After a new hire signs the appropriate forms for Human Resources, does your new hire process end – or do you have a new hire orientation program? Unfortunately, many companies mistake job training for onboarding. Companies offer top talent benefits and perks, interesting work and career opportunities during the recruitment process, and then it’s sink or swim from day one. Managers and Human Resource departments wonder why the people they so carefully selected never “fit in” and leave within a few years. The average employee tenure has decreased to 4.2 years per the U.S. Department of Labor.
So what is your new hire orientation missing? Likely, it’s a focus on creating immediate employee engagement. The importance of delivering a great onboarding experience is becoming more crucial as competition for top talent increases – and establishing your company as an employer of choice grows ever-more challenging.
New hire orientation has become a critical strategy for helping employees become productive as soon as possible. For a new employee, knowing that they are contributing to the company’s vision and mission has a positive effect on your company’s retention rates. Communicating your company’s larger purpose is a critical strategy for helping new employees assimilate into the company. Onboarding is an employee engagement, socialization and integration process as well as an orientation process. For this reason, many companies spend much of the first 72 hours of new employee onboarding helping the new hire understand the company’s culture and philosophy.
A successful first 72 hours of onboarding will strengthen your corporate culture. New hires learn the mission of the company and the role they play in the company’s vision for a successful future. It’s a process that helps the new hire “fit in” from day one. The first hours of a new job today are busy ones – but in a different way than traditional orientation programs assumed. Much of the time involves leaders guiding new employees as they get comfortable in the workplace using a variety of communication tools, both online and off.
Your organization needs a unique onboarding program to meet the needs of your unique culture and teams. The first 72 hours should be focused towards orienting the employee to the uniqueness of the organization, rather than sitting the person down with unfinished projects other employees may have left behind. Following are some best practices that make a new hire feel welcome, included and appreciated, while also providing critical information about the company and how it operates.
Help the new hire begin writing their own company story by connecting them with other employees. Your effective, engagement-focused onboarding process should inspire new employees by sharing success stories of other team members via video. The new hire should feel excitement at the thought of making a unique contribution to organizational success and reinforcing the work culture. Videos of employees sharing inspiring work stories and of customers praising their relationship with the company are powerful engagement tools.
Want immediate engagement and loyalty? Before the new hire even arrives on the scene, make sure the tools they need are in place. Twitter has an onboarding process called “Yes-to-Desk”. When the Twitter new hire starts work, the computer, phone, access to systems and workspace already in place.
Assign your new hires a mentor or “buddy.” Assigning a go-to person who can give feedback and guide your most receptive minds is important. Google asks, doesn’t order, managers to consider assigning a peer buddy to each new hire. A mentor should not be the supervisor because the employee needs to feel comfortable asking questions and having work-related conversations. However, the mentor should also be someone who is highly engaged in your company’s culture and will help create greater engagement.
Discuss career development, expectations and opportunities to personalize the new hire orientation. In the first 72 hours, the information should set the tone and help the employee begin to solidify how he or she will fit in and contribute to the organization. The manager can begin engaging the new hire, in which conversations are held about performance targets. A word of caution here: expecting an employee to “hit the ground running” is not fair to the new hire and can lead to missteps that haunt the person for a long time. Use this time to engage the new hire and get insight into their vision for their own future.
Institute ways to help new hires embrace company culture, no matter where the person is working. Today, many companies have remote workers, a situation that can make engagement that much more challenging. Mobile enabled onboarding and learning enables remote workers, as well as in-house employees, access to the onboarding program 24-7. L’Oréal’s Fit Culture App is a customized mobile app developed in-house that helps employees understand and live the company culture. It includes texts, videos, employee testimonials, games, real-life missions and the company story. Most companies can utilize custom videos, web, and eLearning solutions. It’s more cost efficient and employers get access to expertise they may not have in-house.
New hire orientation should also help the new hire feel comfortable with the company’s technology – a source of immediate collaboration and engagement. Pinterest uses the first few days to promote collaboration. On day one, new hires meet for breakfast in the San Francisco headquarters. After breakfast, they learn “knitting” which is the company’s word for collaboration and seeing the world from different points of view. On the second day, the new hires learn about the Pinterest brand and how feedback is gathered from pinners. At the end of the second day, the person starts work and begins using the internal collaboration technology #Slack.
