30 aug Co-creating the welcoming process
When a community reaches a certain size the onboarding process of new members won’t be a walk in the park anymore, if it has ever been. We currently have about 270 members with a plus/minus each week of about 4. That is 16 people each month who starts their journey into our culture, learning the practicalities as well as understanding the social environment.
That’s a tough task for anyone, like being the new kid in school.
A community grows strong as the feeling of inclusion spreads among its members. A positive culture stems from the community being able to include a diverse range of perspectives and personalities. Meaning different types of people and different sides of one person. Eg. You are equally included as an introvert as you are an extrovert. This will make you feel safe in the fact that you don’t have to hide certain sides of yourself. However simple this may sound, I would argue this is one of the great challenges of our time. How cultures can include differences, both the subtle and the obvious.
So how can we include new members? Clearly a question of utter importance.
We recently initiated an idea that came up during our Castle open space conference. In its basic form it’s current members writing notes with messages to new members, answering: “What would you have wanted to hear/know when you moved into the castle?”. This could be anything from the best lunch place or how to install the printer to the fact that you certainly are welcome at our lunch table.
The notes will be copied and put into a little gift box which will be given to new members during the welcoming process. Imagine how nice it would be! Looking through 25 little notes with the best know-how and loving welcome of the community.
I love this idea because it brings together participation from the community as well as reflection on what messages we want to pass on.
Here’s the drop off station I made after putting notes and instructions on everyone’s desk and some of the notes we got so far.