How we unified onboarding for analysts of remote access channels

5 min

The probationary period is not only the time during which the company checks whether the right employee has been hired, whether he is coping with his duties and how he works in general. This includes (this is often forgotten) the period during which the employee evaluates the company no less closely: do the tasks correspond to those voiced at the interview, how are things with the team, are the work processes adequately built, and in general – whether they like working here or not.

And in this employee assessment of the company, an important role is played by how good your onboarding is (and it can differ dramatically not only within the entire organization, but even in each separate department). Somewhere this is a wonderful and step-by-step immersion of a new colleague in work, processes, communication features. Somewhere according to the principle “I thought they gave me a pistol – and spin as you like”.

Today I want to tell you how we unified the onboarding of specialists for one of the divisions of Alfa-Bank – the center of competence for analytics of remote access channels. Under the cut – what and how we did (and why), results, criteria for evaluating newbies, as well as a couple of useful schemes and templates for those who also want to establish onboarding.

Why unify onboarding at all

There were several prerequisites for the unification of onboarding. In the second half of last year, a sharp increase in the number of analysts of remote access channels began. In six months we have almost doubled. A lot of new analysts appeared in the competence center, including those who had no experience in banking IT at all. At the same time, there was an acute shortage of experienced mentors capable of efficiently performing onboarding for beginners. In general, the jackpot, but not the most rewarding.

Our analysts are engaged in the development of remote channels, for example, the Bank’s website, Internet and mobile banks for retail and corporate clients. And it turned out that most of the channels kept their own materials for onboarding – instructions, memos, templates for plans for a trial period and questionnaires for collecting feedback. Quite responsibly and in detail, but absolutely who was in that much, and even all these materials were similar to each other. There is unnecessary duplication and waste of time.

In addition to this, there was a different approach to assessing the results of passing onboarding. Some mentors were content with collecting feedback on the newcomer from colleagues, they say, the colleagues are happy with the new employee – great, onboarding was a success. Others assessed his knowledge and skills by asking test questions and reviewing the new analyst’s performance. All this led us to realize the need to revise the onboarding of remote channel analysts.

What did you want to achieve

In the first weeks, a beginner experiences a noticeable hunger for information – you know how it happens: who to approach, what to ask, where is what, how to test something, and so on. The main sources of information in this case are the mentor and team members. However, their availability is usually limited, so we wanted to have materials that would help the new employee to find answers to their questions as much as possible.

The mentor also needed auxiliary materials. The growth in the number of analysts at the Competence Center has created an opportunity for our guys to try themselves as a mentor. But in the absence of preliminary preparation, many questions arose, which they addressed to more experienced colleagues.

So we decided to minimize the cost of developing and updating materials for a beginner and a mentor. It was possible to use the existing developments along the channels, but, as I wrote above, they partially duplicated each other. Unification would allow us to spend significantly less time keeping them up to date.

In addition to the materials, unification also needed an approach to assessing a beginner based on onboarding results. Thus, we have set ourselves the task of unifying the onboarding of analysts for remote access channels.

The result was this state of affairs.

  • from the first days of a person’s entry into the state, we saturate him as much as possible with all the necessary information
  • at the same time we help mentors to conduct really high-quality onboarding
  • unify the system for assessing the quality of the conducted onboarding

How did you decide to achieve all this

Of course, a special working group was formed, which included representatives of analysts from all major channels (directions). The special detachment began work in April, met weekly and in June began piloting the first developments.

Firstly, we exchanged materials and highlighted common ones. Based on this, a unified description of the onboarding process was developed, as well as reminders for a beginner and mentor. The resulting documents were posted to Confluence.

All pictures are clickable

Secondly, 6 criteria were formulated for evaluating the UKD analyst – architecture, documentation, technology, processes, error handling and communication. For each criterion, analyst requirements are highlighted and links to reference materials are provided.

Finally, based on the analyst requirements, we developed trial plan templates (we call them 100-day plans). The templates were developed in relation to channels and took into account both general requirements and specificity of the channel.

What is the bottom line

As a result of our work, unified materials for a beginner and a mentor appeared – a description of the process, reminders, requirements for an analyst with links to reference materials, templates of plans for 100 days. They can be used by analysts from different remote channels. And, no less important, we now record all onboarding changes in a single space.

Onboarding has become more complete. Previously, the assessment was carried out mainly according to three criteria – processes, architecture, analytics (which is often understood as documentation). Now there are six criteria.

The materials began to be used in June of this year, so we can already draw intermediate conclusions. In five months, unified onboarding reached 28 new remote channel analysts. Moreover, many guys note that in previous places they have not encountered such a system, when there is an almost complete understanding of what is required of you, and materials that, without involving a mentor, allow you to understand a particular issue.

In addition to positive feedback, we also receive suggestions for the development of onboarding, reflecting in it additional issues that beginners face. All proposals are considered either in chat or at a meeting of the working group, which is less frequent, but still meets (once a month instead of once a week) to keep the unified onboarding up to date.

Thanks for reading. It would be interesting to know how the onboarding process works in other organizations, what materials are used to help the novice and mentor. It will be great if you share your experience in the comments.


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