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The key to seamless virtual onboarding? A strong mentor network

To build mentorship into your company’s DNA, think critically about connection points and fine-tune your onboarding process.

The key to seamless virtual onboarding? A strong mentor network
[Source photo: Prasith_To/iStock]
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As the CEO of startup on the edge of hitting the three-year mark, I spend considerable amounts of time with my team on strategy, launching, and growth.

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Our company, which offers a payment solutions and supports many players in the construction industry, events often move at warp speed, so it’s vital that everyone feels supported and energized by their environment, especially during the uncertainty created by COVID-19, I’ve learned that our core values need to stay on our minds, so they are then baked into the services we provide. Designing our company culture around mentorship plays a huge role in creating enthusiastic team members and raving clients. Here are five ways we weave mentorship into day-to-day operations.

1. Intentional onboarding

Working within the construction industry is a first for many of our new hires, so our onboarding process—whether that be in-person or remote during COVID-19—must smoothly acclimate employees.

Initial training takes place over two weeks, and thought goes into every detail. Before the coronavirus, seeing the look on a new employee’s face when they arrived at their desk was confirmation that the extra effort had paid off. They are surprised to see their company laptop set up and ready to go along with a detailed onboarding outline. We sweeten their experience with a Billd T-shirt and company swag—which we now mail to each new employee ahead of time before they start working from home.

A part of their training is learning about different areas of the business from existing employees. They cover company history, core values, construction industry education, cross functional roles, and more in an interactive and inviting way. We use Confluence for company documentation, and we have an “Employee Education” folder that we leverage during training.  New employees go into our Confluence employee education folder and can watch videos from home.

Understanding the importance of having fresh eyes on our systems, we invite new staff members to set up an account and register a deal in our test environment. Getting their feedback and perspective in real-time serves as quality assurance and quality control and allows us to improve our services continually.

2. Strategic teamwork  with pods and smart seating

Mentorship powers our pod structure, which includes one person from each functional role and an executive sponsor. More seasoned team members help new employees, and the executive sponsor is a dedicated mentor to pod members.

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3. Inclusive outings and trainings

One way to keep the positive energy flowing is to encourage impromptu gatherings where everyone is invited. So often in organizations, you see cliques emerge where only select members of the team meet outside of the office for an activity or happy hour. This won’t fly with us. If an executive is headed to Zilker Park (we’re based in Austin) for lunch, everyone is invited.

4. Sharing the spotlight

Your team members are your most valuable asset with so much to offer. There are countless ways to recognize their expertise and efforts. Sharing a team member photo or video with a handful of fun facts about them is relatively easy to implement. It’s a powerful gesture they will remember long after the post goes up. Since your customers are engaged with your content online, be sure to spell out the employee’s role on the team and what they love most about the work they do. Other avenues to recognize rockstar-level talent are our company newsletter, podcast, and website.

5. Accountability

Personal responsibility is a big deal to the success of our business and a vital part of our company culture. We commit to holding each other accountable no matter where a person may land on the organizational chart. Mentors lead through their actions and live out our core value of selflessness. Part of maintaining a healthy company culture is recognizing when something is out of alignment with our values. We encourage owning up to mistakes and operating as a team. Being disciplined and selfless in all areas of the business elevates the environment and benefits everyone.


Chris Doyle is the CEO and president of Billd, a payment solutions company aimed at the construction industry.