Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
It’s easy to read this and think about parenting. I recently lost my Grandmother and she’s the one that taught me about having Faith. It was her consistent reminder that built a foundation that I am now benefiting from. I see my wife doing this on a daily basis, it’s that consistent intentionality, that small growth every day that one day will turn our children into “warriors” of the Faith.
Employee Onboarding Handbook By King Solomon?
How does this apply to the business world? Employees are not unlike children in many ways, especially New employees. When a new employee joins your company, are you training them up in the things that matter, such as culture and values or are you simply training on skills? Skills can be acquired but that foundational understanding of your will and purpose for their talents and abilities is really what you hired them for. If you are training on the values and culture, here’s the tough one… are you living it consistently AND intentionally?
I’d say that winning organizations have onboarding down. According to a Harvard Business Review article, the top 2 reasons people leave a company is due to culture and lack of relationships. If you read my post about how to stop sarcasm, you might have read in there that I had created a culture of mistrust. It was the very definition of toxic culture. I’d add in that a lack of onboarding communicates a lack of vision as well.
They say children don’t do what you say but rather what they see. Employees are no different. Sure there’s an external monetary motivator to do what you say, but over the long haul when the rules aren’t being micromanaged the employee will drift into a norm of what they see.
How Onboarding Is Just Like Training
That classic scripture tells we need to be intentional in training. When I learned how to train someone I was taught (I believe this is from Ken Blanchard) to:
- Tell Them How To Do It
- Have Them Watch Me Do It
- Watch Them Do It With Me There
- Let Them Do It and Debrief
During each step, you correct and praise. If training a job function is like this why would training an employee how to be a great employee be any different.
Cast The Vision, Share The Values
If you run a business what areas need to be taught that relate to your core values? If you’re in the market place where are you influential? Are you living in a consistent way to bring God glory? The key here for parents and business people is to be consistently intentional about your growth and the growth of others.
Have The New Employee Shadow You Or Find A Buddy
While it’s not always practical to have a new hire shadow you or the manager you can often pair them up with someone. This accomplishes a few things. For the new hire they get partnered with someone that you feel represents the company. They also get their first relationship. In addition, this elevates the “buddy” to a leadership role. If they indeed have the heartbeat of the company then they’ll be exhibiting true servant leadership.
Catch The New Hire In The Act Of Exhibiting Culture
During the initial phase of the new hire, it’s important to praise them when they are exhibiting company values. This helps them see what’s desired, creates clarity and reinforces that they belong with your company.
Schedule 30, 60 and 90 Day Reviews.
Inspect what you expect. I think most managers get this line, but usually, it’s only applied to the job function and not the actual employee behavior. Which would you rather have, employees that get the vision, mission, and values of the company or ones that simply perform the function? During these reviews, it’s important to critique performance but always be encouraging when it comes to values and cultural items.
When you don’t onboard people you’re opening up a leadership vacuum. Typically, the least desirable behaviors are what appear in a vacuum. The best illustration of this is the highway. When the police are present everyone has an external motivator to obey the speed limit. When they are not, most people speed and therefore break the law and put others at risk. I know I am guilty of this.
If you don’t have a plan for onboarding new hires, it’s not the end of the world. However, it should be a priority as this will not only improve the efficiency of your company and boost morale, but it will lower turnover as well. The biggest benefit, however, is that it will likely help you get focused on what you actually want vs just filling a gap.