TCO International is a global team of 50 consultants and executive coaches, with regional hubs in Bologna, Cambridge, and Mexico City. As Chief Digital Officer, a key focus of my work is to improve how our team collaborates.
We have dozens of client projects happening simultaneously — which means lots of details to sort through and very little time to go searching for files. Most of our team members work virtually and we share materials and tools. In other words, collaborating efficiently is absolutely essential for what we do.
We all knew where our own stuff was…but we struggled with projects we worked on together. I realized that if we didn’t do something soon, this could have an impact on our relationships and productivity company-wide.
We weren’t just looking for a new “tool.” What we really needed was a collaboration solution that encouraged teamwork. After months of research, we decided on Redbooth.
There were many aspects of Redbooth that made it attractive to us. One of my favorites was the comprehensive list of integrations. Since it would be my job to get everyone on board, these integrations meant that my team members could continue using some of their favorite software programs in coordination with Redbooth. In fact, not only could they keep using them, but Redbooth made them even better.
We also liked that Redbooth was an all-in-one solution: instead of onboarding my team to five or six different collaboration and communication apps, we would have a single unified platform.
3 Winning Strategies for Onboarding
Ultimately, there were four winning strategies that I used to get my team at TCO onto Redbooth and to accelerate our success.
When you find your team at this “liminal” in-between stage, I would encourage you to choose one or more of these strategies and customize it to fit your organization’s unique culture and needs.
1. Use familiar frameworks to build bridges
At TCO International, all of us have something interesting in common: we’ve all relocated to a new country. Because this was a common touchpoint for us all, I decided to use it as a way to help them think about getting comfortable with Redbooth. I explained that the Redbooth help section was their “guidebook,” and joked that real-time chat was where they could interview locals on customs and culture.
Through fun emails and workshops, I helped them see that our move to Redbooth was like a virtual team relocation. Like traveling to a new country, keeping an open mind and having a sense of curiosity will pay off.
Think about what kinds of experiences and reference points your colleagues have in common. See if there are familiar themes or shared experiences you can draw on to help them feel more at home in Redbooth.
Pro tip: If your colleagues are addicted to email, help them set up the Outlook or Gmail integrations. It’s easy to do and will enable them to convert emails into tasks — and create new tasks — without having to leave their inbox.
2. Take advantage of Redbooth’s training opportunities
Redbooth has an entire team — the Customer Success Team! — dedicated to helping new and existing Redbooth users get up to speed. They were happy to work with our team. When we ran out of ideas, they had solutions ready to share with us.
Our Customer Success expert helped us identify which features were most relevant for our team’s needs. When we made requests to customize the projects, they did so right away and followed up with a team training call where they introduced us to our shared workspaces.
We found the trainings to be very valuable, especially because the ones we had were designed specifically for us.
Pro tip: People come out of a training excited to use what they’ve learned. So you’ve got to reinforce that learning after the training while the excitement is still in the air! As trial champion, come up with a short, enjoyable follow-up assignment for everyone who attended the training.
3. Nominate “feature champions”
Champions can come in various forms. Yes, I was the trial champion — but I wasn’t the only person quickly developing Redbooth expertise. It soon became clear that certain colleagues had a special affinity for certain features.
I created a list of Redbooth’s features and kept track of who was using each of them especially well. This way, I could assign feature champions to support other team members who wanted to learn how to use a specific feature better.
It was also empowering for the feature champions and increased their sense of buy-in. Essentially, everyone had the opportunity to be an expert in a certain area — and to learn from a colleague as well.
At TCO, we’ve found that using Redbooth to collaborate has brought new life to relationships with key clients. We have a number of new coaching programs launching soon, so we are saying good-bye to our old systems and using Redbooth to run and operate all aspects of these new initiatives.
The thing about successful onboarding is that, ultimately, it’s a quiet success. Team collaboration improves. Productivity increases. And people quickly forget how frustrating their old patched-together collaboration solutions were. Just like moving to a new country, what initially felt new now feels like home.
This post is excerpted from “Onboarding Our Virtual Global Team to Redbooth: Lessons from a Successful Trial Champion” by Vanessa Shaw. In addition to the 4 strategies described here, the report addresses the importance of understanding “liminality” in the onboarding process and onboarding traps to watch out for. Read the full report, no registration required »