Are International Cultural Differences Impacting your Business?
How to ensure new hires feel included from their first day
When it comes to onboarding new employees, the majority of employers have a to-do list which focuses on paperwork, meeting the team, a tour of the office and other similar tasks. However, what is not included is a plan which focuses on making the new employee feel included and welcome. Your organisation only gets one chance at making a good first Impression and the first few days will have a lasting impression on your new hire. If you make your new employees feel welcome, high employee retention and loyalty will follow. There are a number of things an organisation can do to make new hires feel welcome and appreciated:
1 – Have a welcome strategy: Everybody from management down, who is directly involved with the new employee plays a part in making them feel welcome. Current employees who will be involved should be asked how they felt on their first day and if there was anything other employees could have done to make you feel more comfortable and accepted. Once you have these answers you can then brainstorm and come up with a detailed plan for welcoming the new employee. Ensure that the plan is written down it will remind the staff of its importance, it also emphasises that everyone has an important role to play
2 – Even executives need individual attention: Often managers assume that new hires at executive level can just figure things out by themselves. This way of thinking leaves new hires feeling unclear about key decisions, undervalued and unsure about how best to work with their manager. Therefore it is important to take time to speak with the new hire one on one, even if it is just a 5 minute walk to another floor. This builds rapport and shows the new hires how the company works.
3 – Have a collage of immediate staff: One of the main aspects of starting a new job which creates anxiety for the new employee is wondering how they are going to fit in with the team. On the first day you meet a lot of new people and find it hard to remember everybody’s names. Instead of just giving the new hire a standard organisation chart with an employee’s name and title, give them a collage which contains personal information of the employee and photos. This could include some personal information such as family or hobbies. This type of information takes the pressure off the new employee in relation to remembering faces and names and will also make them feel like they are joining a family.
4 – Mentor/buddy system: When a new employee is hired, another employee should be assigned to show them how everything works, spend time with them and offer support or guidance when it is needed. This could be one set employee who will take on every new started or could be rotated amongst staff who volunteer. Whilst the buddy would be mostly responsible for looking after the new starter, other employees should also be involved and do their bit to make the new employee feel welcome.
5 – New member = new team: When a new member joins a team, it can be very easy for existing members to carry on as usual and don’t really think about team dynamics. Team integration is not just the responsibility of the manager and new hire, it is also the responsibility of the existing team.
Ensuring that new hires are properly onboarded and feel welcome if hugely important and has a huge impact on retention. Get off to the best start possible by being aware of this and following our steps to ensure your new hires feels included in the team and company as a whole from the outset.
Deutschendorf, H (2014) 5 Ways To Make New Employees Feel Welcome [online] https://www.fastcompany.com/3039232/5-ways-to-welcome-your-new-employee-to-the-workplace
Nawaz, S. (2019) How to Make Sure a New Hire Feels Included from Day One [online] https://hbr.org/2019/02/how-to-make-sure-a-new-hire-feels-included-from-day-one
GLOBAL TALENT SOLUTIONS
Customising your job offer
We are currently living in the era of customisation. There are many different ways people today can personalise their experiences, whether it be using recommendation engines or tailoring apps. It would of course make sense in the current climate for companies to start customising employment offers.
In most companies, recruiting for a role usually means starting with a standardised job description and hiring someone who can do these tasks. As time progresses, people get stuck in these roles and if they cannot grow in the position, they become disengaged. Leaders often try to combat this problem through teamwork, perks etc. however they are missing a simple solution, employees are engaged when they have engaging jobs!
Job personalisation is one of the best ways to maximise engagement. You should ask candidates or even current employees to describe themselves and their career. This way you can find out what they are particularly good at and passionate about, and what they are not good at or dislike. It is possible to create roles which will accelerate their personal progress whilst at the same time benefiting the company.
When it comes to potential candidates it is important to think about the type of employment package you can offer them. When negotiating employment packages, companies very rarely ask for anything other than salary requirements. This however is not always the right thing to do. A salary requirement is going to change based on other aspects of the offer. For example, if a company allows an employee to work from home one day a week they may accept a lower salary because this flexibility is more important to them. Another example would be if a company offers a significant amount of equity, the salary requirement may change. If the company would like the employee to travel for a week every month, the salary requirement may also change. There a many other different factors that could influence the salary requirement.
