Onboarding: Creating a Successful Foundation
By: The Client Training Corner
Regardless of the state of the economy or the size of the organization, one of the most critical components in business is hiring a skilled staff. But once that perfect employee has been hired, there is much work to do to ensure the success of that employee.
Beyond the onboarding process within an organization, there is the idea of “Advance” as a pivotal stage of the hiring cycle. Below are a few highlights of the Advance stage based on factors illustrated in Finding Keepers: The Monster Guide to Hiring and Holding the World’s Best Employees.
Targeting an Engaged Workforce
Let’s first focus on what “Advance” means: it’s the process of “integrating that person into your company, into your ‘tribal learning’ and your formal knowledge management systems.” If the match is good and that person feels like he or she is playing an important role in the organization, the inclination to stay will be much higher. But then what happens?
Ideally, that employee continues to grow their knowledge of your organization while their productivity and worth increases, making them that much more valuable on the job market. So, the question is, “What are you doing to keep your employees fully engaged at this stage?” Unfortunately, for many employers, the answer is often, “not much.”
How can you keep employees fully engaged? One misconception is that it always involves moving someone up a horizontal ladder of promotion. More and more modern organizations are moving away from this type of structure as many employees are not necessarily motivated by this type of career path.
A great example of this can be seen in sales. The career path of a salesperson usually only involves a few possible promotions, so horizontal advancement is simply not the best motivation for these employees. Instead, productivity growth for sales people translates to better sales and monetary rewards for both the individual and the company. It also usually translates to more entrenchment into an organization, and a utilization of a person’s values, strengths and knowledge.
Engagement Drives Productivity
In essence, “Advance” is a tale of productivity growth. Today, it’s not unusual for people to shift job descriptions, change departments or develop new skills. These changes generally reap financial benefits and help them to remain challenged in their work. Examples of how this can be accomplished include:
- Capitalizing on retiree knowledge. Some companies are looking at new ways of harnessing retiree knowledge. One good example is a scientific device company that advances their retirees by giving them mentoring roles. They invest in their training and development two years before their retirement date so they are better prepared for the transition. Younger workers and the organization as a whole benefit from their knowledge and just as importantly, retirees keep advancing in both their work life and outside interests.
- Give employees freedom over their work. Let them influence the duties they carry out. The entrenchment into the organization will be much stronger if you operate in this fashion.
- Separate your high-potential employees. High-potential employees should get special training, insight into succession planning and objectives and incentives that will challenge them.
- Understand the ROI of employee recognition. Research shows a direct link between employee recognition and improved employee performance. Take the time to understand what motivates the individuals working in your organization and work towards rewarding positive behaviors in non-ambiguous and creative ways.
Remember: retention that grows naturally out of an affinity to the organization usually outweighs a 5 or 10 percent raise offered by another company. Well-respected brands such as Nike, Google and Nordstrom are able to foster an environment where employees live the brand promise and are successful in retaining employees over the long-term. No matter the size of your company, strive to be a great place to work and a place that motivates workers to stay.