Long onboarding to affirm your commitment at Fly The Nest

Written by Adèle Boinnot, on 21 November 2018

We were talking last month about our acclimatization process during recruitment. But this fundamental process doesn't stop there: it's also the cornerstone of our onboarding. Like recruitment, this period is built for both Fly The Nest and the newcomer. The goal? To make them autonomous and affirm their mutual commitment for good.

Since the first employee at Fly The Nest, onboarding has been created and remained an essential part of our journey. Learning and getting to know each other is like making a good coq au vin: it's not difficult, but success requires doing things in the right order and taking the time.

This integration period lasts invariably 6 months at Fly The Nest, with the aim of quickly making newcomers autonomous. We trust our ability to recruit, so we are convinced that the person who joins us is talented, in line with our values, and can realize their personal vision by joining us. Not feeling like they're on an ejector seat during these 6 months of probation is crucial. Without that, how can one feel comfortable integrating and progressing? Commitment cannot be affirmed without self-trust.

A mentor, who volunteers to take on the role, will accompany the newcomer throughout their onboarding. Their role is to prepare for their arrival and help plan all the necessary events for their training. Moreover, check-ins are organized on a weekly basis in the first few weeks, then less frequently according to needs. This special connection ensures that the new recruit has a dedicated space for questions and any doubts. As you've understood, the mentor's role is to be a supportive listener and provide comprehensive support.

It's also about sharing, especially within the cohort of newcomers. The "brood," as we call it at Fly The Nest, regularly meets to exchange about their first steps in the team ("Did the cuckoo clock that doesn't chime on time surprise you too?"). The benefit is quite simple: it feels good to realize that someone else is experiencing similar things (easy or not), to talk about it, and exchange advice.

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So, how is all this organized? Onboarding is divided into several learning spheres, to be explored throughout the period:

  1. Learning and practicing our core business
  2. Understanding the internal organization
  3. Knowing our ecosystem and our positioning

Without this, it's difficult to take action. A semester is not too long to absorb all this information, and watch out for clutter! We try to structure our knowledge step by step and by topic to avoid getting too confused.

In parallel, checkpoints at one and three months mark the onboarding and clearly pose three questions too often forgotten: how do you feel about our culture and values? what do you want to bring to the project? what vision do you have for Fly The Nest? Not trivial questions for in-depth discussions, allowing everyone to step back and, little by little, find their place. Taking part in our adventure goes far beyond ticking off a series of tasks listed in a job description. Both for us and for the person joining us, it's so much richer and exciting to seek alignment and deepen what we can bring to the team!

6 months of learning the core business and as many questions about the meaning of life and one's role on this planet later... Onboarding is complete! The official closure takes place during a final meeting with the mentor. The confirmed "birdy" is in a real co-founder position (at Fly The Nest, every team member is a co-founder). They have convictions about Fly The Nest's positioning and future development, they know their values and understand how they relate to Fly The Nest, and they choose to specialize in 2 out of our 7 key competencies. In short, they have found their place and know what they will contribute based on their profile, desires, and current needs. The icing on the cake, they decide their salary level after gathering feedback from the team. We are then ready, all together, to embark on a very special adventure: realizing our common vision, in line with our environment.

Over the past three years, thirteen people have gone through onboarding. We have never doubted the importance of this program, and the levels of commitment and autonomy of the newcomers will not contradict us. We even let them systematically modify the onboarding when they complete it. Its primary strength lies in its continuous improvement by those who have experienced it!