A radical idea: Spend time listening to new employees
I have heard it said that an organization looses or gains employee loyalty within the first three days of a new hire’s tenure. This statement if true supports the need to be explicit with how we on-board our employees.
Here are some orientation best practices we all know:
1. Connect the employee’s role and efforts with the future success of her team, department, and organization
2. Go over what the new employee’s success criteria are and how she will be supported in best achieving this success
3. Connect the employee with peers and colleagues who she will be collaborating with and supporting as internal clients and team members
4. Ensure the new employee has the tools and information needed to begin her work
5. Assign the employee her first mentor, someone who is well respected within the organization and who thrives on helping others be successful within their first year
If we practice these five on-boarding practices we will have more loyal and better performing employees! But what have we forgotten?
I recently heard the evocative management author Peter Block discussing the topic of on-boarding new employees and what he said struck me as being right on. Block said that instead of telling new employees all of the information we believe they need to know within their first days or weeks, what we really should be doing is listening to them. We should ask them what they want to contribute, to drive, to create while working with our organization. Then, we should strive to help them realize their aspirations.
I completely agree with Block and believe that by turning the on-boarding process and emphasis around to be focused on listening to our new employees’ ideas, motivations and career related dreams, we may be getting one step closer to designing places of work where we will prosper and thrive!