Onboarding can be a stressful time for a company, doubly so for a remote company. At madewithlove, we focus on proper documentation so that new employees can self guide their onboarding. Here’s the schedule:

Day 1

  • Get acquainted with the team
  • Meet your assigned buddy (see below)
  • Read the entirety of this page (and sub sections)
  • Complete the first day tasks

Day 2

  • Read the Notion page about “Your first week” (and sub sections)
  • Start getting familiar with your first project

Day 3

  • Start with a small contribution

Day 1: getting comfortable

The first day is all about getting comfortable. While this cannot be accomplished in one day, it’s important to emphasize it from the beginning. Each team member is assigned a buddy that will sync with them periodically throughout their first quarter. We start with two check-ins per week and slowly reduce the frequency until it’s once every 2 weeks.

The first day involves a lot of reading. Our day 1 documentation includes topics like confidentiality, our take on direct responsible individual, the history of the company and our goals and values, how we communicate, cultural dynamics of our international team, and our structure for planned feedback.

There are a couple mandatory tasks as well. Other than signing paperwork and installing software, we have easy tasks set aside which helps new employees feel welcomed.

Joining the team

Early contributions are essential for new employees to feel good. We make sure that new hires commit code early by guiding them with a simple task. They need to write the content for and deploy a new version of our website, one that includes their profile on the team page.


Another thing we have new employees do is write a colleague.readme. This is a document which is shared with the team and covers things like your personal path and values, successes and quirks, and (the absolutely most important) favorite pastry. Colleague.readme was created by me as an extension to manager.readme, by Luc Levesque, which helps leaders clarify expectations and build stronger relationships with their team.

Day 2: understanding our processes

The second day is all about learning about our processes. We cover essentials like time management and unplanned feedback. We also cover topics like people’s nicknames and pronunciation, our expectation of working hours (flexible), how we handle working remotely, and how to request time off.

Additionally, employees learn how to check Forecast to see what their assigned project is. Now it’s up to them to meet their product manager and start getting integrated on the project.

Day 3: your first contribution

Wednesdays are the best day for a new hire to begin since starting a new job can be overwhelming and this gives them a short week. Additionally, often teams are very busy on Mondays and have little time to help the new employee. In the best-case scenario, that makes day 3 a Friday. We love Fridays at madewithlove and take the afternoon off from client work in order to Make/Explore.

The final day of onboarding is about contribution. Again, we want to reinforce that people are contributing early and learning along the way. Make/Explore is one more way to effect this.

In the end, the employee has a lot of free time in the first couple days to explore and get settled. All of our policies, procedures, and processes are documented in Notion so that they can refer back to the source of truth at any time in the future.

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