Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Reports/Movement Strategy Playbook/Help newcomers get on their feet

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Help newcomers get on their feet
3 Participants in front of a wall of red, blue, green and blue sticky notes. They are wearing lanyards with their names and one of them is clapping.
East African Strategy Summit 2019 in Kampala, Wikimedia 2030, Movement Strategy

Working agreements help with onboarding[edit]

Documenting team working agreements helps onboard and add new members to the group, like a user manual for the team.

  • “This is the main challenge for movement organizations: how to onboard people in ways that are inclusive and welcoming to the movement.”
  • “You need to onboard people not only into the WHAT, but also the HOW. And then adapt and up-level those things as the team goes. We never placed enough emphasis on the culture of the team, diversity, practices etc.”
  • “We should put more focus on Onboarding people into the Wikimedia world. Including: 'the community' - what it means, the range, the culture etc. And: seeing onboarding as an opportunity to be *inclusive.* To walk the talk.”

Help new teams get on their feet[edit]

Core Team, Liaisons and Working Groups all spoke to the importance of the initial team “forming” stage — and about how slowing down and providing more training and support at the start of the process helps the team flow and go faster later on. Instead of just being left to self-organize or “figure it out on their own,” most volunteers said they wanted more guidance and support.

  • “You need support at the 'forming' stage of the team, to make explicit the range of diversity and cultural norms, practices and expectations for team building + work design.”
  • “It takes time for people from different backgrounds and time zones to learn how to work together.”
  • “Each working group had to deal with a lot of organizational stuff in the beginning — which tools to use, how to set up meetings, meeting frequency, how to start working etc.”
  • “Provide more support for disparate groups of volunteers to form effective teams: this could be professional facilitation, training/coaching on how to form an effective team.”
Close to camera, a participant is putting a yellow sticky onto a wall with many other stick notes. Another participant is watching and is wearing pink light up LED glasses.
East African Strategy Summit 2019 in Kampala, Wikimedia 2030, Movement Strategy

Ritualize appreciations and positive feedback[edit]

One of the consistent working agreements of healthy, high-performing teams is appreciative practice: regularly acknowledging and appreciating each other.

  • “You need regular team practices for reinforcing and checking. And for asking for and receiving help.”
  • “At the end of every week, we did check-outs with gratitude. These were simple weekly appreciations, for something a member of the group had delivered, or how they showed up for each other, etc.”

Tools and examples for onboarding newcomers?[edit]

Do you have tools, methods or ideas that you, your community or organization use for this? Add them to this section for others to see.