As a new employee joining a company, especially in this remote work environment, don’t you think it is a real challenge to be proactive, become integrated and succeed your onboarding?

I think it is tough and needs a special article on this topic.

To overcome this new challenge you can either be passive and rely exclusively on your management (or whomever has been tasked to help you onboard), or be proactive and take actions using all the resources at your disposal.

Don’t you think it is kind of the same as if you were starting a new engagement as a consultant? I think so!

So let me give you some advice to have a successful onboarding as if you were starting a new consulting gig, and you were scoping & planning it.

Of course, you should ask for general documents, navigate the company intranet, read the product information of the company, etc… but that is not where I’m going in detail on this article.

As a starting point, it is crucial to understand and list your core activities. Start with the challenge of being able to answer completely this question: What are my core responsibilities and activities?

  1. Number one

  2. Number two

  3. Number three

I am responsible for 1-2-3.. and acting on these activities.

And in parallel, in the same area of investigation, start building up the pieces of the puzzle of what/how I have to do to be successful in each. The question to answer here is: What are the processes I am in charge of and that I contribute to? What do I do in each process and with which system?

Note: The answers will not all arrive at once and will require some back and forth. On the other hand, you will discover how powerful it is to clarify your role, the activities, the pain points, and the expectations.

The second main area of your onboarding actions is related to the People (with who). The questions are: who do I work/interact with?

  1. Management

  2. Peers

  3. Teams

  4. Customers

  5. Partners

Learn about the people around you, ask for the organization chart, and understand the forces of influence and the knowledge in place.

I recommend to plan 1-to-1 meetings (many will be remote – be sure to use the video!) with all the people you will interact with directly – do not wait for others to plan it. Remember you are the one in need and so be proactive. The objective here is to be introduced, but mainly to understand what they do and their skills, gather advice to help you onboard and be efficient. And of course to be able to answer the question: Who do I work with?

When you are setup and comfortable on those two areas you are onboarded!

Don’t you think you will be in a stronger position to perform & execute your mission statement, start thinking of how to improve the way it is done, and provide value for the company, your management, peers and teams?

As well, it will emphasize really clearly where are the unknowns and uncertainties in each area of your job. Your onboarding work might even help others to move forward as well.

In the consulting world, we use the terms “scoping and planning” but you know what? It is the same discovery process we perform as you will if you follow this advice.

I hope this helps and offer a sincere wish for success to all folks jumping into a new position – you are now in control of making your onboarding a success!




Written by Jean-Christophe Laurent,, CEO at Penon Partners

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