What are we supposed to do with the new guy/new girl?
What do they say when they get home from their first day at the new job, and their spouse says, "So...how was it?"
We began working with Communication Performance Management Associates in May 2015 with the intention of improving our “on-boarding” procedure. Actually, we needed to create our “on-boarding” procedures.
Like many companies our size, we don’t hire people with much frequency or regularity. We’ve grown at a respectable rate in the last twenty years, going from 24 employees to our current 71. Hiring one, two or three people a year, might not seem reason enough to invest the necessary resources in a formal program, either internally created or via an outside organization.
On further investigation spurred by what we considered an unacceptable turnover rate, (particularly with sales personnel), we established that the size of the company and, therefore, the rate at which hiring is done need not be a determining factor when considering a structured, measured on-boarding procedure. At that point, we contracted with Andy McNulty, founding partner of Communication Performance Management Associates.
Andy brings a wealth of personal and organizational development experience to the table, and he has a keen sense of personnel dynamics in the workplace. Andy also comes with an infectious and passionate commitment to the most effective ways to gradually ease people into new roles and/or new organizations with measured and structured process.
We’re like many organizations, I’m sure. When we hired people, we felt it was their obligation to prove themselves worthy of the hire. Andy showed us that the process is reciprocal, that we are just as obligated to prove to them that ours is a worthwhile place to work. New employees come in ready to work and eager to learn. We need to be equally enthusiastic about our roles in creating a safe, informative, welcoming and well-organized work environment for them. And, like many other companies, we weren’t doing a very good job of that. We pinpointed this as a contributing factor we could effect in our efforts to significantly improve our employee retention rates. And we have, and it has.
In just the six months since embarking on this journey with Andy and CPMA, we have added eight people. That is at least twice what a normal year would be and in half the time. Our new on-boarding program has far exceeded our expectations - - not just with the new hires themselves - - but also with our established, participating personnel.
It has been exciting to watch as the existing employees have enthusiastically taken ownership of their responsibilities to present to their new co-workers their respective jobs and departments in such a way that shows the true value of what they do for our organization. They are far better prepared to present their job responsibilities and departmental functions than any of the executive team members or the new-hires’ immediate supervisors.
Upon completion of the program, our new employee will have spent considerable time with a number of our on-site personnel and will know exactly where to turn in situations where assistance is required either in the early stages of employment or in the years to come. This not only better prepares our new employees for earlier and more comprehensive effectiveness, it also relieves the new hires’ immediate supervisors of the 40+ hours of one-on-one initiation and orientation.
Common management and leadership beliefs state that the three things people want at work are affiliation, influence and achievement. Our new on-boarding process is the first step to giving our new employees those primary vocational and personal necessities. And it’s giving us a better company.
Zink Foodservice Group