Are Your Employees Asked For Input?

Are Your Employees Asked For Input? Employee Commitment Series


This blog series focuses on nine areas that keep employees committed to your organization. In our opinion, employees stay committed when they are Involved, Paid Well, Asked for Input, Challenged, Empowered, Trusted, Valued, Appreciated, and Mentored.

Do You Ask Your Employees for Input?

No individual can competently run an organization singlehandedly. And when more than one person is involved in running it, someone needs to be in charge of decision making.

If you happen to be the leader at your place of work, that responsibility largely falls on you. But the fact that you call the shots doesn’t mean the opinions of others don’t count. Your employees have their own opinions, but the question is, how often do you ask them for input?

Why Is Employee Input Important?

Leadership consultants tell us that organizations should announce that they welcome feedback from employees. They should go a step further and actively solicit this input. Employees often have strong opinions but tend to keep them private for fear of offending management or speaking out of turn.

Yet, constructive criticism from employees can improve productivity. As a manager, it’s imperative to ask for and value the opinion of your team members. Employees view issues from a different perspective. And even if you don’t agree with them, a fresh perspective is always welcome.

The results of a survey conducted by the Zenker Folkman firm suggests there is a direct connection between soliciting input and leadership effectiveness. However, a leader doesn’t simply become better by asking for feedback. The correlation stems from the fact that seeking input from employees means a leader is making conscious efforts to get better. And the leaders that get better are those who constantly work to improve their leadership methods and skills. In fact, arguably one of the worst actions an employer can take is to solicit feedback and then ignore it.

How to Go About It

There are many methods to request input from employees. Below are some of the most important or common ones.

Employee-Led Reviews

It’s important to conduct periodic reviews in order to monitor progress. This will help you devise new strategies to reach organizational goals. Although annual performance reviews are already a major part of the culture of many organizations, there are numerous questions that surround their relevance and effectiveness. These questions tend to stem from the approach rather than the process itself. If done right, annual reviews are a great tool through which an employer can gather employee input throughout an organization.

We find that the best review process is one that is led by employees. Have the employee set up the meetings, set goals and objectives, and develop their own career development. When done correctly, and with HR and leadership review, you can move the organization to much higher levels of performance.

Leadership 360° Feedback

A 360-degree feedback system is a method of gathering opinions about the performance of an employee from people connected with the organization.

The process usually involves a complex web of information. Opinions are gathered from virtually everyone in or close to the organization. While this tool can be used to gather information about anybody within the organization, a leader seeking input from employees can use it effectively for this purpose. The most important aspect of a 360° program is confidentiality. One of the best ways to ensure confidentiality is to hire a firm to keep this information protected. Learn more about how In HIS Name HR helps organizations ensure a confidential processhere.

Morale Climate Surveys

These surveys measure the satisfaction of employees with their work environment and the leadership of the organization. They serve as a great way through which employees can provide input on aspects of the organization they are not pleased with.

Start Asking for Employee Input Today!

As a manager or a human resource professional, it’s important to create an enabling environment. This way, employees can provide their input with confidence. But it’s not enough to simply create this environment or ask for input. Organizations should value the input of employees by listening to their suggestions.

Getting what you think is ridiculous advice? Have a talk with the employee. Clarify what is being communicated. When you listen first, and then explain your perspective and organizational goals, it gets employees thinking on track over time in terms of viable suggestions.

Most importantly, implement changes when you get great advice.

Employee Commitment Series

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In HIS Name HR helps organizations build high-performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In HIS Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Are Your Employees Paid Well IHNHR

Are Your Employees Paid Well? Employee Commitment Series


This blog series focuses on nine areas that keep employees committed to your organization. In our opinion, employees stay committed when they are Involved, Paid Well, Asked for Input, Challenged, Empowered, Trusted, Valued, Appreciated, and Mentored.

Are Your Employees Paid Well?

In our last post we discussed the concept of employee involvement in the workplace. The next area focuses on helping readers understand the concept of being paid well in the workplace. Most organizations look at several areas of compensation: standard pay, perhaps health and wellness and retirement benefits, and, in some industries, bonus programs or long-term financial incentives. For the sake of brevity we will discuss two areas, standard pay and general generosity with your employees.

