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New Hire Onboarding That Motivates

October 3rd, 2013 by Mindy Flanigan, Inspiring HR

Contractor Dan; he’s beyond frustrated.  More than half of the employees he has hired in the last year have been let go – most of them in the first 90 days.  Yikes! If a terminated employee costs the company at least one times the position’s annual salary, that’s a big loss to the P&L.

So, what’s gone wrong here?  Contractor Dan decided to ask us before he was ready to hire his third office manager in three years.  As we discussed his hiring process, we only noticed a few missteps.  For the most part, Contractor Dan had an effective hiring process in place.  He looked and listened for red flags, asked good behavior-based interview questions and even followed through with reference checks.

During this discovery period, Contractor Dan frequently told us that everyone he fired “didn’t get it”.  They turned out to not be nearly as motivated post-hire as they were pre-hire. We wondered, what “didn’t they get”?  Then the ah-ha moment.

Engagement! Yes, that is an HR buzz word these days.  What does it mean to the average small business owner?  Involvement. If you want passionate employees, who work with a purpose, get them involved.  How? Does your new hire onboarding process:

  1. Fully educate your employees on the company, its mission, its values and how it makes money?  If your employees don’t know how the company earns revenue, will they understand how they contribute?

  2. Outline for your employees where they fit in?  Yes, even small businesses should have an organizational chart.  It isn’t meant to demonstrate a chain of command; it is a visual tool for new employees to see all the pieces of the puzzle.

  3. Illustrate how essential duties of a job tie to business success. If you are hiring an office manager, do they understand why they are to limit access to postage or petty cash?  Don’t assume they understand how much cost containment can positively affect the business.

  4. Communicate what you expect? Not output! What you expect in terms of the soft skills and behaviors.  How to interact with peers and customers, for example?  That you expect everyone to work with a sense or urgency?

Contractor Dan revealed that he was using somewhat of a sink or swim model for new hire onboarding.  New employees were given an employee handbook and a non-disclosure to sign.  After that, they needed to work!  Before you do that, put yourself in their shoes.  How would you feel about taking incoming calls before you understood who the customers were and how the company makes money.  Remember, new employees aren’t mind readers.  Provide examples and lead by example.

Contractor Dan is giving a SIMPLE new hire onboarding process a test run.  It consists of a ‘welcome new employee powerpoint’, an orientation and training schedule to follow, organizational chart review, job description review, employee handbook script and a 90 day performance review template.  ALL of these documents are designed to get new employees to ask questions and participate in their development, so they can stay involved, engaged and motivated.

When new employees swim, rather than sink, you’ve got your ROI.

Click the link to view our recent blog: HR Due Diligence When Buying a Franchise or check back next week for more on human resources, payroll, insurance and benefits.



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New Hire Onboarding That Motivates
When new employees swim, rather than sink, you’ve got your ROI.
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