Employee Onboarding: The 4 Pillars to Success
At SalesFix, we feel like we are in a continual employee on-boarding stream. Our team is growing each month and we have had to grow our on-boarding processes to match.
Remember, we have come from a staff base of 2 only a few years ago, so we have had to adapt our procedures pretty quickly.
It is our experience that a thoughtful new employee orientation program can reduce turnover and save your organisation thousands of dollars. Whether a business has two employees or a thousand employees, don’t leave employee retention to chance. Give them what they need to feel welcome, know why they were hired, and know how to do the job.
Building employee commitment is the key to obtaining sustained superior performance. Building that commitment starts on day one of an employee’s introduction to the organisation. Building commitment continues as an employee is oriented, trained, coached, and given performance feedback on a regular basis.
When managers and supervisors take time to conduct new employee orientations, support employees as they go through the commitment curve, train them to do their job, provide feedback to them in a timely fashion, and conduct performance reviews that focus on future performance, they are moving away from managing by control to managing by building commitment. After all, “Achieving results through other people” has become a standard description of the work of managers and supervisors.
We all control an enormous amount of discretionary time and energy. We can give a good bit more to our jobs or a good bit less, and in general we are the only ones who know. This discretionary time is what makes the difference between satisfactory performance and superior performance. People may conform and do satisfactory work because they have to. They do superior work because they want to.
Think about a person in your organisation that you consider very committed to his/her job.
What are some of the characteristics you have seen exemplified or that you believe the employee has?
Commitment, like motivation, is not something that we can observe directly. We infer commitment exists because of what people say and do. There are at least two kinds of behavior that signal employee commitment:
- Committed employees appear to be very focused in doing their work.
- They are willing to make personal sacrifices to reach team or organisational goals.
If one of your primary tasks is to create commitment and focus in employees, then you must have a clear idea of just what commitment is and what contributes to it. Visualize commitment as a solid block that rests on four sturdy legs or supports.
The Four Pillars
Clarity means defining roles and expectations. Effective planning can be done at every level of an organisation so that all employees know where the company is going, and what the organization values.
People do not like to fail. They will try to avoid the things they think they cannot do. If organisations want commitment, they must make sure that employees have the ability and willingness to be successful in their jobs.
The employee’s ability to have input into their job and the organisation’s way of doing business. When an employee feels he or she has some influence on how things are done, they will feel more committed. Businesses and managers who deny their staff any influence get the results they deserve, from boredom, to passive resistance, to outright sabotage.
So, what are the characteristics of a successful on-boarding process? While the details of new employee orientations depend on the organisation, the best programs have certain elements in common. Here are recommendations from job trainers and managers on how to prepare new employees for their jobs.
- Set goals
- Deal with paperwork before day one
- Orient newcomers right away
- Emphasise the shared vision
- Pay attention to who’s in charge
- Put comfort first
- Go from general to specifics
- Emphasise hands on training
- Measure the program’s success
- Consider orientation a process, not a one-time event