Regardless of company size, getting oriented takes time. You sit your first day and you ask yourself, “What is my job about? What are the things that need to happen? Who do I need to talk to?”
I’m a marketing consultant. I’ve worked with both large and small companies all over the Silicon Valley, at companies like Oracle, which is over 130,000 people, as well as with small startups that maybe have 10 or 15 people.
One of the things I’ve absolutely noticed in every job is, it usually takes you — and I kid you not — up to three months to truly understand who you’re supposed to talk to, how you’re supposed to talk to them. It takes time to learn what you don’t know that you don’t know. But you can’t skip over that part — getting up to speed in a new job is essential.
So when I started working with the team at Redbooth, I expected it would take about three months to get my bearings as well. (Of course, if it had taken that long, I wouldn’t be writing this post!)
Accelerating the onboarding process
Before we go any further, there’s something you should know.
I’m kind of geeky, so I like gadgets. I like new technology. I enjoy using and getting to know different applications. And so I logged on thinking, “Okay, let’s see what I can really do here.”
And it was amazing to me.
I sat down on a Sunday morning to start using the platform. In a matter of minutes, I saw all of the tasks I was assigned and the time frames that the people needed them in. I saw the people on my team, in terms of who was involved in the various tasks and activities that were going on.
Moving forward in this collaborative workspace was just an extraordinary experience, because within one day — literally one day, less than eight hours — I felt completely on board, aware of what the expectations were for my work, aware of who my team was that I should be working with.
And I had the ability to get in touch with them without having to look them up on some kind of directory, and without going around and asking my boss or asking my contacts, “Who do I talk to about this? Who do I talk to about that?” and “Where do I go for this information?” and “How do I find this item or file that I’m looking for?”
All of it was in the platform, readily available for me to find if I just wanted to do a little digging. I could just go through the tasks and see the history of everything that had happened regarding, let’s say, creating graphics or looking for logos.
Whatever it was that I needed, I could readily find it. And that was good news, because even though I had just started, I had a lot to do and there was no time to waste.
Planning for an overseas conference
At the time, we were getting ready for the Gartner Digital Workplace Summit in London, and it was coming up fast. We had one week to get a lot of things done.
What I found with using Redbooth is that you don’t have to wait around. I didn’t have to ask anyone for help. I didn’t have to stop and not finish what I was working on. I didn’t have to wait for information.
You can see who’s available and online at the time so you can chat with them easily. You can grab the file for a t-shirt design that a designer in Canada posted in Redbooth to send it to a t-shirt printer in England. (Which is exactly what I did, by the way.)
And you can see at a glance if that file is ready for you to send off — or if the team is working on a new design. You don’t have to wonder what’s going on. Everyone’s comments are right there and it’s clear what’s happening.
It was completely different from using email to manage events and get work done.
Personally I’m not skilled in using all the flagging mechanisms you get in some of the email platforms out there. It’s all in my brain — or it’s in a list of things that I’m working on. And when I’m working on getting ready for a big event, that’s a long list.
What I loved about Redbooth is that you knew when things were still being worked on. I didn’t have to wait and read through strings of emails and massive commentary that maybe had nothing to do with me.
It was all just so easy. It was all in one place.
Tina’s Tips for New Redbooth Users
We asked Tina to share three best practices for new contractors and employees who are joining a team or company that uses Redbooth.
1. Give yourself some time to explore
When you start your new job or contracting role, really give yourself the time to explore the different workspaces and the different areas that you have access to. Even if that means setting aside a full day to explore everything, it’s worth it because you’re getting a grasp of where things are.
For me, it’s just about clicking on everything. It’s almost like you’re allowed to go into the store and touch everything for the first time. So you want to go in and familiarize yourself in that sense: What does this page look like? And what does that view look like? It’s worth it, because you’ll get your bearings.
2. Interact with different features
Create a task, delete a task. Interact in a few ways, even just posting, “Hey, team. I’m here.” Do whatever you can because the minute that you cross that barrier from watcher to an active member of a workspace, that’s a huge step.
When I was getting oriented, it was exciting to feel that I’d now commented on something. I’d now reacted to something. I’d contributed to the conversation. That’s what starting to collaborate looks like.
And that in itself made me feel like I wasn’t scared of the software anymore, because I think one of the things about adopting new technology is that you’re afraid to break it or to do something wrong. Interacting with it directly helps you shake that fear.
3. Notice how team members are communicating
It’s a lot to take in at once, but once you’re oriented you’re going to want to notice how people are communicating within Redbooth. The way that I did it was after I posted an answer, a comment, or a question, I’d look at it and compare it to the other messages there.
That’s how I started noticing things like, hey, I didn’t tag anybody. I didn’t do the “@name” (tagging a team member with the @ sign to address that person specifically). And so I loved the fact that I could edit what I had posted. I’d go back in and tag that person.
Little by little, these small details and conventions will start to jump out at you. And then, before you know it, they’ll become automatic.