All articles

Step 3: Team Onboarding and Collaboration

Team Onboarding

You’ve spent some time choosing the best solution for managing your team’s work, learned all the ins and outs, and set up processes. But it’s all for nothing if the team is reluctant to use the tool.

In this short video, you’ll learn some best practices on motivating and training your team on using Wrike.

Kick-off team meeting

When inviting your team to the workspace, schedule a meeting to introduce your team to Wrike to explain the importance of the launch.

We've prepared a presentation template for your kick-off team meeting. It includes all the main topics you need to cover to help your team understand the benefits of Wrike and learn key concepts. Feel free to tailor the slides to your needs. In addition to the presentation, prepare a quick demo of your account and explain how work is organized in your workspace. Download the user training presentation.

Be open to feedback and answer any questions and objections during this meeting. If you need help, you can forward the questions to our support team or turn to our consultants for custom Wrike deployment. It’s a good idea to record this session to share with missing team members and future newcomers.

Here are some main questions to cover:

1. “What’s in it for me?”

This is one of the main questions to cover to prove the value of Wrike. You need to make it clear for each team member how Wrike will help them in their daily activities compared to previously used tools like emails and spreadsheets. Share the intent behind deploying Wrike and some thoughts on its impact on your processes.

Our clients often list these benefits (but try to identify values unique for your team):

  • Better visibility (you can clearly see who is working on what)
  • Fewer status update meetings (no need to chase each other with status update questions)
  • Less chaos overall (no more “latest file version” quests or “it was not approved” battles
  • Eliminate duplicate work
  • Save time on searching for task details and discussions in long email threads

2. “How does Wrike work?”

The good news is that not everyone needs to be a Wrike expert. Although managers will definitely need to learn more advanced Wrike features, most of the team will do great if they learn the basics of Wrike:

  • The four building blocks. Understanding the differences between spaces, folders, projects, and tasks will help your team easily navigate Wrike and find the information they need.
  • Where to find their work. Work is located in their Inbox and personal dashboard.
  • How to start a project. Yes, everyone needs that — not just managers. Any initiative that requires collaboration and includes a deliverable and a due date is a project.
  • How to provide access to work data. It’s important to understand sharing, following, and assigning and when to use what.
  • How to communicate with the team. Adding comments with @mentions will ensure everyone is on the same page.

We’ve prepared this handout with these concepts properly explained.

3. “Where can I learn more?”

We offer learning paths for each role in all our educational materials, including:

Inviting your team to Wrike

Now you’re ready to invite users to your account. The easiest way is to click the “Add users” button at the bottom of your workspace. You can also invite users in the account management tab or by clicking "Add Assignee" or “Shared with” icons.

In your account management tab, you can specify the user role:

  • When you’re inviting team members to your account, make them  regular  users.
  • When you’re involving external stakeholders (such as clients or contributors from other teams) who will be offering input and will collaborate extensively with you, make them external  users.
  • When you’re inviting external stakeholders (such as freelancers or executives) who need to view your team’s work and comment on it, make them collaborators.

The next step is to grant admin rights to your account champions. Admins on Business and Enterprise subscriptions can create user groups to manage users more efficiently.

Important: Your team will only see work items shared with them. So don’t forget to grant your team access to spaces, folders, and projects when you invite them. Learn more about granting access to information.

Onboarding newcomers

Even if your team knows all ins and outs of Wrike, newcomers may feel lost in the beginning. Here are a few ways to make them feel comfortable:

  • Create a presentation tailored to why and how your team uses Wrike (or use the recording of the kick-off meeting for your team).
  • Share the Getting Started Wrike Toolkit:
  • Share rules of Wrike: when to create a new task or project, how to change statuses, how to discuss, etc.
  • Assign a Wrike buddy. Pair new employees with a Wrike expert on your team who can help them get started and answer questions.

If your team welcomes new members quite often, it would be beneficial to create an onboarding template project or blueprint. Fill it with useful links and rules of using Wrike and duplicate it for each new team member.