A number of different studies have suggested that people who are happy and fulfilled are better employees. A study from the University or Warwick found that employees who are happy are 12% more productive. If a company takes the time to learn what is important to a candidate, they could tailor their offer in order to make it more attractive to the candidate. In some cases, this could allow the company to save money as well as give them the opportunity to see if there is a culture fit.
Most companies would make the same offer to each of the candidates. This could in fact cost the company the perfect candidate. If you think about it the same offer is not going to be attractive to both a single 25 year old and a married with kids 36 year old. If they were going for the same position they would more than likely be made identical offers. If, however you took the time to find out more about the candidates you could make a more customised offer which would entice the candidate, for example the 35 year old may accept a lower salary if he could work from home one day a week.
Customisation in the workplace is a challenge. However, if tailored job descriptions keep employees motivated and engaged it would be worth the challenge. In the current era of customisation, instead of having one generic offer for each potential hire, organisations need to start tailoring the offer to each individual candidate. Each of the candidates will have different wants, needs and motivations and so it is hugely important to take this into account when making an offer.
To find out more about recruiting for cultural fit click here.
Solomon, N (2018). Why you should customize your job offer. [Online] https://www.tlnt.com/why-you-should-customize-your-job-offer/
Bapat, V. (2018) Why you should let employees personalise their job descriptions. [Online] https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/employee-relations/pages/let-employees-personalize-their-job-descriptions.aspx
Oswald, Andrew J. , Proto, Eugenio and Sgroi, Daniel. (2015) Happiness and productivity. Journal of Labor Economics, 33 (4). pp. 789-822.
Why use psychometric testing?
Psychometrics refers to ‘the psychological theory or technique of mental measurement’ – (Merriam-Webster 2018). Getting a better sense of a candidate’s personality and behavioural traits is much more difficult in an interview than learning about their skills, education and experience.
As a result, many employers include psychometric testing for assessing current or potential talent and as part of their recruitment process. This is helpful as it gives a better overall evaluation of the candidates and allows you to make a more informed decision about who best fits a role. Not everyone believes that this type of testing is valuable, however those that have used it believe that they get a more objective overview of a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, character and style of work.
How does psychometric testing help with decisions?
By carrying out psychometric testing, you can learn a lot more about a candidate’s skills, motivation and culture fit.
During the assessment process, interviewers generally assess both skills and experience quite accurately, however it can be slightly subjective, and a lot of the decision can be left up to gut instinct. Psychometric testing however, provides objective data which can help you get a better sense of the candidate’s overall suitability. Some point out that by using psychometric testing, a ‘scientific’ credibility and objectivity can be brought to the recruitment process. If all applicants are given the same standardised test, it may be a more accurate, as well as fair, way of assessing candidates. These tests for the most part, are no longer in the form of pen and paper questionnaires and are becoming more digitised. This makes the process even more efficient as they can be easily integrated into any stage of the process and can be taken anywhere at any time.
Aptitude testing – Verbal and numerical reasoning
This form of testing indicates how capable a candidate is at processing verbal and numerical information within a set time. Today these tests are usually carried out online either before or on assessment day.
Typically these are used at the beginning of a recruitment drive, large organisations tend to use this testing as a way of screening and then eliminating a high volume of candidates. In cases such as these, psychometric testing can massively reduce the work of the hiring manager and the selection of suitable candidates is smaller.
EQ- Emotional Intelligence
This form of testing measures a person capability in understanding their own and other peoples motivations effectively mapping out their relationship management ability a key part of leadership.
It can be very useful to get an insight into the intrinsic motivation of a potential leader. What truly they are interested in and will be drawn towards focusing on. not always be the best way to assess these types of skills.
The most common version of this type of testing is the Myers Briggs 16 personailty factors. This type of test is usually taken online in 20-30 minutes and results are process very quickly. It gives a breakdown of how a person will behave and so interact with others. This of course is very important in understanding how a person will “fit in” with their team and other colleagues.