Standard Employee Pay

We often do compensation studies for organizations, including churches, ministries, for-profit and non-profit companies, and colleges. These studies are very important for all organizations, and should be performed at least every five years. You also should look internally at your compensation structure, being mindful of internal equity issues, especially as it relates to disparate treatment between protected-class employees.

“Most companies try to be good about keeping it up-to-date, but they tend not to do it as quickly as they should,” says Steven Slutsky, a director at Pricewaterhouse Coopers Human Resource Services in Philadelphia.

Doing a full-blown compensation study not only helps you to understand internal equity and current compensation market conditions but also helps promote a greater organizational image to your employees when they know you are performing this type of study. It is a great morale boaster, even if the wages don’t shift upward.

The most often question that we are asked is, “How do we even begin to do a salary study?” We always start the same way—leading organizations to undertake a total update and rewrite of all job descriptions across the organization. This establishes a solid baseline of what employees are doing and why.

General Generosity with Your Employees

Good-standing employees deserve more than fair wages. Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”

Wow, the ox was permitted to eat during its workday. Sadly, many organizations don’t extend the same consideration to the most valuable commodity of their organization—their employees. Many years ago I witnessed a young teen working at a local pizza shop, making minimum wage. The owner was a cruel, selfish man who refused to provide any food or beverage to his employees unless purchased at full price. The owner’s children would come in and help themselves to all kinds of food, which they left behind, half-eaten, to be thrown away, but the floor sweepers got nothing. The shop owner also insisted upon destroying any leftover, unsold items at the end of each evening rather than offering them to his employees. Dear leaders, please do not fall victim to becoming a tyrant in your workplace. Be generous when you can. It is an investment that pays huge dividends in any organization.

Be generous to your people and you shall be rewarded.

Some of the most impactful gestures of gratitude and appreciation that I have given my people were the least costly—small lunch celebrations, or boxes of favorite chocolates. If you act with kind regard, with generous giving, you are building a strong Kingdom-minded organization while honoring Christ.

Remember: Virtually every single employee will give you 100 percent when they know you care.

Lastly, in relation to this premise, it is important to reflect on this piece of scripture.

1 Timothy 6:17-19: 17“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

So why are we sometimes hesitant to share with the very people we should care about the most? We need to be more generous, because in the end we really are left with nothing to take with us.

Employee Commitment Series

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance Human Resource programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them.

 

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Are Your Employees Involved? In HIS Name HR

Are Your Employees Involved? Employee Commitment Series


This blog series focuses on nine areas that keep employees committed to your organization. In our opinion, employees stay committed when they are Involved, Paid Well, Asked for Input, Challenged, Empowered, Trusted, Valued, Appreciated, and Mentored.

Are Your Employees Involved?

In an article in Fortune magazine, Dan Schawbel stated that the primary priority for business leaders would be “retaining employees in a competitive talent marketplace.” He added, “In a new study by Future Workplace and Kronos, we found that 87% of employers said that improving retention is a critical priority for their organization.” Mr. Schawbel’s suggestion to focus on retention is spot on.

Let’s start with the first area, Involved. Oftentimes, when we first engage with an organization, leadership asks us to implement programs to immediately improve employee relations. We hear, “Employees are leaving in droves,” that turnover is high. Or “Our pay is too low. We repeatedly lose people to organizations that pay slightly more.” Excuses and explanations abound. But when we ask the key question How do you know the true reasons people are unhappy or why they are leaving?, the explanations are generally theoretical or hypothetical, not fact-based.

Our first suggestion to any organization: Don’t make changes or implement programs without first determining what the core issues are. Doing so is a waste of money and time, and can also hurt your organization’s culture and morale. That is where being involved comes into play. Use a skilled facilitator to run employee focus groups. Include representatives from each department. Have those same representatives talk to their departmental colleagues about what might be important to address.

One area many organizations bypass is the exit interview. An exit interview is a valuable tool to collate critical data and ascertain employees’ true reasons for leaving. Ask simply whether they felt involved in their departments, and with the rest of the organizational team. Ask them to suggest how your organization could do better in this area.

Finally, one of the best ways to uncover potentially problematic issues in your organization is to conduct confidential 360-degree feedback assessments of your leadership staff. Used the right way, it reveals key trends in certain areas of employee relations. As a plus, your findings can also serve as a tool for organizational-wide leadership development.

Most important: When employees are given access to their leadership, they walk away not only feeling heard but also involved in the organization.

