Posts Tagged 'Vision'

Using dollars wisely during onboarding

Whether you are a leader, a recruiter or an HR Manager it no doubt crosses your mind on a fairly regular basis that bringing people in to the organisation and bringing them to an appropriate level of performance is time consuming, energy zapping and costly. The upside of doing it is that a vital gap will be filled and a job will be done, so at some point your investment in time and energy will be repaid. The downside is that you invest and it doesn’t work out. A recent global study on mindset of new and existing employees by RogenSi shows that you have only a limited time to get payback.

The study found that employees with more than one year’s service with an organisation are feeling unenthusiastic, under-appreciated, uninspired and unmotivated by their leaders. Therefore in the first year you need to be doing everything you can to motivate, inspire and grow employees so they perform in year one and beyond. There is only a short window to consolidate new employees’ commitment and align them with the organisations’ culture and vision.

If you add to this a picture of the real cost of hiring someone – adding in recruitment costs, admin, training, management time and their salary; the cost of getting this right for every single employee should be a business priority.

The maths are indisputable and the opportunity to create commitment and alignment is limited – yet so many organisations seem to kick own goals once a new employee is on board.

Own goal number one is the handling of an employees induction process. Hands up to all of you who have started with a new organisation and had a less than enthusiastic welcome in some shape or form? This could be down to the process for getting your pass, a desk, directions to the toilet. Or it could be the often tedious process that you are taken through to learn about the organisation – for many this is usually the mandatory Induction training that comes anywhere between day 1 and day 365 of being in your role.

This is a golden opportunity – the penalty kick with no goalkeeper in the net – when the organisation has the chance to bring the new employee in to the organisation, live the values, display the culture and make the links to the goals, direction and what the organisation is all about. It’s a chance to reach the employees hearts.

And yet, so often, this opportunity is missed. On-boarding and Induction becomes an insipid and cold experience that leaves the new employees enthusiasm fading.

Given the cost to the business of recruiting and then losing your employees, surely a small investment in a makeover of your on-boarding and induction could reap big rewards?

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Creating a vision – the role of a leader

In the first few chapters of Animal Farm, the reader is drawn in to the vision that Old Major sets for the animals before he dies. A vision where the evils of the animal’s life can change through the removal of man, a vision that has the animals thinking about being rich and free, a vision that stirs the emotions of the animals, a vision that the animals buy in to and act on.

Taking a corporate perspective of Old Major’s vision there are elements of his final speech that would make many a CEO proud;
– It’s a clear message that creates a vision of a better farm/ workplace
– It makes it clear who the enemy/competition is – who needs to be beaten
– It outlines what need to be done to achieve the rewards they want
– It is communicated by a respected pig/ leader
– It uses language that the various animals/ staff can relate to and understand
– It uses imagery that the animals can visualise, smell and taste
– It is backed up by an anthem that stirs the emotions

For those of you that know the story, Old Major died soon after setting this vision and it was picked up by the self-appointed new leader Napoleon. As the story unfolds and Napoleon puts his only particular angle on the vision and how it should be implemented, it becomes apparent that there were elements of Old Major’s original vision that were missing.

The original vision left a lot of questions unanswered. It appealed to the animals on the basis that they were unhappy with their present situation and wanted it to change. The vision presented to them sounded like an idyll yet it lacked substance and a sense of realism (ok, I know I am questioning the vision created by talking and reading animals). Whilst the animals hung on to the vision for some time and sang the animal/ company anthem there was great scope for interpretation and it became obvious that some of the animals were less committed than others.

In organisations it seems that so often the same thing happens. The CEO and leadership team create a vision, they may then invest in a process to communicate this to all staff and then it goes off the rails.

As we see in Animal Farm a vision is only of use if it can engage staff on an ongoing basis in the things that need to be done to achieve the future state. It also has to have a level of substance and reality that makes it achievable and real to all who need to play a part in making it happen. Creating and committing to the vision should be a long and focused activity that goes beyond the vision launch communication activities and is built-in to aspects of all communication and leadership.