The Two Ps of Onboarding: On Purpose

I have spoken a little in the past about training at Nick’s Pizza & Pub and how we don’t just onboard our new team members.  All of our systems of this learning organization lead to progressive and perpetual onboarding, the two Ps of onboarding.  How does that impact our employee turnover?  I believe it creates more autonomy for the individual as they see, understand, and chose choose the pace of their own development—and the rate of their own raises.  Instead of telling the team member to be engaged, we are providing personal enrichment, which results in engagement.

This might sound like hard work for the team members, to always be improving, and probably a bit counterintuitive.  What really happens is most individuals are energized by the challenge and excited about the clarity of the path to self-development.  Another positive result that I didn’t expect to find is the drive to compete and be at a higher level of development than others on the team.

So at Nick’s, onboarding never really stops, from orientation to levels 101 and 201, on to leadership 301 trainer training, to 401 manager training, and finally to 501 operating partner training.  Each level has its own level of mastery: When you learn all over again to be the student as you teach and train what you just completed through the highest level of certification and on—continuing the progressive development. 


At Nick’s Pizza & Pub, kitchen team members learn new duties (displayed on the board), get promoted to a new pay level, and receive a new hat color. Tan is beginner, red signifies a certification in six positions, and Black is learning all nine positions.