Last month g[squared]™’s blog focused on how a positive workplace culture plays an important role in attracting new talent. Kudos if you’ve worked towards improving culture in your organization. You’re on the right path to hiring and retaining the best people you can find. If you’re not quite there, here are g[squared]™’s recommendations to successful onboarding and retention of staff.
1. A Warm Welcome
Making the new hire feel welcome is so important and valuable. At g[squared]™ every new hire receives a welcome gift, and we take time to have team lunches together. Everyone stops by to say hello and check in regularly to see how the new employee is settling in.
2. Develop an Onboarding Strategy
Great onboarding is a continuous process and some of the most successful organizations have onboarding programs that last for 90 days. These programs include an engaging two-way orientation, leader and manager support, involvement in projects and team activities, and transfer of the valuable skills and knowledge your new staffer needs to succeed. Create your own program or reach out to your contacts on Linkedin for assistance with your onboarding program.
3. Plan Your New Hire’s Days
A fair bit of HR research shows that most new talent flourishes when their days are a blend of shadowing and project work. This means you need to invite the new talent to meetings, discussions, and planning sessions. This way, they can learn about the organization’s structure, industry and history in a measured and meaningful way. At the same time, assign the new employee smaller projects. Overall, try to assign a mix of guided and self-guided tasks.
4. Team Support
Have some employees lead the way with the new employee. Select a small team of natural winners who are positive advocates for the business, and task them with supporting the new hire. They can answer questions, listen to any feedback and generally support the new staffer.
5. Share and Listen
Encourage dialogue from day one. Did you know that poor communication and lack of sharing are often roadblocks to success in both large and small organizations? Business owners and managers need to encourage openness by telling new hires it’s OK to ask lots of questions and chat about work and goals. The objective here is team building and relationship strengthening. These two things will serve any organization well, particularly during tough times.
6. Keep An Eye on Cliques
Cliques are no fun for outsiders. At the same time, forming groups is a deeply rooted part of human behavior because almost everyone wants to feel secure, valued, connected and involved. From an organizational point of view, a very close-knit group can be counterproductive to the big picture. Extremely tight cliques can keep new starters at a distance, withhold information or place obstacles in the way of project work. A manager can counter this effect by using team building activities and placing people from different groups and backgrounds on project teams. New starters should be encouraged to find a balance – be involved in groups and teams at work, but have a healthy sense of autonomy too.
7. Gather Feedback
Assess the onboarding process regularly and get feedback from those involved so that you can continually improve your approach with all new hires.
A successful onboarding process is valuable because it’s an important part of retaining great people. Your first step will be to identify the cause of your staffing problems and work towards a solution. Identifying the issues may take time, particularly if the problem lies in bullying, business process issues, or lack of feedback. However, your investigation will be well worth the effort because your organization will benefit from reduced recruitment costs, more focused effort, and a greater overall commitment to business goals.
Job satisfaction comes from key things – being mentored, appreciated, valued, empowered, involved, well-paid and trusted. Keep your focus on these elements during recruitment and as part of your long-term staff retention strategy. This way, your high turnover problems will soon be a thing of the past.