On January 18th, 2017, Swing Left launched a small website with a single purpose: enter your ZIP Code, and it would find the nearest U.S. House district whose seat was decided by a small margin. By January 22, over 100,000 people had signed up.
Soon Matt Ewing, Swing Left's Chief Community Officer, found himself with more new volunteers than anyone anticipated.
Figuring out who did what became a challenge, and the knowledge that wasn't locked in key staff members was a sea of Google docs that quickly became outdated as volunteers joined and left. Getting new volunteers up-to-speed took weeks, and with many balancing full-time jobs, high attrition was the norm.
New members are sent to Swing Left's onboarding hub. A one-sheet sets expectations and guides them through their first week.
Checklists for everyone involved make sure new members get set up, announced to the team, and paired with mentors and stakeholders on the first day.
After signing up for the team’s Slack, members are greeted by Aloha, a chat bot that uses the power of nudges to guide them towards resources that will help them ramp up.
A set of new Slack channel conventions with dedicated channels for help requests has cut down on confusion and back-and-forth. Even the weekly calls have become quicker and more productive by moving status reports to brief weekly updates sent via Slack ahead-of-time.
With global standards in place, now it's time to review onboarding across departments and tailor the experience to each team.