Leading Your On-Boarding Process

Are your on-boarding processes functioning well?  Are they used strategically to introduce new employees to the systems and mechanisms used in your organization designed to accomplish the goals and deliver a remarkable customer experience?  Are you as a CEO involved in the process?  If not, you need to be.

What does on-boarding training mean in your organization?  Is it well defined, structured, and inclusive?  How are the employees involved in the process?  This may be one of the most important things you do as a leader.  The first task is to make sure your on-boarding systems and mechanisms that exist in your organization are clearly defined, and understood so they can be trained.  You may need an on-boarding champion, a trainer, a full time employee who does nothing but train new employees.

The mechanisms and systems you use to accomplish your objectives and fulfill your purpose are often complex, and have taken years to develop and perfect.  It follows that your new hire will need more than a few days or weeks of indoctrination and training.  Kip Tindall, CEO and Founder of the Container Store has his company provide new employees with 284 hours of training compared to 8 hours which is the norm in their industry.  Their results are nothing less than outstanding.

How you perform the on-boarding function in your organization has everything to do with the success or failure of that new hire, and most of it happens in the first weeks or months of employment.  The process started when the position was originally described.  The vacant position has been fully specified and advertised.  All known networks have been tapped searching for the ideal candidate.  The candidates have been screened, assessed, interviewed and vetted, and the best ones selected and hired.

Many companies do a disservice to the entire organization by not creating an environment of success for the new hire.  When new hires are not trained properly, the entire organization is adversely impacted, and an opportunity to succeed is missed.  Turnover continues, reputations are perpetuated, and the chance to build a remarkable customer centric company vanishes.  The cost of turnover is extremely high, and depending on the level of the employee in the organization can reach 10 or 15X annual salary.  This may be a low estimate.

The alternative is to create success by training new hires in the ways of methods of how your company operates.  This is a time to ensure your new hire is aligned with the culture, a time to demonstrate your commitment to your purpose and core values.  It is the best time to download your cultural DNA, including your core purpose, core values, core customer and the one thing you do better than anyone else, your inside advantage.  Every successful company has a special one thing, a secret sauce that makes them successful, and makes their customers raving fans.

We really don't manage people.  We establish and manage processes which our people interface with and utilize to accomplish their part of each initiative.  Hiring the right people who are aligned with our core’s is critical to the success of our company.  The alternative is a slow painful path to extinction.