Does leadership onboarding work?
- Higher job satisfaction.
- Organizational commitment.
- Lower turnover.
- Higher performance levels.
- Career effectiveness.
- Lowered stress.
- A written onboarding plan. A formal document, or roadmap, that outlines the specific timeline, goals, responsibilities and support available to new hires will help them succeed because it spells out what they should do and what assistance they can expect. The most effective onboarding plans are usually written, communicated to all members of the company, consistently applied and tracked over time.
- Stakeholder meetings. Proactive/ Level 3 organizations often create check-in meetings at specific intervals to help new employees get the information they need in a timely manner. Many stakeholders should be involved in these onboarding meetings, and the schedule should identify who is involved at what point in time. With regular “touching base” meetings, potential problems can be solved before they expand into large problems.
- Onboarding online. Some organizations use technology to deliver initial orientation programs, but one study shows that benefits may not be quite as positive in computer-based orientations. Researchers compared employees taking part in a regular, face-to- face orientation to those in a computer-based orientation and found less understanding of the job and the company for those in the computer-based version. Technology also can be used to follow the boarding process, automate basic forms, track progress against development and career plans, and help stakeholders monitor new employees to see when they may need additional support. About 68 percent of Level 3 organizations have onboarding systems that are partially or fully online (Bauer and Elder, 2006).
- Coaching and Support. As mentioned above, stakeholder involvement is extremely valuable for successful new employee onboarding because stakeholders can help newcomers manage and meet expectations (Chatman, 1991). Stakeholders include those involved in hiring, training, HR, and normal coaching and support. They can influence new hires by not only sharing information but also serving as role models to be emulated.
The Importance of Communication During the Hiring Process
- The company, its culture, the employee experience
- The job itself and more details on what’s expected of them.
- More information on the reward package.
How Executives Make a Career Move
Why People Leave Jobs and How to Stop Them!
Do you know how expensive employee turnover is?
There are a myriad of reasons why employees decide to leave a company, see our article https://www.rfc.ie/research/talent-acquisition-retention/. These include a promotion or a higher paying more challenging position, but the most destructive, and by far the most preventable reason employees move on is a lack of engagement. Not all turnover is bad, but there is a balance to be struck between bringing new people with freshideas and ways of thinking into the company and keeping your current employees engaged and happy.
Hidden costs include:
Lowered productivity: The person who has left was filling a specific role within the company with a complementary set of tasks assigned. Even if you spread the workload out among the remaining staff the chances are that the most important stuff will get done but ancillary tasks will fall by the wayside.
Overworked remaining staff: Farming out the workload can result in employees being stretched thin as they contend with their own workload and pick up the slack left by their departing colleague. The more people have to do, the more the quality of their work suffers and this will have an impact on company performance down the line.
Lost knowledge: While there are many people who can do the job that the former employee did, they won’t have the specific knowledge that he or she possessed. This knowledge is built up over a period of time and is industry, company and even team specific. This is lost when an employee abandons ship.
Training costs higher: Beyond the obvious costs associated with a training course which the new employee may need to complete there are hidden costs associated with the informal training and onboarding of a new colleague. The most obvious of these hidden costs is time. Someone will have to show the new employee what to do and how to do it, possibly multiple times. Someone will have to check their work until they have proven themselves capable. This all takes the ‘trainer’ away from their day job.
Recruitment process costs higher: Leaving aside the obvious costs associated with this process, posting on job boards or using a recruitment agency or headhunter there are serious time costs involved in the recruitment process. Some businesses may have a dedicated HR/ recruitment team who deal with this on a daily basis, but in a smaller company the onus may fall on one person who will have to define the role profile and the type of person sought, go through CVs, perhaps conduct screening calls with potential candidates, schedule and organise interviews and then negotiate and close with the successful candidate.
Hiring the right people from the start is the best way to combat employee turnover. Design your recruitment process to ensure that not only do candidates have the right skills but that they fit well with the company culture, management style and with co-workers. Look at all aspects of the candidate not just the skills fit. Fitting in with the organisational culture will result in more settled and content employees and improved business performance. Cultural and motivational fit involve innate characteristics that can be difficult to develop.