The first few weeks with a new hire are crucial points of growth. It’s important to make sure that your company culture is present throughout the onboarding experience. Make your mark because first impressions are everything!


Episode 7 | Integrating Company Culture into the Onboarding Experience

Josh: [00:00:00] My name’s Josh Sweeney and welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast. Before we get started I’d like to thank Prototype Prime, the technology co-working space in Peachtree Corners for this amazing podcasting booth. We couldn’t have done it without you, thank you. Today’s topic is about conveying your culture through onboarding. We’re going to talk a little bit about how culture is injected into the onboarding process as well as some minimum thoughts or minimums that you need to have as part of your onboarding process.

It Takes Time

So I will point out that this is something that evolves over time. Most people don’t just come up with an amazing onboarding process. One that changes and adapts per role, or injects all of the educations that is needed. It’s going to evolve into something that is more thorough as you deliver it.

First Day Process

[00:00:55] The first thing I’d like to talk about is the first day when somebody comes onto the organization. What I like to do is walk them through a highlight of the organization, so in our company, we have a slide deck. We present a slide deck. It talks about the mission, vision, values, their why, understanding the passion, the reason for the company, why we do what we do, all of these types of things. So in the past, this has happened, I’ve delivered this a few different ways, I’ve seen it delivered a few different ways and have experienced it.

[00:01:36] For example, I joined one organization. When I came onboard with them, the CEO (and this was a smaller entrepreneur-led company, about forty people I believe) was the one who delivered. He delivered the mission, vision, values and the “why”. And it really came across in a positive light, one the CEO is making time for the new onboarding process. Now also in an entrepreneurial environment, he is the most passionate person about that company. He built it or she built it, and when somebody builds their organization they’re going to have a certain level of passion.

They’re going to have a certain level of share and information that they want to convey to you as a new employee. So one thing to take note of is if you are going to present this, if you’re going to do mission, vision, values, why the organization was there, deliver it in a way that really energizes people. If they’re not energized about the company then it’s all downhill from there. You get into the minutiae of all the other training topics.

High Energy

[00:02:50] Now, being delivered by the entrepreneur or by the founder is the best way that I’ve seen. Now, if you’re not an entrepreneur-led company you’re a larger organization, you need to pick somebody with high energy. Who is high energy that loves the company, loves the culture, and can deliver it to the new employees? To get them ready, onboarded and convey how important that company is and how important the mission, vision, values are and why they exist?

Now, a bad example of that, well, we’ve all fallen into that. One is well, just don’t do it so if you’re not telling people your mission, vision, values and you’re not onboarding them, that’s probably the worst outcome or the worst possible way to go about it and I think many of us, many of you listening, including myself, have been through the onboarding from a very large chain of restaurants.

Experience Share

[00:03:50] So for example, you may have worked in a restaurant as a dishwasher or a server or whatever it might’ve been, and you all got the, let’s sit and watch the video routine. Somebody put you in a very tight room with not a lot of space and what looked like the oldest TV you’ve ever seen and still working in existence and told you to watch these videos. That won’t get them energized for doing their job. So there are some minimums that you want to have in place as onboarding procedures and those minimums really need to convey your company culture.

Training Plan

[00:04:30] Now, another thing that we like to do is have a solid training plan. Now I’ve fallen into this rut many times. Especially at Atcore Systems, my CRM Consulting firm. New people would come on board and it was essentially “drinking from the firehose,” that’s what they said. You threw me in and told me to swim and there was actually lots of sharks.

That is not the vibe you want to give people about your company. You just throw them into the mix and hope they make it. So having a solid training plan is going to be extremely important. Now I understand that that’s difficult. Some large organizations have amazing training plans. You get on board and you’re doing one, two, and three weeks of training before you even touch a computer.

[00:05:20]Smaller businesses, I see this as much more of a challenge. You’re going to want to make sure to get that training plan together. The training plan doesn’t have to be necessarily job-specific. I’m starting to find there’s a lot of technology involved. There needs to be coaching about how the organization is set up. And what is important. So in that training plan, you have things to do and things not to do. You can go through the fact that you use Gmail or Outlook. The best habits and the apps that you use to run your organization. So think of training more broadly than just the role that they’re in. What do they really need to do in order to get productive quickly.

Onboarding with Technology

[00:06:03] Now another piece of this is the onboarding experience so how the technology is delivered to the new employee. How are they scheduled? What is the feeling when a new employee gets onboarded? So an example of that would be in our organization you come on, you meet with me, you do the mission, vision, values, why, we do some deep dive. We also go through some training process. so that you know what tools we’re using and then we dive into the job role. You’re going to get your MacBook Air, MacBook Pro setup at your desk. All of these different things that happen so we try to give the best onboarding process that we can. Then you have the opposite.

Contract Onboarding Experience

[00:06:44] I had a contract position at a company for probably a year and a half at one point. During my onboarding, I was shown my amazing desk, get very high cubicles and as I looked around there were not many other people in that area of the floor that I was on at this Fortune 500. And then I was told that I would get my laptop in about two weeks so have fun at this desk and we don’t allow other devices on the network so go find some people that can print some documents for you that you can read through for your role and we’ll eventually get you your laptop and you’ll get rolling.

Are you Conveying Company Culture?

[00:07:25] Well, I can tell you from that experience I wasn’t very motivated at that point. I may have been motivated when I came on board and said, this is going to be an awesome role. I’m going to learn lots of things and now stop, and hold, for two weeks. Not the best onboarding experience. So what I want you to think about is how are you conveying your company culture? How are you getting the feeling across around what you need people to achieve? What is the value of the company?

What are we really here for as well as how are you bringing them up to speed to ensure that that motivation and momentum and that feeling they got from being hired is being maintained throughout the process because a lot of this really does come down to feeling. You don’t want to take away that momentum with a two-week pause because you don’t have your equipment. You want to keep that momentum going. And You want to keep that energy going so just think through all of those processes as well as how you keep the energy going with your culture and through your onboarding process.

Our Podcast

[00:08:29] Let me tell you what to expect on the Epic Company Culture Podcast. Whether you’re an HR manager, a business leader or an entrepreneur we are going to be sharing with you all the knowledge that we can around how to build an amazing company culture. Everything from hiring A players, attracting the right talent, getting them on board, to retaining them and keeping them happy in your business environment.

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