Change Management

Many people prefer staying in their comfort zone as opposed to accepting new habits. It means that your team might be resistant to a new tool that requires a significant change in their work behavior.

To deal with this challenge, we suggest you to follow the “Rider-Elephant-Path” model described by Dan and Chip Heath in their famous book “Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard:”

  • The Rider represents our rational system that analyzes, plans, and solves problems.
  • The Elephant is our emotional system that’s easily spooked and hates doing things without immediate benefits.
  • The Path is an external environment that influences chances to accept the change. The Elephant usually follows the path where it meets the least resistance.

To help your team get on board, you need to work with all three elements: Direct the rider, motivate the elephant, and shape the path.

Direct the Rider

Point to the destination

Change is easier when you know where you’re going and why it’s worth it. Create a “destination postcard” that’s clear to the Rider (rational reasons) and appealing to the Elephant (the emotional reasons). The SMART goals may come in handy here. For example:

  • By the end of this quarter, no projects managed in Wrike will be overdue.
  • Next quarter we’ll increase the number of completed projects by 30%.
  • By the end of this year, 99% of client communication will be moved to Wrike.

Script the critical moves

Break down the path to the destination into small, actionable steps and provide crystal clear instructions for what to do on each step. This will help the Rider escape decision paralysis: When presented with different options, they’ll prefer the default one. For example, your team members may doubt if they need to create a task or project in Wrike to launch a new initiative. They may end up sending email as they did before.

The solution is to create a “Rules of Wrike” playbook describing the details of using Wrike: “When you start working on the task, change its status to ‘In Progress’” or “If you have a question for the task owner, leave a comment in the task and @mention the task owner.”

Follow the bright spots

Focus on what’s already working well instead of existing problems:

  • Highlight the first small wins achieved with Wrike’s help:
    • First project launched
    • Number of completed tasks
    • New discussions in Wrike comments
  • Share  examples of other teams  that successfully adopted Wrike:

Motivate the Elephant

Find the feeling

Knowing something isn’t enough to cause change. You need to make people feel something:

  • Share your feelings: Let your team know how you personally are excited about Wrike and your thoughts on Wrike’s value.
  • Gamify the process to make it fun and reward the champions: Run the “Wriker of the Month” contest to celebrate the team member who completed the most tasks. Or try “a day without email challenge” when your team spends one working day using Wrike instead of sending emails to each other.

Shrink the change

Break down the change until it no longer spooks the Elephant. “Let’s move all our work to Wrike” may feel like a bit too much work to do. Try to lower the bar first and help your team to make the first step.

For example, you may start by launching one simple project in Wrike such as “Organize a Team-Building Party,” assign tasks, and let your team collaborate on it. This way your team may get a taste of Wrike quickly and celebrate the success during the party.

Grow your people

Cultivate a sense of identity and instill the growth mindset. One option is to make Wrike the competitive advantage for your team, because it makes them more efficient and tech-savvy. If your team accepts this stance, they’ll be more eager to use Wrike as it will make them feel more proud of their work.

One of the traits of the growth mindset is to embrace failure: Listen to your team’s feedback about Wrike and analyze obstacles and roadblocks. Based on that, optimize the way you’re using Wrike.

Shape the Path

Tweak the environment

The Elephant tends to follow the path with least resistance. Optimized environments with minimum obstacles enforce the right behavior and prevent bad habits. Here are some tips to make the journey easier:

  • Optimize the account setup so it’s easy to navigate and find working items. Learn how.
  • Make it easy to learn Wrike:
    • Share help resources and step-by-step guides.
    • Organize relevant training and “lunch and learns.”
    • Launch peer support groups or Wrike buddy programs (especially useful for teams with 10+ members).
  • Provide an easy and transparent way to handle feedback.

