Remember your first day on the job, on your first job, all those years ago?
I do. I remember awkward introductions. (“If you need anything at all…” “Hook ‘em horns!”)
I remember paperwork. SO much paperwork.
And I remember pulling up a chair in my undecorated closet-office and going straight to work.
And that was my “onboarding” experience, which, come to think of it, was a term that nobody used. Sure, I had enough human resiliency to eventually navigate my way through the organization.
But today’s organizational practitioners are arguing that launches like mine were a missed opportunity.
Today the “get them to work fast” ethic remains, but the process is tempered by a more nuanced, employee-focused conversation: What value does this job deliver to ME? How do these tasks connect to my sense of aspiration, my purpose, and my own unique value proposition? How does this role position me for the next step in my career? The days of “and here’s the supply closet” are long gone. Onboarding is itself a unique value proposition, an edge in a marketplace desperate to grab the top talent.
Okay, sure, you still need to tell the new employees the after-hours code to the elevator. But there are some more urgent dynamics at work here, because in a world where many dismiss company loyalty as a fossilized idea, some are nonetheless making a bold bid for engagement, enthusiasm, cultural fit, and an instant network that serves as a hedge against costly attrition.
This comprehensive reimagining of the new hire’s “first five days” (and “the first three months” and perhaps even “the first two years”) is a huge investment, but the idea is that it delivers big dividends down the road. In practice, this is indeed proving to be the case.
It is also proving to be a realm of real innovation in learning, with many organizations engineering rich, immersive, and original experiences all for the purpose of extending that new hire’s honeymoon into a solid, lasting relationship.
Blueline Simulations has worked with some of the world’s leading talent-driven organizations to deliver these onboarding experiences. Stay tuned for our next blog, and we’ll give you a peek at some of the breakthrough practices that some organizations are implementing to create high-performing, engaged, and – perhaps most tantalizingly – loyal and committed associates.