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance Human Resource programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Employee Commitment Series

The #MeToo Movement Biblical Approach to HR Practices

An Interview with The Institute for Faith, Work & Economics


The #MeToo Movement and a Biblical Approach to HR Practices

There’s never been a more urgent time than now to have HR professionals who are grounded in sound biblical principles. With the rise of the #MeToo movement, human resources consultants are in high demand as companies, churches, and organizations ensure best practices and deal with existing charges. How should biblical principles and economic thinking impact the way we approach human resources?

Read the Full Article Here

 

How to Deal Effectively with Harassment in the Workplace

How to Deal Effectively with Harassment in the Workplace


It’s almost impossible to open a news website without seeing a headline regarding sexual harassment or sexual assault in the workplace.

Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein… They represent organizations that have just gone mad, that have failed to protect their people. The list of organizations and accused persons continues to grow. I find it particularly offensive when I consider how I want my family—both men and women—to be treated in the workplace. I am dismayed to discover the extent to which organizations are failing to protect their employees from predatory and exploitative behavior.

Those of us who are Christian professionals in the workplace have an obligation to not only live by the law but also demonstrate behavior that is biblical, and not a reflection of the current aberrant culture. We must ensure that all we do, and all the policies we institute and the responses we make to issues are above reproach.

I am in no way claiming that Christian organizations are perfect. Some have also failed (some, spectacularly) in this area. This is not just a Hollywood or industry-specific issue; it is a moral issue, a sin that knows no bounds. The Christian community has had its own share of scandals. Church leaders have failed us, and international mission leaders have failed us as well.

At In HIS name HR, we serve organizations across all professional sectors. We have served for-profit and nonprofit enterprises, higher education institutions, including Christian higher education institutions, churches, and ministries. One thing is for certain, when you get two or more people together, issues and conflicts inevitably arise—at the very least, innocent misunderstandings—which, when not handled well, can lead to complete pandemonium.

The Three-Prong Approach

What should organizations do to protect their employees from harassment? We at In HIS Name HR believe that it is far easier to do than most realize. We suggest a three-prong approach:

  • Policy
  • Training
  • Response

Policy

Have a good policy in place that is easy to understand by both employees and managers. Have it embedded into your employee handbook and ensure everyone has signed for it. We promote having only a handbook. Most organizations can cover every topic in one handbook without adding additional policies. Having additional polices creates confusion, especially when you have to update multiple documents in multiple locations.

A best practice is to have the handbook online with a date embedded in the footer and have all employees in an employee meeting sign a receipt that they have been informed of the version and location. Then follow up in an email with a link to the handbook and a return receipt memorializing the fact that the employee has received the updated version.

Training

Training should include awareness for all employees, and awareness, detection, and prevention for leadership. Employees need to know what is and is not acceptable in the workplace. For instance, there are two separate types of sexual harassment in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: a hostile work environment and quid pro quo.

A hostile workplace is just that: a workplace that is hostile and what the average or “reasonable person” would deem inappropriate. The complexity derives from the interpretation of an offense—what is offensive to one person might be considered the norm by another person. What good training does is help both the offended and the offender navigate how to abate a situation that risks elevating to explosive.

The second type of harassment, quid pro quo, derives its name from the Latin expression meaning “this for that,” doing a favor for a favor, as it were, where something is given in exchange for something else. In its most negative connotation, in terms of harassment, it is used when a person in a position of authority exploits their power to pressure or manipulate a subordinate to submit to behavior or activity, typically sexual in nature, which either promises a favorable outcome or threatens them with repercussions. Such favors include promotion, pay increases or bonuses, while threats may be made to compromise employment, reputation, or future opportunities. Both employees and leadership must be able to recognize the signs of such quid pro quo, and have sufficient ability or recourse to safely put a stop to it.

One aspect of the training is to “be real,” to let everyone know that certain behaviors are not acceptable, whether in the workplace or anyplace. Let them know that they should not do it, tolerate it, or ignore it, and they should personally help make the workplace an environment we would want all the people we love to work in.

Response

When a complaint is raised, it must always be taken seriously. One aspect we have built into the complaint approach is to formally let the complainant know that we take their complaint very seriously, and that it will be thoroughly investigated immediately.

“People are denying the reality that most women grow up and live their lives being harassed, if not assaulted, and being propositioned or being pursued inappropriately,” Liberty University English professor Karen Swallow Prior says. “Almost every woman I know, including myself, has had something like that happen to them. This is just the world we grow up in.”

