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Best-Self Management
5 Min Read

Take Employee Onboarding To The Next Level With The Best-Self Kickoff

Baili Bigham
Baili Bigham

Did you know that the trajectory of a new hire’s success is set in the first two weeks? That means each day that a person is getting up to speed in their new role influences their future at the company. To help you create a human-centric onboarding process that’s focused on the individual’s success, 15Five created the Best-Self Kickoff. 

This research-backed meeting is designed to strengthen the relationship and uncover what an employee really needs to do their best work, right from the start. It can also be used with existing team members to confirm or reset expectations when roles or teams have undergone changes. 

Creating alignment from the start

Finding the best ways to work with your direct report takes a lot of trial and error. But that delay can have damaging effects on a relationship.15Five’s Best-Self Kickoff is designed to help managers and employees build quality connections early on and set the foundation for long-term engagement. 

We do this by helping managers carve out valuable time and offering a strategic meeting template that, by the end, can act as an agreement that will set your employee up for continued success. Throughout the meeting, managers and new employees will take the time to clarify expectations, find the best ways to collaborate, and learn each others’ respective needs.

Managers will leave this meeting with a better understanding of how to help their employees get to where they want to be in their careers, and reduce the time and energy it would normally take to get there. Employees will have a clear vision of what success looks like in their role and how they can leverage their unique strengths in their day-to-day work.

Role clarity: the key to a strategic onboarding experience

15Five’s Best-Self Kickoff stands on the foundation of a clearly defined job description. Role clarity paves the way for psychological safety, which is the belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking and the key to high performing teams.

When someone comes into a new role, there are a lot of uncertainties. This is especially true when an employee’s role isn’t clearly defined from the get-go, and can hinder their ability to forge a genuine connection with both the company and their manager. But with the Best-Self Kickoff, employees no longer have to work towards a path they only assume is correct.

“If you have a good understanding of what’s expected of you on the job and feel encouraged by your colleagues, you may feel more confident speaking up, as well as be more supportive when others do so,” according to Science of Work.

How to have a Best-Self Kickoff

The Best-Self Kickoff comprises two parts: the first is rooted in individual and interpersonal expectations, and the second is focused on role clarity and expectations.

Three steps for conducting a Best-Self Kickoff:

1. Prior to the Best-Self Kickoff meeting, managers and employees will take time to reflect and fill in their answers to the questions found in the About tab of their 15Five profile. These responses will be used as a guide for the discussion.

2. After each person has filled in their responses, they can schedule the Best-Self Kickoff meeting. This should take place in person or via video call. We recommend setting aside at least two hours.

3. During the Best-Self Kickoff, managers and employees will use the questions they answered in step one to guide their discussion. Remember, this isn’t a one-way meeting. Each person is encouraged to document important notes that may have been missed in step 1.

Once the Best-Self Kickoff is completed, managers and employees can review the responses at any time. This will help reinforce what was learned and empower both parties to continue working towards a successful and strong relationship built on psychological safety, mutual sharing, and trust. 

If you’d like to learn how 15Five’s Best-Self Kickoff can be used to upgrade your performance management practices, visit

More about 15Five
15Five is a continuous performance management software that enables regular and meaningful communication between managers and their employees. The software is a progressive alternative for companies working to shift from traditional approaches to performance management that encourage feedback only once a year, into a more continuous style of conversation. Given that technology alone can’t support an individual, 15Five offers additional education and culture design services to support both the employee and the business.

Baili Bigham is the Content Manager at 15Five, continuous performance management software that includes weekly check-ins, OKR tracking, peer recognition, 1-on-1s, and 360° reviews. When Baili isn’t writing, you can find her binge-reading a new book or strategizing ways to pet every dog in San Francisco. 

Image Credit: Shutterstock