Welcoming new rebels
- Building Onboarding into your Team
- Supporting your new rebels
- Inducting your new rebels: Checklist
- Inducting your new rebels: Roadmap
- Inviting Rebels to the Hub and Mattermost
Building Onboarding into your Team
We know that one of the main reasons that rebels stay with XR is that they find a community with us. So how can we ensure that we are as welcoming to as many people, and as many different people, as possible?
The Job of Welcoming
It is an integrator's job to find, contact and induct new rebels into the team. It is the whole team's job to welcome them.
- a team member steps up to have a 1-1 chat with the new rebel in their first week!
- a team member steps up to be the new Rebel's "Point Person" or "Buddy" for their first few weeks, that single port-of-call if the new rebel has any questions; and
- the team invites the new rebels to any social gatherings coming up or any activities they may wish to join.
- (This is especially important if you organise in multiple chats, ensuring they know what's happening)
New Rebel in the Chat!
When a new Rebel is added to your chat (Mattermost, Signal, Telegram...) make sure to say Hi and welcome them. Make sure they know the purpose of various chats and where they can ask for help.
A Rebel's First Meeting
- ensure that the team has included their roles and pronouns in their screen names or start off with a round of names and role descriptions; and
- have a least one person offer to stay behind to check in with the new Rebel, see how they found their first meeting and if they have any questions.
- use lots of acronyms and XR jargon! Try to have someone there to call people out on their jargon and ask them to define things.
This page was written by @Raenyah please contact me if you have any questions or think something needs to be added.
Supporting your new rebels
Find out about your new rebel's access needs and any other ways they may need to be kept safe. These may include any disclosed disability that might affect their participation in our community (such as the use of assistive technologies to read emails and the web) as well as participation in events (such as physical access needs, mental-health issues and dietary or other invisible needs).
Gathering this information must always take account of someone's right not to disclose anything, as well as their need of proper support if they do disclose something.
Keeping each other safe
Any organisation needs to keep its members safe, and we need to make sure that we know if anyone in our community might be classed as vulnerable. If you find any concerns related to a Rebel (whether about their needs or about their potential impact on other Rebels), you may need to draw up a support plan so that Rebels can be protected from anyone who might harm them, either deliberately or accidentally. You should draw up a support plan in consultation with the Rebel who is its focus, and assure them what we want them to take part and are aiming to provide them with the support they need to do this safely.
Where else can rebels get support?
- The Trained Emotional Support Network
- Grief Tending
- XR Community Groups
- XR Open Homes
- National Helplines
Please check your New Rebels have read How we protect one another? in the Rebel Next Steps Pack and understand the behaviour they are expected to follow.
Inducting your new rebels: Checklist
This checklist template is a tool you can use to keep track of how far through the onboarding process your rebels are and what to give them next. Go to File > make a copy and save a sheet for your team. The stages listed there are our suggested ones but you can make it your own. (Hover your cursor over the headings for more information.)
Key induction materials
This covers our Priciples and Values and Data Protection agreement. It is good to send this early and check the rebel has signed it (digitally), particularly if the rebel is likely to have access to other people's personal details. Ask them to forward you the email confirmation when they've signed it.
The Rebel Starter Pack is the first resource that can be sent to all Rebels who have just begun their journey with XR.
It's designed to answer questions such as:-
- "I have just arrived; what are the key things I need to know?"
- "Where do I start to understand what is going on in XR?"
- "What is XR?"
- our 3 Demands
- our 10 Principles and Values
- 'Heading For Extinction' Talk
- why we use nonviolent direct action
- how to get started as a Rebel
- climate grief resources
- online meeting basics
- Rebellion Academy
- XR structure
These sessions are currently run on a weekly basis via Zoom and are about 1.5 hours long.
- NVDA introduction - why we are nonviolent
- 3 demands
- 10 Principles and Values
- how to join a Local Group, a Community Group and a little about the Volunteer Website
Use the lnk in the heading above, or register directly via this Zoom link.
This is designed for Rebels who have already begun their journey with XR and are now looking for more detail about how XR works, how they can participate and which trainings might help them.
- what our Principles and Values mean in practice
- Regenerative culture
- our learning resources
- our communication tools
- four main types of rebel they might identify with; resources and trainings relevant to each
Inducting your new rebels: Roadmap
1) Contact your new Volunteer (UK, regional and national groups)
These are the people who have applied for your advertised role on the volunteer website or people you find on the database who seem a good fit for your team.
- Call them (emails don’t work well as a first contact) and schedule a time to talk if they are busy.
- Make time for their grief and questions, ask about their experiences, tell them about your group and how you hope they might help you.
2) Send them some initial information
Not too much! It is easy to overwhelm people at this stage. This is all your Rebel needs at the outset:-
Volunteer Agreement - ask them to sign digitally and send you a screen shot of the confirmation.
Your Team's mandate.
An invite to your next group meeting.
This Roadmap (optional) - it can help Rebels to see what to expect, where they are in the induction process and to request next steps proactively.
3) First Group Meeting
- Introduce them to other team members; give them contacts.
- Ensure they know the hand signals and the process.
- Read the Regenerative Reminder at the start of the meeting.
- Make sure to give space for questions.
- Have a post-meeting debrief.
4) Induction / orientation
Tailored to your team and staggered according to your Rebel. It is best to let them absorb one thing before moving onto the next.
- More information about your group (optional) (keep it simple - preferably not a long reading list with lots of links!).
- Send details of the general Welcome to XR zoom call (the Rebellion Academy introductory training covers similar ground, though without the personal connections and support).
- Ask them to look through the Rebel Next Steps Pack.
- Once they have signed the Volunteer Agreement, ask your team's Tech Champion/Group Admin to email them an invite to the XR UK Communications Hub and add them to your Team on the Hub. Send them the Using the Comms Hub book on the Rebel Toolkit. Encourage them to take Ned’s trainings if they get stuck or signpost them to the Rebellion Academy trainings.
5) Direct them towards concrete tasks
Super important for volunteer retention! People are more likely to stick around when they feel valued and affirmed.
- Have a list of simple tasks that a new rebel can take on easily e.g:
- Lobbying their local MP to support the Climate and Ecological Emergency bill
- Paint the Streets: flyposting, chalk painting, stickering.....
- Supporting us on social media
- Talking to friends about the climate and ecological emergency and inviting them to a Welcome to XR session
- Secretary-type stuff: taking notes, sending around action points etc
- Emails: keeping on top of your inbox (they will need help to start)
- Share Action Points - if you’ve got too many things on your plate, ask them for help!
6) Check in, check progress
Try to have a weekly call with your new Rebels.
- Try to answer their questions and, if you can’t, let them know who can.
- Try to gauge their understanding of XR and find out if there is anything they would like to learn about in more depth. If so, direct them to Rebellion Academy or specific talks / trainings.
7) Invite them to a circle meeting (optional)
- This will help a new Rebel see the XR structure from a different perspective and how information moves across the system.
- You do not have to be in the Circle meeting with them but, by this point, they should be well acquainted with the team External Coordinator so there will be a known face.
8) Final debrief / allocation of role
After about a month, most new Rebels will feel like they have an understanding of XR and how things are structured. You have now shared your skills and contacts - this marks the end of your guidance!
Have a meeting to debrief;
- how was their experience, where do they want to go from here?
- Will you continue to share the mandate?
- Is there a way to split the mandate?
- Is there a gap within the team they would like to fill?
- Do they have a project idea of their own they would like to pursue within XR?
Every rebel journey will have a slightly different conclusion; please take some time to reflect on your experience.
Inviting Rebels to the Hub and Mattermost
New Rebels can find out about using the XR Communications Hub here.
Ask the Group Admin) for your group / team to send a Hub invite to your new Rebel member using their personal email address. If you don't have a Group Admin / don't know who your Group Admin is, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org letting Tech know what you need, i.e. the name of your Group Admin or your Regional Admin.
If you have more than one new Rebel member, multiple invites can be sent in one go, just make sure you put each new Rebel's email address on a new line in the invite box. You can also add a personal message to your invitees in the Message box. (See image below)
Here are two short videos to help your New Rebels get onto the Hub and start using Mattermost:-