Organizations regularly discuss ineffective onboarding processes and the desire to improve, but the topic of a “right start” with an organization continues be a focus that needs addressing. Regardless of an organization’s onboarding format or planning, there are three things any leader can do to provide a right start for new employees.
Focus on Right Fit.
Leaders continue to hire to fill instead of fit a position. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 74 percent of employers admit to having hired the wrong person. This isn’t the new employee’s fault; it is the leaders’ fault. Leaders must ensure they have worked diligently to identify the needs of the role, not just in generalizations but in clear detail.
Map out what the new employee will need to accomplish in deliverable details for their first year in the role. Work through the hiring process to ensure the employee has the skills and ability to accomplish the first-year deliverables and specific examples of how they have already achieved relatable measured outcomes.
Additionally, work the culture into your hiring process. A potential employee should be able to clearly gauge what the culture is and if it is a right-fit culture for them. Find out their purpose and passion in their work, and discuss how, or if, it is relatable to the organization’s purpose and the role they are interviewing for. According to a 2017 report by Work Institute, 34 percent of overall turnover is from employees in their first year at an organization. Leaders can help stop this trend by ensuring the hiring process is fully developed to consistently measure and attain right fit and by not allowing the organization to be more concerned with fill, which usually happens more quickly, than fit.
Focus on Right Communication.
After working to achieve the right fit, it’s essential to ensure that new employees are communicated with appropriately and that they receive the information needed for success. This process starts before day one. If you really did establish a right-fit hiring process, leaders will already going to know their new employee’s communication style. In case you missed it, leaders should ensure that they identify how the new employee communicates to flex their communication accordingly.
Assessments like the DISC profile provide valuable insights into what matters in communication and how the sender can flex his or her style to more effectively communicate and ensure the receiver is getting what they need. You don’t need a world-class onboarding process to do this. Understand that the right communication and information is going to vary from person to person based on individual style and needs. Leaders must strive to identify new employees’ style through dialogue and ensure they are providing information that is valuable to them specifically. This will take more time initially but will pay dividends when new employees don’t become part of the 34 percent of first-year turnover. It also sets up leaders to be successful with the third type of “right start”: right development.
Focus on Right Development.
With right communication in place, leaders establish a strong connection with their new employee that opens the door to build trust. Employees also want to build this trust through development partnerships with their new leader. According to a study by EdenRed, an employee benefits company, 68 percent of employees rate growth and development as their top workplace policy priority.
Again, leaders don’t need their organization to have a top-notch onboarding program in order to start having development conversations with their new employees. As leaders, they should already be offering these opportunities for their current employees. Leaders should deliberately schedule time to frequently talk with their new employees about what career growth they are interested in and how they can partner to set up the right development. These conversations are a great way to learn more about employees and feed their desire to develop. They have been identified as a key driver for people’s engagement, and they are rewarding for leaders, as well.
From start to finish, leaders have the opportunity to create the right start for new employees. Work to craft a plan, and if a leader is looking to improve in one of the three fit categories to improve their process, connect them with a coach or a member of your talent development team to build those skills. It takes effort, but your new employees will be thanking you when you celebrate future work anniversaries with them.