Be sure to establish metrics that let the organization know whether the onboarding program is effective. Metrics can be quantitative and qualitative. They include measuring the new hire’s engagement level, times the person accessed self-service learning opportunities, turnover, employee satisfaction with onboarding process and performance over a period of time. Google measures results with real data from onboarding initiatives and gets feedback on what the person would change.
In order to overcome the missing element of engagement, your onboarding process needs structure. In the “old days” people started their new jobs with little guidance, and much of that guidance was geared at job-specific training.
The first few days of your new hire orientation should be a mix of interactive learning and face-to-face socialization with coworkers, supervisors and managers. When is a person fully assimilated? Michael Watkins, author of The First 90 Days says it depends on the job. High level employees transitioning within the company may take six months, but if coming from the outside, it may be a year. An effective onboarding program can shorten that time considerably. True engagement happens when the new hire truly believe they are a contributing part of the team and drive the desired culture.
There are many onboarding software programs available today. Self-service new hire portals can give employees access to HR forms, policies and procedures, company philosophies on things like unions and customer service, video messages from executives, explanations of benefits, online tours, virtual teams, communication systems, and more. Custom videos, web and eLearning solutions can begin and continue the new hire’s assimilation process.
Successful leaders understand that employee engagement begins on day one but continues as long as the person is working for the company. After the first 72 hours, the real work of socialization accelerates. Some companies like AdTheorent have executive breakfasts within a short time period with new employees to talk about the company’s vision in a relaxed setting. Over the early months, new hires spend time with team members and attend lunches, dinners and team cocktail events. In the final analysis, the key takeaway is that new hire orientation for an employee in the first 72 hours can bring long-term positive results for the organization.
Grab your free New Hire Orientation Checklist here.
Ready to talk about developing your new hire strategy? Combine Projections’ video, web and eLearning solutions to create a robust and engaging program. Let’s chat now about your company’s unique plan for new hire engagement!
As a human resources or labor relations professional, you probably see your fair share of employee complaints. Issues that need resolution… and those that just seem like the employee is “overreacting.” How can you tell the difference? How can you address employee concerns and maintain high engagement levels?
Complaints range from an immensely irritating colleague to what seems to be an unbearable supervisor. You’ve likely heard about workplace behaviors that disregarded basic decency or courtesy or even went against rules, policies, and norms.
This is exactly what the new tool called Warble was designed to do – help companies identify and address employee concerns, before those employees turn to an outside third party.
First, we need to understand what happens when employees don’t feel heard.
Terrible managers can cause a lot of damage to employees and the company culture. Bullying co-workers cause their share of trouble, too. These workplace villains create unnecessary tension in the workplace and affect job performance. Worse, that bad behavior can be contagious and have a negative impact long-term on company culture, leading to unionization.
This creates is what experts call a toxic work environment. Stress levels and attrition rates increase; employee well-being, productivity, and retention rates decrease; and eventually the company’s reputation becomes tarnished, making it difficult to hire the best people.
Unfortunately, fear of retribution, bullying or isolation can keep your employees from feeling like they can report such incidents. When team members feel helpless, they either leave – or look to outside, third parties (attorneys, unions, government agencies) to try to solve their problems, costing the company money and time.
Feelings of mistreatment often lead to employees looking to a union to solve their problems. Similarly, employees who feel they’ve been discriminated against but have no outlet to express their challenges may file complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) leading to increased cost and time commitment, in order for the Company to solve the issue.
This kind of helpless feeling is what Carolyn Holliday experienced, and it is why Warble came into existence.
Holliday founded Warble Inc. to help companies detect and manage employee problems before they become detrimental to work culture and revenue. Warble is an online tool that provides employees with a direct channel to report bad or illegal behavior.
Employees submit warbles regarding issues they may have with managers or co-workers. Similar to (but often more accessible than) an Alternative Dispute Resolution program, Warble then alerts those who are responsible for taking care of employees and addressing harassment (including bullying) or discrimination claims.
Because they can be submitted at any time (not just during employee surveys), Warbles provide important feedback about the health of the company. But unless you respond by addressing employee concerns with additional leader training or other appropriate action, employees won’t trust the Warble system any more than any other measurement or reporting tool. Employees will feel reassured and appreciated when they see appropriate responses to their warbles.
Now more than ever, your employees are highly sensitive to harassment and discrimination.
Putting in place the tools of a UnionProof culture, such as Warble for ADR, means that you’re fostering an environment of open communication and employee engagement. That culture means that issues can be identified and addressed before they negatively impact your organization. Providing an outlet like Warble for alternative dispute resolution means creating a reputation as an employer of choice – a powerful thing in today’s tight labor market.