We must honor and trust all complaints that are brought forward, while explaining that if the complaint is found to be untruthful, the accuser may be subject to discipline up to and including separation. This might seem harsh, however, it is important that the accused be equally protected before and during the investigative phase. I have led more than one investigation where the person who was accused was able to provide evidence to prove their innocence. In this instance, “Innocent until proven guilty” applies to both parties, the accuser and the accused, and both are entitled to fair and confidential treatment during the investigation.

The investigation itself should be swift, and conducted by trained professionals. The best practice, if the investigation is performed internally, is to ensure the person investigating has no reporting relationships with anyone involved in the compliant. Ensure copious notes are taken and the privacy of all involved is protected. This is paramount to prevent anyone who is accused or involved from filing charges against the organization for false accusations.

The best way to list the contact for complaints is to employ consistency by supplying a title versus a name. You should, however, make sure there are two ways for people to bring forward an issue—have both a female and a male as points of contact. This helps any complainant to feel more comfortable bringing the issue forward. Oftentimes, the person who feels harassed prefers to talk with a like-gendered person.

Finally, if your organization is small, consider hiring a third party to operate as the point of contact. Our firm offers this to its clients, which gives their employees increased confidence, knowing their issue will be dealt with swiftly and objectively by a third party.

In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance human resource programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Podcast “Human Resources and Higher Education”


Enjoy listening to Guest Mark A. Griffin discuss “Human Resources and Higher Education” with host Drumm McNaughton, PhD.

Have iTunes? Podcast available through iTunes.

The Change Leader Inc. creates sustainable organizations that meet the needs of the 21st century students andemployers while implementing change in way that enables them to remain true to the history and values that made them successful.

About Mark: With over 20 years of Human Resources experience at both fortune (Kodak, Quaker Oats, and Merck) as well as small and mid-sized companies, Mark has seen it all.

Making Your Performance Management System Work


Poor employee performance hurts an organization. Low productivity, incompetence, and unneeded expenses are the last thing organizations want at any time, particularly in today’s tough economy.

After decades of work in the field of business and human resources, I know that few things upgrade and energize an organization like a solid Performance Management System. A performance management system incorporates your organization’s Mission, Vision and Values as well as your annual goals and objectives to create the structure and accountability by which an employee can accomplish these goals and objectives and, more importantly, improve their lives. Only the highest-performing organizations make the performance review process a valued, appreciated, and eagerly anticipated system for the both organization and its employees.

Instead, what usually happens?

Sadly, many organizations do not systematically review or improve employee performance at all! This leads not only to unmet expectations from the management’s point of view, but also creates confusion and frustration for employees. The result is poor performance and money down the drain. Other times, organizations attempt to implement a yearly review but end up doing it backwards and it becomes counter-productive. This article will teach you how avoid this pitfall.

Have you ever weathered “The Dreaded Annual Review Meeting?”

Television and film have lampooned the phenomenon, highlighting the common foreboding employees feel and the waste of time such a meeting can be. How can you implement a Performance Review System that will consistently improve employee productivity and competency, save costs, and have eager employees lining up for it?

Start by avoiding these two biggest, most critical mistakes…

Mistake # 1 The leader fails to include input and participation of the employees at the beginning of the process.

The best performance programs are employee-driven. The leadership works in a “guide and support” role. This is a significant shift, but one that can make or break your organization. When the process of improvement and review is centered on and driven by the employees, it creates an emotionally potent sense of ownership and cooperation. Instead of being hounded and rebuked by a controlling boss, the employee is the source of increased performance through an active and vested role.

It behooves an employee to generate high performance and a good system will take this into account by providing employees the dignity of being responsible to see the improvement process through to the end. The performance program should encourage and reward employees who initiate performance conversations with management. A program executed well will encourage the employee to want to do better as he/she makes the efforts necessary to ensure it happens.

Mistake #2 Leaving out personal development.

Never forget the vital career development component. A simple career development piece can do wonders for employee morale and can be easily built right into your performance program. Employees naturally want to improve their lives and better their circumstances. A career development component helps employees know, envision, and subsequently achieve promotions, positions, and greater responsibility within your organization.

A career development focus gives the employee the opportunity to take ownership of their career destiny.

