maybe more appropriately, a fine art), it's time to apply the same care and attention-to-detail to the partner onboarding process. There are tons of people I'll be working with to make this one happen.
A special thanks to all of you who read my exhaustingly long emails. You the real MVPs (and honestly understand Planet Training way better than those who don't read).
Have a great day! ;)