February 03, 2015 – Colleen Niese – Insights

Is Your Company’s Culture Your Best Kept Secret?

comic nhoAccording to a survey conducted by Allied Workforce Mobility:

  • The average cost to hire a professional employee is $11,000;
  • 25% of new hires will leave their place of employment within the first year; and
  • Approximately 35% of companies surveyed stated they spend $0 dollars on new hire orientation.”

That last bullet isn’t a typo and I’m sure the irony between it and the second stat on the list isn’t lost on anyone. Hardly a week goes by without some sort of headline on LinkedIn proclaiming the war on talent will only grow to be more challenging, yet not enough organizations recognize a key lever to pull when improving employee retention is the new hire’s first day on the job and a hidden secret to the success of that experience lays within demonstrating your company’s culture throughout the on boarding agenda.

Start Orientation Before Date Of Hire. Show your new employee what it’s like to work at your company before she starts to work there by sending/emailing a welcome packet that includes information regarding the company’s history, key leaders and detailed information regarding the clients your organization serves. If you have videos, newsletters, or marketing materials that tell your company’s story, include them with the packet and be sure the first page is a welcome to the team letter signed by either the hiring manager or the CEO.

Personalize It. Time and time again when we assess HR practices for various parking clients, we’ll review the new hire orientation materials as part of the process and are never surprised when we’re handed a pile of loose documents with different logos, and a bazillion signature pages, all of which look like they were first copied when mimeographs were still around. Take an honest, hard look at your new hire packet and ask yourself what it says about your company in terms of branding and culture. By simply updating the content to have the same, clean look and feel and inserting them into a company branded folder with the new employee’s name used throughout will step your on boarding program forward by leaps and bounds at a very low cost.

Check In…A Lot. Once the employee’s date of hire has come to pass, it’s not uncommon for hiring managers and HR to move on with the thought that the orientation job is complete. Not so much from the eyes of the new hire. To that end, make sure the first ninety days of employment include milestone meetings with the new employee to see what’s working, what’s not from her perspective in terms of resources, leadership and training. Include in the conversation initial goals that she can participate in setting so that she connects immediately with how her performance contributes to the organization’s success.

As the saying goes there’s no second chance to make a first impression and it rings especially true with new employees – ensure that how your company’s culture is described through the interview process is actually experienced by your new hires before day one.

This quarter’s HR Parking Exchange discusses essential components of effective onboarding programs. If you have a role with developing and/or delivering your company’s onboarding program, join the conversation with your industry colleagues by registering here for this live event that will occur on February 25th at 2pm EST/11am PST.