As a coworking business owner, you need to bring in new members into space as easily as possible. Also, the first impression lasts to the new members coming into space. From signing a lease agreement to sorting themselves out for the first time will form a clear impression about the venue of your space. Just like in a traditional office setup, the onboarding has to be more than filling out forms and getting a tour of the break room.
Community is what differentiates coworking spaces from other shared offices. Community helps coworking operators to build and retain a vibrant and collaborative member base. However, some space owners miss a great opportunity during the on-boarding member process to plant the seeds of engagement that will help the new members thrive within the space.
Steps to Onboard New Coworking Members:
1.) Customizable Sign up
Have a web form where the new members can fill out the information about themselves and chooses the membership that suits their needs.
2. ) Sign a Lease Contract
The lease contract can be sent in advance via email. Make sure that the new member has read and understood the Terms and Conditions laid out in the agreement.
3.) Give access to your software and services
In the software, allow the new member to book meeting rooms, receive invoices, change membership if needed so he or she will be familiarized on how to use the software. Orient the new members on the services offered within the coworking space.
4.) Set up access control
You can give your new members with access cards, or they can make use of their mobile credentials depending on the technology you are using.
5.) Show them around office amenities
Let them walk through the place and show them where are the private offices and open space is and where the different amenities are located.
6.) Ask them Questions
Throughout the process listed above, try to answer any question that the new members might have. Help them to clarify their doubts and worries.
More Tips to Improve Onboarding Process
One of the biggest mistakes of space owners is to forget what it was like to be a newbie in a coworking space. Think outside the box on how you welcome the new onboarding members and make them integrate with the community the moment they join your space as that will help to create quality members. Here are some tips on how to do it:
Don’t make the orientation solely about rules and regulations
Instead of handing a 20-something page boring manual, leave some space for human interaction and communication. Moving beyond the do’s and don’ts create opportunities for new members to interact with each other and embrace a new ritual that makes them want to come back.
Try to achieve inclusion
As you walk new members along the hallway, introduce them to other coworkers whom you meet on the way. You can group each month’s new members so you can facilitate the orientation process easier and at the same time, it allows the group to make connections in their comfort place. It is a good idea to ask the veterans to talk to the newbies as they group together or invite them to certain events.
Gamify the orientation process
To break from the monotony, start with an ice-breaker question where everyone can relate to. Then prepare the rest of the community to do their part in welcoming the new onboarding members. The goal of this to make the new members comfortable within the coworking space and make them able to familiarize themselves on how the place works.
Empower members to discover
It’s normal for people to be curious with other members but they don’t know the way on how to connect with them. Encourage them to ask questions to their peers, rather than going straight to the community manager or operator. You can also do role play on the onboarding process, such as a mock conversation when someone is talking too loud over a phone. This way they have an idea on how to handle when a real conflict arises. If you create an environment where they rely on you for more things, you will feel burdened and stressed about it. But, if you give them tools to work with and encourage them to discover what they will learn inside, then they’ll thrive on their own.
Don’t make it a mandatory
At the end of the day, the community doesn’t work the same way with corporate. Every activity within the space is more on invitation rather than mandatory. It’s “were doing this, would you like to come? and “we’re really excited to have you.” It’s not about making them feel bad, but it’s reinforcing to them that their attendance is important to you. When some new members don’t want to join events, then be okay with that. You might lose a lot of members if you force them to.
Create opportunities for coworkers and new members to collide naturally. Encourage experiences that lead to interaction. Every newcomer is excited to meet new people, so make them feel welcome by everyone. So that’s it, are you now ready to level up your onboarding process?