I grew up in rural Ohio. I remember countless stories from my dad about how much he worked — even as an infant! I knew he was exaggerating, but his stories reflect what happens in most workplaces today: You just show up and work.
The concept that new hires should automatically know what to do when they enter the workforce is one of the worst obstacles that exists in organizations today.
It is an incredible assumption that people come fully equipped and are automatically ready to perform. As talent advisors, we even lure people into our organizations with the promise of an easy transition into our culture and environment. There is no doubt new hires have the requisite technical ability to do a job. They may have to learn how your particular company does things, but they come with the basics and education to get started.
HR professionals treat new hires like a parachute. We get ready to jump, pull the cord and let them float throughout their days as we move on to the next area that captures our attention and requires us to focus. It is not a good practice and something that needs to change — now. Employees deserve a better new hire transition period so they can not just exist, but thrive.
Talent advisors have the ability to fill in the gaps for new hires in three intangible areas.
Every company has norms that people practice but rarely communicate. Not knowing the hidden behaviors in an organization can be very frustrating. Employees who have been in the business for any substantial amount of time may spend time gossiping about how the newbie doesn’t “get it” — and they may soon be labeled as not fitting in. Talent advisors need to teach “assumed culture” to new hires in the onboarding process and show new employees the ropes. ALL OF THE ROPES.
Knowing how to work effectively with people at all levels of an organization is not a skill that all people have when joining your company. Being able to maneuver and interact with co-workers above you and below you may have to be learned. It is often overlooked and becomes another area of frustration for people. It results in either poor relationships with people or employees working around key players. Talent advisors can take steps to close this gap by pairing new employees with experienced employees who know how the existing staff works. It will help new hires easily integrate into your workforce.
When you ask people about the one thing they would fix in their company, the answer is always better communication. The problem is that we say communication is a problem, but then we expect people to learn how to communicate more efficiently through osmosis. Communication gaps can stifle and kill the energy and eagerness a new hire brings to his or her new opportunity. It is a great time for talent advisors to be intentional and be a connecting link for new hires to show them how to communicate clearly in all the systems your company uses.
Teaching the intangibles of your company to your new hires will differentiate you as a talent advisor. It has the potential to increase retention, integrate your staff across departments and add value to your organization as a whole. Don’t pull the cord on your people. Take the ride with them!
Throughout the month of August, our resident talent advisors will be discussing issues around the biggest recruiting issues right now and getting you ready for CareerBuilder’s Empower 2015. Subscribe to Talent Advisor to stay on top of the latest blog posts and discussions, and find out more about Empower 2015 here.