Launching New Hires into Success
Shad McNeil | 5 min read
What’s the Point?
The goal of successful onboarding should be taking a brand new employee – with all of their enthusiasm and experience – and enabling them to be an efficient, highly engaged member of your team who promotes your culture.
I am Shad McNeil, an Implementation Manager and new addition to the team at Wisetail. Our Implementation Team is the first touch our new clients have once they have crossed the line of choosing the Wisetail platform. We are responsible for understanding new clients’ needs and accelerating the process of turning a blank site into a vital hub for their companies. I have a background in hospitality, as well as experience and passion for building healthy work environments and communities. I use that experience to create strong relationships with our new clients and help them build their own better organizations.
Finding the Perfect Fit
For many, the last two years provoked a re-shuffling of goals and priorities. Business as usual changed. Focus shifted. Many people began to wake up to the realization that less could actually be more. Companies that pivoted and looked after each other, found the strength to survive. Things changed. These realizations led to many of us – myself included – to begin looking for better ways to live our lives and better things to be involved in.
Gratefully, I found Wisetail – a team that exists to turn companies into communities and a business model that had done some pretty incredible things to take care of their own client community during the uncertainty of the pandemic. My candidate experience had been incredibly positive but while the Great Resignation loomed, I felt uncertainty as organizational structures shifted across the nation. Before, I had been a part of an onboarding process that left me whiplashed once I was hired. When I found Wisetail, I was committed to finding a nearly flawless fit.
Thankfully, it ended up being an incredible fit! Through the use of Apex, our internal LMS, I was introduced to a very thorough and streamlined orientation. The people of Wisetail were kind and efficient while still contributing to a fun, positive environment. The scope of my new position was explained thoroughly, and through departmental training, call shadowing, scheduled Q&A meetings, and phased training modules through Apex, I felt I had all the resources I needed to begin contributing quickly. My desire for continued learning and career development was treated as an essential and not just a nice idea. I could immediately picture myself as a key player in the company and was looking forward to all the opportunities ahead.
The Value of Good Culture
You will often hear how costly losing a customer can be – and the cost associated with losing potential account growth – but, it should also be understood how costly losing a highly engaged team member during orientation is. Do businesses understand the diminishing return on investment when a candidate joins their force with enthusiasm and goodwill, only to lose those feelings when their onboarding highlights an unhealthy culture or unrealistic expectations? Do businesses calculate the cost of stifled growth of a team member with no path forward? A seamless transition across the line can create an employee who sees themselves contributing productively for years to come. On the contrary, a sloppy transition can push new employees to start looking for a way out.
It is easy to see the acceptance of an offer as the end of a process. In reality, it is just the beginning of a relationship. The way a new candidate is successfully onboarded is an extension of that process. Orientation is time to cover the essentials, of course: policy, paperwork, credentials, payroll. But orientation is also time to feel the pulse of the relationship and catch the vision. Does the friendliness of the interviewers carry into departmental meet & greets? Are the responsibilities and expectations outlined in the job description and interviews representative of the actual expectations and responsibilities? Does the new hire feel thrown into the deep end the moment they finish onboarding because the rest of the team is too strapped to help them?
The success of your hiring process extends past the initial interviewing & hiring and into orientation, onboarding and beyond by addressing these issues. Every team member is responsible. If an interviewer is authentic, friendly, and hypes up company culture, the new hire should feel that same energy in their first standup, or all company meeting. Job responsibilities should be clearly communicated, and not mislead new hires.
Invest in Onboarding
I have experienced the disembodied handoff of bad onboarding first-hand. I am so happy to now be a part of a company culture that seeks to create better communities. The goal of onboarding should always be taking a new hire and enabling them to be an efficient, highly engaged contributor to your team and an advocate of your mission – a success story. This is possible through creating orientations where employees are not casualties strong-armed into staying, but instead are human beings welcomed warmly who now know they’ve made a good choice.