On the surface, onboarding new members seems like a fairly intuitive process: Bring in new members, make them feel welcome, and let them get to work.
In reality, that is a short-sighted view of the full onboarding process.
Member onboarding is comprised of several smaller steps, interactions, and transactions with different employees.
As a result, friction and frustration can arise. And this is the last thing you want a brand new member to experience.
To mitigate friction, there are specific steps and tips that you can follow to ensure a smooth and pleasant onboarding for new members.
First, let’s have a look at the steps a new coworking member takes before getting to work.
Steps to onboard new members to a coworking space
- Sign a lease contract
- Just like when you sign a lease for a new apartment, your members will also need to sign a lease before getting to work. Thanks to technology and the automation of the onboarding process, you can send your members a digital contract by email so they can read it thoroughly at their leisure.
- Give access to software and services
- Space owners are using management software like Spacial to manage the daily operations of their coworking spaces. However, these technologies benefit members just as much as space owners. Allowing members to create profile, book conference rooms, and create service tickets to flag issues to space owners, for example.
- Give access control
- Depending on the type of access control system you choose for your space you will have to brief each new member on how to get in and out of the space, and also activate their keycard or FOB.
- Give a tour of the space
- Although your new member already received a tour when they were a prospective customer, it’s advisable to give a more intimate tour during the onboarding process. Show them how the access system works, where things are in the kitchen, for example. You can also take this opportunity to personally introduce them to other staff.
- Ask questions and create a sense of openness
- One of your best defenses against member churn is fostering open communication. Habits form very quickly, so you want to ensure that staff members are open and approachable from day one. In short, be curious about your new members, ask questions, so they will feel like you have their best interest in mind and they will feel comfortable approaching your employees if issues arise down the line.
Tips & ideas for a memorable member onboarding
Think about a time when you started a new job and showed up for your first day, what are the little things your new employer did in those first moments at the company that made you feel welcome and part of the team.
Keep a couple of these tips in mind, and your new members will feel welcome in no time.
1. Give a welcome packet
This is a fun opportunity to get creative!
A welcome packet can include your basic member manual, but also include a list of restaurants, coffee shops, and other amenities around the coworking space that new members might enjoy.
Think of this as a type of local concierge service. You can also offer one-time freebies to elevate your first impression. Perhaps some free passes to an upcoming event, or coupons to local businesses that you’ve collaborated with.
2. Introduce new members in person but also digitally
Make an effort to let your current members know about new members by sharing this information on your coworking platform such as Spacial.
Making this announcement will foster a sense of community and get people excited as new members always bring new energy into a space.
3. Follow up on the onboarding process
Imagine going to a restaurant where the server disappears as soon as your food is served. You would probably rate the service as poor.
Similarly, once the initial onboarding process is complete and your new member has settled in, it’s important to regularly checkup on them. New members will likely have questions to ask the first couple of days.
Reaching out to check in sets the stage for a relationship that encourages open feedback and communication, and most importantly, demonstrates that member experience and satisfaction are highly important to you.