A good career development component helps the employees ascertain what they need to do to close the gaps in their experience and education in order to be promoted to other positions. Many great programs include education and seminars, but some cleverly include short-term assignments in other positions to gain vital hands-on experience.

Implementing a proper performance program may seem daunting, remember that employees are not just your greatest assets; they are the key to ensuring that you can thrive in challenging economic times.

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Why Developing A High-Performance Employee Review Process Matters

Why Developing A High-Performance Employee Review Process Matters


Most employees loath them; many managers avoid them. High Performance Organizations have them, and they do what they’re designed to do—evaluate precisely the performance of each employee.

Feel like you don’t need them? Here are 10 great reasons that should change your mind.

  1. Aligning performance to goals and objectives

Most organization employees we meet with say they have no idea what the yearly top two or three goals are for their organization.  A great performance program sets these goals as their starting point. Ninety-nine percent of employees in this country want to do well at work, but we lack leaders who know how to align their desire to achieve to the organizational goals.

  1. Providing a basis for promotion/transfer/termination

Many organizations are not transparent concerning how to be promoted.  A performance review process more readily identifies those employees who deserve promotion and those who require lateral shift (transfer) or need to enter into a remedial program. This system also aids career planning.

  1. Enhancing employees’ effectiveness

Most people really do want to be better at their jobs! Helping employees to identify their strengths and weaknesses and informing them of the organization’s expectations concerning their performance helps them to better understand the role they play and increases work efficiency. Feedback reinforces good performance and discourages poor performance.

  1. Aiding in designing training and development programs

Instead of creating “programs of the month,” you can use performance review data to more accurately ascertain training needs and identify skills that need to be developed in order to tailor-make the most effective training and development programs.

  1. Building teams

Counseling employees corrects misconceptions, which might result in work alienation. Performance management also helps employees to internalize the norms and values of the organization. (I have met leaders who have not talked to their employees about their performance since 2009!)

  1. Removing discontent

Performance management puts all employees on the same measuring tape. Identifying and removing factors responsible for worker discontent motivates them to perform better at work. Performance management helps to create a positive and healthy work environment in the organization.

  1. Developing interpersonal relationships

Relations between superiors and subordinates can be improved through the realization that there exists a mutual dependence that leads to better performance and success. By facilitating employees to perform introspection, self-evaluation and goal setting, their behavior can be modified. Better interpersonal relationships lead to team building.

  1. Aiding wage administration

Performance management can help to develop fairer and more equitable base lines for reward allocation, wage fixation, raises, incentives, etc.

  1. Exercising control

A performance review process provides a means to exercise control of projects focused on, and helps keep employees aligned to the agreed upon annual goals and objectives.

  1. Improving communication

Performance management serves as a mechanism for improved communication between superiors and subordinates.  Often times managers shy away from counseling employees.  When the right system is in place, especially is it is employee driven, it forces discussions on a regular basis.

In closing, my experiences lead me to support employee driven programs.  Programs that rely on managers and leaders have a higher propensity for failure.  Simple yet meaningful programs that include goals, objectives, behaviors, an employee development component and stretch assignments meet what most employees’ desire.

How important are employee performance reviews in your organization?  We would like to know.  Please leave comments below. 

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Great Organizations Are Built On Solid Job Descriptions

Great Organizations Are Built on Solid Job Descriptions


Job descriptions (JDs) are just so 1980s,” a young HR graduate recently commented to me, He could not be more wrong. Having worked in HR for over 25 years, I can tell you that some things just don’t change—and shouldn’t change.  New technology consistently bombards us; faster, better, and sleeker processes seem to overwhelm us.

One thing that will never change is the fact that, in order to be a High Performance Organization, you still need to get some  “old school” work done. Don’t let technology and “the new workplace” fool you. Now, more than ever, you need JDs.

Here are eight good reasons why:

Recruitment – As you grow and expand, it is almost impossible to hire legally or correctly when lacking a solid, well-written job description.

Teambuilding – It is difficult for Teams to form and support each other when job duties are gray and tasks constantly conflict or interrupt each other. It is enlightening to know what each Team Member is responsible to accomplish.

Performance management – This enables you  to set measurable performance goals based on duties listed in the corresponding job description. Having them listed, in writing, signifies their importance.

Training and employee development – You can use job descriptions, along with descriptions of possible job promotions, as a tool to determine what to pursue in regards to classes, seminars, and other career development activities in order to close gaps.

