Earlier this year, we talked about the challenges new hires often face when joining a company, and how organizations and their leaders can “teach culture” to ease the onboarding process.
Another new survey of 500 human resource professionals shows just how important the onboarding and employee engagement processes are — in real financial terms.
According to Allied Van Lines’ 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey, employers are losing nearly a quarter of their new hires within the first year. Of those that remain, one-third fail to achieve productivity targets.
Citing an average cost of $10,731 to fill one position, and another $21,033 per new hire for relocation, the study shows how this retention and productivity problem is more than just an HR issue; it’s a bottom-line issue.
Why are new hires leaving? According to the respondents, the top three reasons are managerial relationships, job performance and career advancement opportunities.
As the economy turns around and hiring picks up, your organization may need to take a fresh look at the onboarding and employee engagement processes. So much has changed in the workplace and business environment over the past few years, yet many of our internal systems and processes haven’t kept up.
Here’s an innovative approach a pharmaceutical company we’ve worked with has taken.
While training and a strong coaching culture already existed, the company worked with its sales managers to help them better understand the mental demands of the sales rep positions they were filling as well as their own and their employees’ thinking preferences.
By mapping the job responsibilities against the thinking processes involved, and then looking at their own thinking preferences as well as the preferences of the new hires, they could not only put together a more focused, targeted development plan, they could better align their coaching to the individual.
Many of the new hires were recent college graduates. This approach didn’t just give them a faster way to learn the ropes and achieve productivity goals — although it did, reducing the average ramp-up time from two years to just seven months — it also brought them into the culture in a more significant way. They appreciated the insights they learned about thinking preferences, many commenting that they’d wished they’d known this information when they were in school.
What onboarding or retention challenges have you seen since hiring has picked back up? Have you used any Whole Brain® Thinking approaches to make the process easier and more effective?
Most of us have stories of being a new hire or new to the team and having to figure out what the norms are, what the lingo means, and in general, what the culture is really all about. It’s often a process of discovery, and sometimes it can be an eye-opening one at that.
While it’s not unusual for the organizational culture to be revealed in this gradual, informal way, a recent blog post from Talent Management Magazine makes the case for taking the time upfront to teach new hires about the culture.
Citing the book, Successful Onboarding: A Strategy to Unlock Hidden Value Within Your Organization, by Mark A. Stein and Lilith Christiansen, the post explains that teaching culture during onboarding reduces the learning curve and helps people acclimate faster.
We have heard many interesting examples of how companies are using the Whole Brain® framework to develop and ground their culture, and how they’re also using it to create and communicate the vision and values to new and long-time employees alike.
It also gives people a common language to talk about who they are and how they approach work. As the CEO of one IT firm told us, “It’s quite amazing how a lot of people in the organization have got their HBDI® Profile mounted on their desk. And people are saying ‘I’m yellow, I like to work in a yellow environment.’”
But do new hires know what “I’m yellow” means?
When they come on board, between the hectic pace of ramping up and previously set course schedules, the timing may not be right for new hires to attend a class in Whole Brain® Thinking. That’s one of the reasons Stein and Christiansen point to interactive technology as a good option for communicating culture quickly and consistently.
With Whole Brain® concepts, many companies use the Thinking Accelerator™ featuring HBDIinteractive™ simulation to quickly bring people up to speed on the language of Whole Brain® Thinking and their own preferred styles of thinking.
What are some of the methods and tools you’re using to teach culture to new employees? Have you used the Whole Brain® Model to organize your onboarding process? We’d love to hear your experiences with onboarding and corporate culture. Share them below in the comments!