Transformative

Transformative Conversations And Enculturation

“How many times
Do we chaff against the repetition
Straining against the faith
Measured out in coffee breaks…”
—Neil Peart

His smile ricocheted off the booth and hit the back of my head. I couldn’t help but smile right back.

“Bingo, bango!”

He’d just won a $50 gift card after spinning our fabulous PeopleFluent prize wheel at the recent IHRIM Conference. In fact, anyone who came to our booth to hear about how to drive higher levels of contribution and deeper engagement through better “people management” experiences and platforms spun the wheel and walked away with a prize.

Everyone’s a winner; everyone smiles.

Bingo, bango. Like the feeling you get when you land a great job after an exhaustive search. I remember the recruiting and the hiring process, a little over a year ago, excited for day one, ready to get on with it and get to work. The yummy branded cookies sent to my house the week before I started were a nice touch as well, bringing smiles to my little girls (and sugar to their lips). Plus, my new manager had already been mentoring me and working with me prior to day one.

Get to work I did. Sure there was the physical and online paperwork, the administrative subterfuge, but mercy me was it exciting. Then on to week one immediately immersed with colleagues and culture and the work you’ll do.

Thirty days. Sixty days. Ninety days. Six months go by…

That’s when you have to remember the smiles, when you’re “straining against the faith,” because over time the world of work leaves marks no one else can see, no matter how sweet the sugar is; no matter how many coffee breaks we take. Priorities change, responsibilities change, co-workers change, leaders change – you feel like you’re the one spinning on the prize wheel, each and every slot a whitewashed blank.

Bingo, bango. It’s all worth it when you get to do what moves you though, because that’s what moves the business. These moves generate huge payoffs in employee retention, satisfaction, and overall business performance, even with the ups and downs.

Everyone’s a winner; everyone smiles. Like the feeling we get when we’re immersed in a new job, doing things we love, and colleagues and a culture we’re really jazzed about. Like having a repetitive positive onboarding experience every single day.

This is what a high-engagement workplace culture provides – an environment where employees love what they do and with whom they do it.  When all employees are emotionally and intellectually invested, and leadership is just as committed (if not more so), then extraordinary effort and positive financial results follow.

If the recruitment process brings on momentum, then onboarding is the tipping point, the winning spin, one you want to replicate again and again.

The 2013 Candidate Experience Awards survey results revealed that onboarding practices are relatively consistent among participating employers:

  • 65.4 percent of those new hires surveyed had completed paperwork online, versus 69.4 percent for the winning organizations.
  • 42.3 percent of new hires received a call from HR, versus 49.2 percent for winning organizations.
  • 35.5 percent of new hires received a call from the hiring manager, versus 39.7 percent for winning organizations.

Despite less-than-perfect practices by both overall and award-winning firms, these candidates – now new hires who most certainly consider themselves winners in the competition for a job – are nearly universally positive about their onboarding experience:

  • Overall, 79.5 percent of the hired candidates were positive about their onboarding experience, versus 87.2 percent of the candidates of award-winning firms.

Onboarding should be a people-centered process requiring quality, consistency and an ample investment of time. Technology helps to facilitate it all, but not completely replace it. With this understanding in place, companies will always benefit from a successful onboarding process that engages employees from the get-go.

Bingo, bango.

In fact, the best better approach would be to use the time between when the candidate accepts the offer and before they start to actively immerse them in the company culture empowering transformative:

  • Conversations. Having the new hire participate in a webinar or other type of interactive training session, facilitating conversations between the employee and the hiring manager and enabling them to go onsite to see the workplace and meet key colleagues before the actual start date.
  • And Enculturation. Rather than spending most of the onboarding process filling out paperwork, employers will benefit from helping the new hire become acclimated to their new office and co-workers, maybe even assigning them a “work buddy,” thereby improving engagement and making a strong impression at the start of their tenure.

Just as Todd Owens, the President and COO at TalentWise, recently told us – Culture comes from every breath and every step, from before day one and beyond it…

And every single spin of the prize wheel thereafter. Everyone’s a winner; everyone smiles.

Photo Credit: Thom Watson via Compfight cc

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