May 14, 2015
The sooner New Joiners feel welcome and prepared for their jobs, the sooner they will be able to successfully contribute to the firm’s mission. As employers, a New Joiner's interactions with you in their first few weeks and months has a major impact on whether they ultimately survive and thrive in your organisation ... or cross it out as a bad experience.
New Joiners get about 90 days to prove themselves in an organisation, marked by a 3 month probation period as per contractual clause. In our journey from a Start up to a SME we have learnt the importance of allowing New Joiners to hit the ground running.
This is how we do it at Unboxed Consulting...
T-30: Show what you stand for
Great talent may not be worth the trouble if the person can’t fit into the culture of the company so emphasise your values. Including team members from different parts of the organisation in collaborative recruitment empowers them with decisions about who they eventually work with and encourages buy in to successful hiring. Having multiple members involved in recruitment provides an opportunity for storytelling by current employees to provide a values reference for the New Joiner.
The kind of people you seek to recruit should be enthusiastic about the things that make your organisation tick. And, as all jobs involve dealing with people it is important that soft skills are captured in the definition of success in your organisation.
T-15: Get to know your newbie
It is always nice going to a party! Invite New Joiners to social activities before they join so that they can get to know the team in a low key environment and feel less daunted by their new beginning. Let them know the dress code though so they do not turn up in their Sunday best and feel uncomfortable all night. Arrange that the events prior to joining include people in different teams within the organisation.
T-1: Explain how you work
Give New Joiners access to your systems before they start. At Unboxed Consulting we have our UBXD Induction Game in the form of a Trello board with activities for the New Joiner to complete. We have ensured that it facilitates interaction with key business people in their early days, is simplified so that business critical operations are covered and makes learning about the organisation fun.
One of the tasks on the UBXD Induction Game Trello board relates to the caricatures that we have on our virtual and physical walls. A New Joiner looks on our “Wall of Faces” to identify who they have met during the recruitment process and who they will be working with on their first project. It helps us to identify who the New Joiner has yet to meet too.
Then they get to put their own, framed and pre-approved caricature on the wall to join our ranks. New Joiners also get a certificate for successful completion of the UBXD Induction Game, a tiny incentive for completing all induction tasks that are necessary to keep our business rolling. Should a New Joiner ever need to refer back to how things are done, the link to their version of the UBXD Induction Game is static as when each New Joiner starts they get a snapshot of the most current version of the UBXD Induction Game template. All who work at Unboxed Consulting own responsibility for keeping it current.
T: Score an early win
Make your new joiner feel that you have put as much thought into their joining your organisation, as they have. It is very easy to do something as simple as remembering the New Joiner’s partner or spouse or children’s names or something else about them and indicates your concern for their wellbeing.
T+10: Set goals
Give New Joiners autonomy to be in control of what they learn with access to the right people to provide appropriate coaching and mentoring.
It is important to recognise that New Joiners who are active in user groups in the community have a passion for learning and sharing. They will probably be connected to more people like themselves. Encourage activity that goes beyond the office door and allow for time in lieu to accommodate activities outside the organisation that ultimately result in the development of the individual.
Strengthen a new joiner’s decision to be a part of the organisation by aligning their dreams with business objectives>
For eterni-T: Communicate
The initial communications with Unboxed Consulting's New Joiners include a choice about the equipment they want to use in their new job. Empowering your people with a small choice like this will set a tone for how they engage from Day 1.
Communication must remain constant so that you are able to learn about a misalignment of roles and any challenges to performance. Allow your New joiner to Fail Fast so that you are able to remove impediments to successful on boarding. Your on boarding process may need tweaking as a result of your learnings in the first few weeks and months. It may also mean that you make decisions about implementing your Leaver Strategy sooner than planned but demonstrates the cost efficiency of early learnings.
Schedule time in your calendar to remind you to check in with your New Joiner and make sure you are available>
The 3 Keys to Doing it Right
T +80: Retrospect
Making a New Joiner feel special and welcome in the organisation will help your team to bond and ultimately produce better work faster. Ensure your process works and is current so that your New Joiners have been given all the tools necessary to prepare them for their new job and that you are in the best position to maximise synergies.