On-boarding For Success

A lot of my work right now is focused on re-branding our new employee on-boarding process. I’m really excited about the possibilities that can come from this because it gives us the chance to really shape our organizational culture in an impactful way.

When starting out in an organization, the first impressions a new employee has can have a lasting impact on that employee’s work experience with the organization.

I was speaking with someone on this topic yesterday, and she told me that as a new hire, she heard her HR Manager say that he and the organization do not believe in employees taking days off for mental health. Twelve years later, that statement still creates negative feelings for her about the organization.

Those early days within the organization can be overwhelming. At my last organization, my first impressions left me feeling out of place and wondering how I fit in. Prior to my first day I was excited and motivated to make an impact. But after my first week I found myself second-guessing my decision to join the organization. This is a terrible way to feel during a time that is supposed to be exciting.

I want to help build an on-boarding program that creates excitement, and leaves the employee feeling at home and appreciated. I realize that in today’s environment people rarely spend their entire career with the same organization — but I want them to at least consider the idea. A big part of making that a reality will involve creating an atmosphere that goes beyond on-boarding.

The idea of creating such a platform will involve a number of things — such as creating a learning environment around key messaging, mission, core values; and being intentional about how employees are socialized.

My team and I have created a number ideas and measurable outcomes to be accomplished during the employee’s first day, first week, first 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, etc.

As a participative and collaborative leader, I like to involve other people in the process. One thing I would like to do is share our ideas with staff and invite them to provide feedback and suggestions.

Over the past two years we have had a lot of new staff enter the organization, so I feel like they have a lot of insight into what would make our on-boarding experience even greater. We’re also fortunate to have staff members who have been with us for nearly 20 years — incorporating their insight will be quite valuable as well.

One thing to remember is that on-boarding new staff can’t just be the responsibility of the HR Department. That responsibility sits with the entire organization.

At the end of the day, I want people to feel good about the career change they’ve made. The last thing someone should feel after joining a new organization is regret. We want our employees to be our biggest brand ambassadors. And that starts with creating an experience for them that supports them and inspires them. If we can do that, we will be successful.