One of the reasons I was nervous about blogging was that it felt very one way…listen to me. Well, an opportunity presented recently where I happily get to share someone else’s ideas/results.  Today is the first lead to the edge guest author, Glenn Hopper. I had the pleasure of first working with Glenn in 2008. I’m extremely honored he was willing to write this post.


The content of my guest post was inspired by Tricia’s First Day of Work Pet Peeves post. Tricia’s poor onboarding experience is something most of us can relate to. At TechSmith, we have recently taken a large, positive step to help address common onboarding issues; our solution is an onboarding Trello board.

This Trello board is composed of tasks for both manager and employee. Tasks are comprised of actions and information like, Login to Google Apps and change your password and How to use the building’s alarm system. The roles responsible for any given task are identified by labels. Columns are used to categorize the tasks by time (first day, first week, etc.) and task priority is from left to right, top to bottom.










There is a “master” version of the board which is maintained and updated by the people managers and Human Resources. This master version allows for consistency across TechSmith for onboarding new hires.  Then when a new hire is expected, a copy of the master board is made for the specific hire’s manager. In addition, a unique copy of the board is made for each new employee. This unique copy for the employee then can be referenced (even re-organized) whenever they’d like. This onboarding mechanism has helped mitigate new employee information overload.

Not only has this process been a success with new hires, but managers also love it. Let’s face it, it’s easy to get out-of-date on evolving onboarding practices and remembering all the steps can be difficult, like getting a desk, chair and a laptop *wink wink*. Because your tasks are also visible to the new hire, he/she can help hold you accountable for those things that get lost in the shuffle of your other day-to-day work.










In agile fashion, the final task for the employee is to provide their feedback about their experience with the board so their improvements can be rolled into the master version to benefit the next new employees.

What do you think? Would this work for your organization? What tactics do you use to onboard new employees?

Glenn Hoeppner is a Lead Software Engineer at TechSmith Corporation in Okemos, MI, where he operates in a player/coach role and has onboarded several employees. His professional career has primarily focused on e-commerce systems, internet sites and services, but he’s also known to dabble in security, database management and Linux administration. Glenn enjoys interacting with customers and is an active participant in TechSmith’s user-feedback forums.


Tricia Broderick

Tricia Broderick

Tricia Broderick is a leadership and organizational advisor. Her transformational leadership at all levels of an organization, ignites growth of leaders and high performing teams to deliver quality outcomes. Tricia has more than twenty years of experience in the software development industry. She is a highly-rated trainer, coach, facilitator and motivational keynote speaker. Beyond her extensive knowledge and skills, her biggest offering is inspiring people to believe anything is possible.

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