Compensation- JDs can be helpful in developing a standardized compensation program with minimums, maximums, and target pay for each position. They help highlight internal equity issues to decision makers and contribute to fairness.

Recognition and rewards – You can use job descriptions as a baseline for performance, and as a tool to encourage performance “above and beyond” the job description, in order to distribute recognition and rewards or just plain old praise!

Discipline – Sometimes employees just don’t do what needs to be done. Hopefully, this does not happen at your place of work, but sometimes Team Members fail each other. If you need to, you can use job descriptions to illustrate when employees are not performing up to agreed-upon standards.

Essential job function analysis – The physical and environmental setting is important in order to provide employees, including new hires, who need accommodation. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it is also the law.  As of July 1992, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that an organization assist an employee when a request is made for a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

Some Key Points to Ensure a Great Job Description Process

  • Have the employee own their description
  • Remember that no one knows the job better than the employee doing it
  • Make the employee accountable to complete it and have HR review it
  • The manager should have final JD authority and reserve the right to make changes to the final document, incorporating dialogue with the employee

Don’t make JDs more work then they have to be. Instead, make it a process to enjoy and learn from—it does not have to be awful.

Be joyful and helpful with the process, and your staff will love you for it!

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

 

 

Decrease Turnover ~ Develop On-Boarding Excellence

Decrease Turnover ~ Develop On-Boarding Excellence


During the past several years many organizations enjoyed what felt like a relatively low turnover rate. Many leaders thought that the reason turnover had decreased was because of the downturn in the economy. That’s not entirely accurate. Long term employees were holding on, but new hires still turned over at an astonishing rate. As the 2014 Equifax research shows, on average, more than half of all employees who left their job in the past year did so within the first twelve months.

Concerned? You should be. The average cost to recruit a single new employee is well over $4,000 and will take on average 42 days to fill the vacancy (SHRM study 2016). This figure does not reflect the time spent or the decrease in morale as the search drags on. Since the rate of turnover is potentially the highest during the first year, let’s take a closer look at one way we can stop the hemorrhage.

There is a misperception shared by many of today’s leaders that orientation and on-boarding are essentially one and the same. They are not. Simply stated, orientation comprises the tactical tasks to complete in order to get an employee ready to get to work, for example, computer login registration, physical building access, facility tours, and a basic HR overview of policies such as benefits and the employee handbook.

So, how is on-boarding different? On-boarding is assimilating your new employee to the culture of your organization. It is about introducing your new employee to your organization’s values, its norms, providing a recipe that lists the ingredients of what makes up your organization’s culture, and how they can blend effectively with them to create a desirable end product, leading to the greater success of your organization as a whole.  An effective program helps the new employee align themselves to your Mission, Vision and Values.  This is a very important step to organizational success.

Want to create an effective on-boarding program? Consider these 4 steps.

Step #1: Use a Focus Group

Create a focus group that consists of the most recent six people you hired. These are the individuals who best know what does and doesn’t work— they’ve just lived through it! Task the focus group facilitator with developing a list of items that should be included in the on-boarding program. And, once your HR leader develops the final program, schedule the focus group to meet again to ensure the legitimacy of the program.

Step #2:  Build Employee Development into the Process

Ensure job description review, refinement, and updating are all a part of your process. Have every new employee consult with co-workers and corresponding leaders to update their job description so that they have full ownership. Have them present to their leader the key areas of development for promote-ability based on future career assignments. Get them thinking about their own development now, not after they tire of their position.

Step #3: Build in Key Meetings with Various Stakeholders

Arrange for new employees to meet with a different manager in separate departments several times over the course of some months. Earlier in my career, we built a process at the Quaker Oats Company where all new employees or transferees would go to lunch with different department managers and several members of their department. It is a fantastic way for new employees to feel part of the Mission of the organization.

Step #4: Ensure New Employees Own the Process

Create a checklist for employees to follow and update going forward. Have them meet with their manager twice a month to discuss how the process is working. Ensure participation is built into their 90-day review. Holding them accountable will ensure they take an active role in the process.

One thing is for sure—most organizations have veered away from progressive HR programs in the last several years, losing time and money, as well as valuable employees.

Isn’t it time you started focusing on the fundamentals and take the time to bring your people on board correctly? After all, people are your most valuable resource. It’s one of the best investments you can make in the long-term success of your organization.

What on-boarding programs have you had success with?

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.