Branham’s research shows that a negative company culture is the main reason why employees look elsewhere for work. The best way to combat this is to work toward fostering positive employee relations and a better working environment.
Start by developing a retention plan. Consider the main factors that contribute to employees leaving and look at what you can do to prevent it from happening. Also, find out why your workers were attracted to the job in the first place, as this might well be the thing that is keeping them there and you could use this information to attract future employees.
Another factor to consider is training opportunities. The chance to develop new skills, achieve goals and acquire a solid understanding of job requirements gives workers a sense of value. So, opportunities for personal growth mustn’t be overlooked.
And while loyalty to a company has long ago become a thing of the past, many of today’s younger top performers do consider corporate social responsibility a major factor in job satisfaction. Millennials want to have pride in their employer, and not only paying attention to your reputation but promoting the company’s values can help retain these workers.
With the start of a new year, there are always countless predictions about what lies ahead. This is no exception when it comes to the world of Human Resources. While already an ever-changing field, be sure to watch for these transformative trends in the workplace in 2018:
With an ever-increasing number of millennials entering the workforce, the employee experience is more important than ever. In 2018, many workplaces will shift their focus from employee engagement to the employee experience. Similar to the approach that customer service reps employ, HR professionals are already beginning to focus on creating a more engaging and enjoyable environment for their employees. As a result, it is likely that employer loyalty and overall morale will drastically improve in many companies.
Dubbed the “gig culture,” more people are enjoying the freedom that comes along with working on their own schedule. While the employee title certainly won’t be going anywhere in 2018, more employers will take advantage of hiring independent contractors for short-term projects or specialized tasks. This method proves beneficial to both parties as the independent contractor retains freedom from an employee title while the employer does not have to pay for a full-time employee.
In the past, position titles and duties were often clear and to the point. In 2018, these titles and duties will become less fixed. Instead, assignments and duties are likely to be given based on an employee’s strengths versus their official job title. This allows employers to get the most out of top talent while allowing employees more variety in experience and education in the workplace.
Millennials are unlike the generations that have come before them in a number of ways, but the most crucial is their focus on maintaining a work/life balance. This is forcing many HR departments to reassess policies that they have in place. To meet the demand, companies are beginning to offer more flexible schedules, paternity leave and remote work opportunities in efforts to provide a better work/life balance .
Performance reviews have drastically decreased in popularity in the last five years. While many companies phased these reviews out in 2015, those who have not will likely do so in 2018. To replace these traditional and ineffective reviews, employers are instead offering real-time feedback to employees. This allows employees to understand their strengths and weaknesses and adjust accordingly as issues arise, instead of learning about it months later.
By staying on top of the emerging trends in the HR community, you can ensure that your workplace remains competitive and up-to-date in 2018 and in the future.
In consumer markets over the past few years, companies have faced a growing demand for customized experiences. This trend is now appearing with far greater frequency in the realm of employee engagement, where human resources staff attempt to implement technology and changes in practice sensitive to individual workers’ talents, needs and preferences. Personalization of the employee experience can take many forms — from individually tailored learning platforms to employee choice of work spaces.
Forward-thinking companies are taking a personalized approach to employee engagement, development and training, adapting lessons, available offerings and learning experiences based on each employee’s learning style, competencies and retention. Personalized training allows targeting of areas in need of improvement, challenging the employee without overwhelming them and saving the company both time and money thanks to elimination of unnecessary training or training that employees don’t retain. Personalized learning, whether through provision of tailored content or the giving employees their choice of curated content according to their interests, increases motivation, engagement and retention.
Employee-facing self-service apps, chatbots and communications not only better engage staff through the provision of relevant information, but also help human resources departments better use resources. For example, one company developed an app that offers fast, personalized information on questions frequently directed to human resources staff related to vacation policy, benefits administration or basic processes, such as requesting time off.
People excel in different work environments, and different environments are preferred for different work purposes. Workers are significantly more engaged at work when they have control over where and how they work. Human resources departments are beginning to collaborate with facilities and real estate departments within their organizations to design spaces that give employees choices of where to do their work based upon the activity they are working on, such as collaborative work with teams or tasks requiring a high degree of focus.
Want to tailor your communications to your unique workforce? Projections offers completely custom video production, websites and eLearning programs that engage workers and keep them productive. From concept to writing, shooting to post-production, create the message your employees need. Then, deploy your final product in in-person meetings, online, or even in-home with personal mailings.