Build habits

When behavior is habitual, it doesn’t require any effort from the Rider. The habit of using Wrike on a daily basis is essential for your success with the tool. If your team doesn’t report on updates, you’ll lack important insight into work progress. We collected the checklist with useful Wrike habits in the next section.

Look for ways to encourage habits:

  • Piggyback a new habit on another one: For example, use Wrike Gmail integration, extension for Adobe
  • Creative Cloud, or Slack integration.
  • Set action triggers by frequently asking your team:
    • “Did you check your Wrike Inbox?”
    • “Did you create a task for that?”
    • “Did you upload the agreement to Wrike?”
  • Take a stance: “If it’s not in Wrike, it doesn’t exist.”

Rally the group

Behavior is contagious. Help it spread.

  • Build a sense of “acceptable behavior.” For example, announce that all incoming work received via request forms will get a bit higher priority than work received through other channels.
  • Lead by example: Use Wrike in your daily work, present team dashboards on your team meetings, and ask work questions in Wrike comments instead of messengers.

Collaboration Habits

The daily routine checklist

Start the day

  • Check your Wrike Inbox for new @mentions or assignments. Use the two-minute rule:
    • If it takes less than two minutes to complete a task, answer a question, or delegate work, do it right away.
    • Otherwise, snooze notifications or reschedule the task.
  • Check your personal dashboard and see what work is planned for the day.
  • Reschedule any overdue tasks or decide what to do with them (don’t forget to notify task stakeholders about updates by @mentioning them in task comments).

Throughout the day

  • Work out of your personal dashboard (or whatever view you find most comfortable) and complete any items due today.
  • Periodically check your Inbox to stay on top of items coming in.
  • Update a task status as things change (In Progress, Completed, etc.).
  • If you have an opinion or question, leave an @mention comment directly in the task. Quote text from the task to clarify your thoughts.
  • Submit assets to review and assign reviewers.
  • Capture meeting notes, agreements, and action items in subtasks.
  • Appreciate work being done:
    • Use comments and @mentions (for groups and individuals) to show gratitude when someone does a great job.
    • Use emojis in comments and reactions to reinforce your words.

End of the day

  • Check if any items that you need follow-ups on have been replied to. Send an @mention to anyone who might need a reminder.
  • Prioritize your work for the following day.

The manager checklist

Daily routines

  • Start your day (and have your team begin theirs) by checking their Wrike Inbox for any new @mentions or assignments.
  • Work from your Manager dashboard.
  • Mention @MyTeam for team-wide or company-wide announcements.

Weekly routines

  • During team meetings, review what everyone is working on and project statuses.
  • Check to see what’s running behind schedule and adjust plans as necessary.
  • Have team members update their priorities and what they’re working on by Monday.
  • Have your team block off time to clean up task statuses and update anything that may have fallen through the cracks.
  • Manage your team’s workload: Each person should have a clear, prioritized plan for the next week so they won’t get paralyzed by dozens of unsorted tasks in their to-do lists.

Monthly routines

  • Set aside time for you and your team to clean up your workspaces: Archive completed projects, delete test folders and duplicated tasks, and remove outdated onboarding projects.
  • Collect best practices from the team and share them with others. Try using a Wrike Knowledge Base Folder.

Quarterly routines

  • Share a report with management showing what was accomplished during the quarter.
  • Iterate and make Wrike work for you: Collect feedback and make changes as needed to request forms, templates, etc.
  • Survey to see if the space and folder structure is clear, clean, and easy to use.
  • Sync with other Wrike champions to hear new ideas, what’s working, and what’s not.

Project launch checklist

  1. All the necessary steps are represented with  tasks.
  2. Tasks titles are clear. We recommend starting the task title with a verb to make it action-based. For example, use “Write a blog post” instead of “Blog post.”
  3. Tasks are  assigned  and only have a single assignee.
  4. Tasks are  scheduled.
  5. Tasks are interconnected with  dependencies.
  6. Tasks have correct  durations.
  7. Key tasks are converted into  milestones.

Learn more about achieving a successful project launch.

More Resources: