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Building Onboarding into your Team

We know that one of the main reasons that volunteers 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 volunteers into the team. It is the whole team's job to welcome them.

Make Sure:-

  1. a team member steps up to have a 1-1 chat with the new volunteer in their first week!
  2. a team member steps up to be the new Volunteer's "Point Person" or "Buddy" for their first few weeks, that single port-of-call if the new volunteer has any questions*; and
  3. the team invites the new voluntees 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)
*A buddy is vital for helping new members to feel welcome and find their feet!

The buddy's role/responsibility is:

  • To make initial contact in the form of a friendly email, introducing yourself, possibly offering to meet for coffee or have a call

  • To properly welcome them into XR by answering their questions, and allaying any fears they might have about getting more involved

  • To generally be a friendly voice on the end of a phone and support them in finding their own place in XR

Some ideas for how a buddy can support a new XR volunteer:

  • General meetups in a café to chat about their interests in XR, ask how they would like to be involved

  • Inviting your buddy to a meeting that you are going to; you’ll be the friendly person already there, so they won’t have to go into a room of strangers

  • Introducing your buddy to other XR people who are in areas that your buddy is interested in (art, media, outreach, performance actions)

  • If they are ready to become involved, invite your buddy onto your local telegram group

As the Integrator, do think about how the local group will keep track of who is buddying whom.

New Volunteer in the Chat!

When a new volunteer 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 Volunteer's First Meeting


  1. 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
  2. have a least one person offer to stay behind to check in with the new Volunteer, see how they found their first meeting and if they have any questions.


  1. 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.