Can you guess the movie from these famous quotes?
“Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
“May the Force be with you.”
“Here’s looking at you, kid.”
Chances are, you guessed all three. These quotes have become part of our collective consciousness. Nearly everybody recognizes them, even if they’ve never seen the original movie.
Does your company have a good corporate culture and collective consciousness, too? Everyone in your organization should share the same values, attitudes, and ideas. Everyone should be reading from the same page. But it doesn’t always work like this. What gives?
There are things that every one of your employees inherently knows. They know what time they start work, what time they finish, where the vending machines are.
But do your employees know about your company mission and corporate culture? Your long-term strategic goals? Your morals, values, and beliefs?
Probably not. At least, most of them don’t. In fact, 61 percent of employees are completely unaware of their company’s mission statement. The majority of those who do (57 percent) say they feel uninspired by it.
The problem is, most employee orientation programs just aren’t good enough. They introduce employees to their new role but don’t focus on company culture and long-term development.
It’s no wonder, then, that most of your staff have no clue about your company’s values, ethics and corporate culture.
Want to improve your company’s collective consciousness? You need to engage with your employees, from their first interview to their final day in the office. Here’s how:
If your employees are unaware of your mission statement, you probably aren’t communicating it clearly enough. List your goals and values on your website, on your social media pages, and in your employee orientation literature.
Business transparency is crucial for employee engagement. Your manager should be visible and friendly; your HR team should be approachable and willing to answer questions from your employees.
The latest technology will help you communicate your message and improve collective consciousness. Employee orientation videos, for example, enhance the onboarding process, improve employee conduct and manage expectations. Your new hires are more likely to remember the information you’re telling them, too — 65 percent of people are visual learners.
Follow the tips on this list, and your company’s values, ethics, and goals will soon be as recognizable as all those famous movies quotes that everyone can roll off their tongue.
Discrimination and harassment don’t just damage workplace morale and cause you to lose valuable personnel — they can also place your company at risk for ruinous lawsuits. The average court settlement for a discrimination or harassment lawsuit comes to about $125,000; harassment trials have resulted in awards of up to $168 million. If you want to protect both your workers and your business, the logical place to start is with strong, clear anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies
Social media is no longer optional if you want to engage your employees and build your employer brand. Mobile devices are a primary source of information and communication for most Americans, and platforms like Facebook and Twitter are central to the mobile lifestyle. In short, if you aren’t on social media and you don’t have great social media video, your message isn’t being heard – and that inhibits your ability to attract top talent and retain your most highly-qualified workers.
While it is possible to connect with employees through text-based posts and long-form content, research shows that the most effective way to capture the attention of your audience is through images. When those images are delivered in the form of short, creative videos, you can count on a positive response. One study demonstrated that four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it – and that preference extends to receiving all sorts of information, including your employer branding messages.
Perhaps the most important reason to communicate through social media video is the retention factor. Your employees are 65 percent more likely to remember your content after three days when it is presented in a visual format versus a text-based format. That means more time to consider your message and share it with colleagues, extending your reach dramatically.
Consider the benefits of a strong social media presence. Creative, engaging employer branding encourages job-seekers to become applicants, and it keeps current staff members connected with the company. Employers have successfully leveraged social media video to communicate with current and prospective employees about benefits, company culture, and social responsibility. Some even use this forum to encourage strong connections between management and the workforce, effectively discouraging unions from their attempts to stir discontent.
While it is possible to use the same social media video content across multiple platforms, your social media campaigns should include slightly different strategies for each of the popular sites. Differentiate your content based on the culture promoted by individual channels. These are the basics for today’s top social media platforms:
Getting started on social media doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with Facebook, then expand to other popular platforms. For more information on connecting with your employees through innovative, engaging social media videos, visit Projections, Inc.
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!