On-boarding: Are you enacting the lemon law strategy or rallying the troops?

Do you know?  Do you know the difference? 

Recently I was working with a company on their talent management strategy and I heard a number of things from the focus groups I ran for them.  A couple of items stood out:

  • People took the position because it was a job, not for any higher purpose
  • When they started they were never told why they were hired and what would make them successful
  • The orientation was short and administrative driven not learner or employee centered

The way we bring people on makes a big difference in how they perform, how they feel about their choice and whether or not they will stay.  Some of your employees may feel like people do after buying a used car…buyer’s remorse.  They may even want to take advantage of the lemon law and go find a new job.  Other employees may feel a sense of pride from day one.  What is the difference?

  • Job fit
  • Their manager
  • The employer’s on-boarding practice

Typically the last item, the employer’s on-boarding practice, or lack thereof, impacts the first two bullets.  Too many times we have a poor selection process and leave our manager out in the cold when supporting them around the on-boarding process.  Any on-boarding process should include:

  • Clear reason why they were hired and why they will be successful
  • At least a 3-6 month plan
  • Developmental plan based on information collected in the selection process
  • A buddy, mentoring, and/or coaching component
  • Self paced learning component
  • Connections to people and various departments in the organization
  • And a quick win!

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. How do you make a new employee feel welcome?
  2. How do you help a new employee feel connected?
  3. What do you do to inspire and stir the passion of a new employee?
  4. To what extent are new employees encourage and even supported in meeting and talking with key executives?
  5. How do you help illustrate the big picture and strategy to your new employees?
  6. How interactive is your process?
  7. To what extent can you off-load paperwork and other items to technology?
  8. Is your orientation effort design for HR’s ease or the employee’s benefit?
  9. How much information do make a new employee swallow and in what amount of time?
  10. What symbols, stories, and rituals do you utilize to demonstrate the value your company brings to the community, employees, and customers?

5 thoughts on “On-boarding: Are you enacting the lemon law strategy or rallying the troops?

  1. Great post! I welcome you and your readers to join our lively discussions on Onboarding Best Practices- Clearing the 90 Day Hurdle on LinkedIn http://tinyurl.com/6tq5zs

    And those of you who would like some tips for leaders onboarding into a new organization, here’s a report to help

    Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/onboardingcoach
    Connect to me on LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/sueedwards
    Blog: http://development-by-design.blogspot.com/

  2. Great piece that will hopefully make some companies stop and take pause. The first few days of employment and even during the hiring process can leave a huge impression on employees. Make them feel at home, share the company mission and everyone wins. Don’t forget customer service training in this period, too. As this piece points out (http://www.upyourservice.com/learning-library/customer-service-culture/get-new-staff-to-self-select), it’s critical.

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