Every day, new users, contributors and people interested in Open Food Facts join the project: by creating an account, or joining Slack, or posting an introduction on the forum.
What do you think would be the best way to welcome them, to orient them, to make them feel at home, and to motivate them to investigate and invest themselves in the project further?
Today they receive an automated e-mail when they join (which has almost not changed since the launch of the project 10 years ago!), and a message from GreetBot on Slack (that one is only 3 months old). But we certainly could, and should, do more.
How would you have liked to be welcomed?
One idea could be to offer new people to have one person talk to them on a video call. This could be offered for instance to all people who make the effort to introduce themselves on Slack or the forum. We could have a team of “welcomers” or “onboarders” who could set up those calls. We could create a small “'script” that welcomers / new members could use (in a very free way) the discussion.
Maybe the script could offer to have both the new person and the welcomer fill together a shared document that would introduce the new member, with sample questions like “who am I”, “why am I interested in OFF”, “what I would like to do” etc. Then those could be published on the forum or the wiki, and linked from Slack etc.
I think it could be a good way to make new members feel at home, and avoid them feeling lost.
It would of course take a lot of time, so we would definitely need to have more and more people who volunteer to welcome others.
What other ideas do you have?
I’d like to share my experience from the association We Act 4 Earth, where the organisation is divided into “work teams”: marketing, finance, recruitment, website, social networks, etc.
The onboarding is done in autonomy:
- The volunteer signs up.
- A 5 min welcoming video, recorded by the president, is shown to the volunteer explaining the basics and how to get involved.
- The volunteer is invited to answer a questionnaire that allows him/her to match his/her skills (and expectations) with the needs of the association.
- Once the volunteer has validated his/her wish to join the team, he/her simply attend the weekly team meeting and can be operational very quickly.
Each team meets weekly and is led by a team leader.
The team leaders must agree to be available at least 4 hours / week in order to guarantee stability in the work flow
I really think that
- either welcome video
- personal meeting
- meetups and or group meetings
are a good way to welcome people.
But I think it’s important to put as much effort in welcoming as in the second part: proposing a mission / role - having a coaching for this role / mission (can be light) etc.
But I would start with group meetings (where the group also have exchanges). Then have some monthly meeting by group of interest (documentation / contribution / etc.) where people can share, give feed-back, ask questions, etc.
I mean we have to spread our energy on different aspect of building the community, not just the first step.