When your company is growing like a weed, it’s difficult to think about anything besides keeping your head above water.
Although many young, smart intrapreneurs will join a company because of its startup cred, that’s not a sustainable way to keep new employees engaged and productive.
While training and on-boarding are not only the pieces that prepare an employee for their job, without them, chances are new hires will not make it past the first few months. The first 90 days are the right time to introduce hires to new colleagues, share with them your expectations, and help them to understand the specific values your company espouses. Do you value work ethic above all else? Now’s the time to drive that point home. Does excuse-making set your teeth on edge? If so, tell them. It will create more transparency around how they (and you) work.
At Red Branch Media, we created a narrative that runs from the job advertisement all the way through to the new hire’s first day. We give them a reason to believe (we’re a family business and bootstrapped so the founders work as hard as the interns) and a map to what their future could be (we tell stories of our successful employees and the highs and lows that got them there). There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to on-boarding, but there are a few things we’ve learned that can help.
On-boarding Is Not the Same as Training
A study of 264 new employees published in the Academy of Management Journal found that the first 90 days of employment (often called the probationary period) is pivotal to building rapport with the company, management, and coworkers. When support levels were high from the team and leaders, new hires often had more positive attitudes about their job and worked harder. When support and direction were not offered, the inverse occurred, leading to unhappy and unproductive employees who didn’t make it much further than four months.
Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and content development. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the global recruitment and talent space.
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