This is Challenge #13 and it shows up in Stage 6.
Never downplay how difficult it is for new employees to become contributing members of an organization. Helping new employees get on board is much more challenging than most companies think it is. It’s common to adopt the attitude, “Well, they’re on board, and making good money, now let’s see how they do!”
According to BambooHR, “31% of people quit a job within the first six months.”
When asked what would have helped them stay at a job:
- 23% of respondents said, “Receiving clear guidelines to what my responsibilities were.”
- 21% said they wanted “more effective training.”
According to 1,000 people interviewed in the BambooHR survey, new employees want:
- 76%: on the job training
- 73%: to understand company policies
- 59%: a company tour, equipment set up and know what procedures are important
- 56%: a buddy or mentor
Making a new hire costs way too much time and money to lose someone simply because the company isn’t committed to helping an employee become engaged and excited about the opportunity. Leaders may invest a lot of time training the new employee but completely forget to introduce the person to the organization’s culture. Every new employee comes to the table ready to blow their manager away. Usually, it’s the manager who deflates that enthusiasm. Help your CEOs make new staff orientation a commitment, not a just a process.
A new staff orientation program or company university where people have the chance to really learn about the company allows new hires to buy into the vision and gives them a sense of the big picture. Instead of just a few introductions or a lunch with peers, onboarding should include the company’s history, what it does, how it does it, how employees work together, how to handle conflict, how the company makes money and how the company spends money.
Managers must be intentional about communications with new people. Encourage your managers to find opportunities to engage the new employee throughout the first month and really listen to what is being said and what isn’t being said. Find opportunities to share examples of how the companies core values show up at work, how the company treats customers and how they handle conflict. Advise your managers to pay close attention to the words the person uses to describe their experiences. Pay attention to their body language. Are they making eye contact? Are they relaxed? Do they appear happy? Are they anxious to talk about their interactions with other employees? Ignoring the smallest details will lead to disaster. A new hire’s success is not all about how well the employee performs on the job. It’s about how well they integrate with the team. It’s about helping them feel like they are a part of the company’s culture and the organization.
Here are 5 questions managers should ask new employees every week:
- How do you feel about becoming a part of our company?
- What has been your greatest challenge?
- What questions do you have or are you not asking?
- Did anything create confusion this week?
- What can I do right now to help?
New hires have a lot to process when they start a job. They are nervous, anxious and possibly even fearful that they won’t be accepted or won’t live up to their manager’s expectations. It’s critical that managers stay in close touch with each new employee and conduct a 30-day review of everything they’ve been shown and taught. After the first month, they will have been on the job long enough to better understand what questions to ask.
Culture is represented in how people treat each other. What behaviors are encouraged and what behaviors are unacceptable? Find opportunities to share examples of how people work together effectively.
Make sure new hires experience how the companies culture encourages all ideas and is open to hearing opposing views. Has the organization defined which behaviors they want to see and which behaviors aren’t acceptable? What are the unspoken ways that work gets done? These are the interactions that happen during lunch or in the hallway. Without an intentional understanding of these subtle work habits, a new hire can feel intimidated. How can a new hire become a part of the informal aspects of working at the company?
Your CEO should make it a company priority to stay on top of how each new employee is assimilating into the culture. No one should allow new hires to become disenfranchised simply because people were too busy to care.
It’s not just about dealing with the NEW employee. Recognizing the impact new employees have on a company’s existing staff isn’t something to take lightly. Starting on page 240 in my Stage 6 book, Fostering Happy Employees: How to Ensure Staff Alignment and Engagement with 96 – 160 Employees, you’ll find Three Proactive Steps that will help your CEOs recognize how to successfully add new personalities to their company. You can get your Stage 6 book at http://gcspecialists.com/products.
Your Success. My Passion.
Laurie Taylor, FlashPoint!