Why New Staff Orientation Is So Important

Why New Staff Orientation Is So Important

Hiring on and training new staff is one of the biggest challenges that employers face. These individuals will make the difference between success and failure in your business. Here are the top reasons that staff orientation is so important.

Employees Need to Understand Your Values

In a new employee orientation, information about your business should be the place you start. Where else are your new staff members going to learn about your passions and visions for the company? This is an important part of any orientation, as it helps the employee understand the culture of your business and why they need to get on board.

Company Culture Shines Through in Orientation

A new staff person’s first impression of your company’s culture will be evident through the orientation they receive. If the orientation is not put together well, the individuals will have a good idea of how the business is run.

If you can’t take your own business seriously by putting together a valuable orientation, then how can you expect people that work for you to take you seriously?

Introduce all new personnel to what is important to you as an employer by creating an orientation that will give them valuable information.

Customer Service Expectations Must Be Explained

During the orientation process, you need to communicate clearly how the new team member should serve customers. This is a very valuable part of the process.

You cannot assume that they will know how to treat customers to your liking. It doesn’t matter how much experience they have the industry. All businesses handle this aspect of the business differently.

Employees Need to Meet Leadership

In the orientation, new employees need a chance to meet existing leadership and hear from them personally. Companies that lead from the front are the ones that are successful. As a CEO, it is part of your job to introduce yourself to those that your company employs.

Many companies let out a sigh of relief after they have hired on new staff members. They feel that this is the hardest part of the process. The truth is, molding and shaping the new employees into people that are a good fit for the company is the real challenge.

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Getting Clarity of Purpose for Your Business

Getting Clarity of Purpose for Your BusinessWhat does a big win look like for your company today?

Do you think that your team could answer the question in a similar way as you?

Some may mention the core values or income goals while others wouldn’t be able to recall the company mission statement. What would it take to get everyone on the same page? How can we get better clarity with our purpose for business?

We Want to Win

Our deepest and most core instinct are to win in life and business. However, we all define that a little differently. Some people say they hope to make it until 5:00 while others want to achieve the goals set before them, with their competitive edge shining through, for the win. Regardless of what the “win” looks like, we all want to achieve our goal.

How can we transition that mindset to our business? We need to show our team absolute clarity regarding what a win looks like for the company. If we don’t give them a vision, then their results will seem random and their efforts not streamlined toward the goal.

Specificity

We’ve established that we need to convey the mission and target. The next step is to provide specificity. This means that you need a crystal-clear picture of what the goal looks like.

Be specific with your team. The competitive runner has the clear goal to cross the finish line. Your business should have a strategy and specific milestones in place to achieve as a team.

Clarity is Critical

Strong leadership, regardless of your business size, is imperative. This type of leadership is revealed when you provide clarity on the company’s goals.

Further, you must exemplify to every team member what winning looks like to the company. Ensuring that everyone is on the same page is essential and will help as you go for the win.

Companies that shoot in the dark and appear scattered are those that fail to have clarity of purpose. As an organization, be sure that you work to win as a team. Part of that is defining your vision and then taking steps toward the goal on a regular basis.

To win in business is to have a purpose. Strengthen your team with outstanding leadership that is conveyed by a clear focus, destination, and the defined steps to get to the ultimate win.

 

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Improve Your Recruiting Processes

Improve Your Recruiting ProcessesAcquiring top talent is difficult and yet so crucial to your business’ success. Technology has advanced the recruitment process and coupled with an element of human interaction, better candidates can be secured.

Today, there is an abundance of technological recruiting and assessment options. However, companies are not able to measure the long-term impact of these hiring advances as well as you’d think. They struggle to pinpoint the real impact of quality hires and how long they stay.

Hiring managers expect more out of their candidates, especially after they’ve been given assessments and the tools necessary to reveal whether they are the right person for the position. They want to enhance the process in order to attract and then secure better employees.

Acquisitions are important, time-consuming, and potentially costly during the recruitment process.

Ever wondered how this process could improve? It’s a common question amongst hiring managers and HR departments. The more the system is fine-tuned the better for all involved.

Recently there was a survey of 200 hiring managers that revealed some interesting results.

  1. The hiring managers that responded said they wanted to see the recruitment process improved by their HR department.
  2. They reported the desire for a more data-driven process when given the task to hire top candidates.

Recruitment Process

Larger organizations often consist of hiring managers that are frustrated by the challenges associated with recruitment. The survey revealed that they feel like HR should improve the process by utilizing different recruitment tactics. 

Data-Driven Process

Hiring managers want to pursue top talent and believe the process should be data-driven. They want candidates to complete assessments and take the information gathered for consideration during the hiring process. Talent acquisition based on facts and data will ensure a better candidate and most likely a longer-term employee.

Hiring managers rely on HR to set an acquisition system in place. When they don’t consider best practices and stick to the old way of doing things, they hurt their team and the ability to secure the most talented candidates for open positions. Further, data is a useful tool that will enable a more well-rounded decision to be made when selecting a candidate.

Consider these things and bring them up for discussion as a team in order to create a more seamless recruitment process for your company. Working together as a team will ensure you acquire better candidates while improving employee morale and your bottom line over time.

Need help before your interview? Call us today!

 

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How to Hold On to Millennial Employees

How to Hold On to Millennial EmployeesMillennials get a bad rap these days as job hoppers.

However, most want to find a great company to grow with. In order to secure dynamic millennials as new hires, you’ll need to adjust how you interview and portray your company in the most attractive light for them.

Employee retention is essential, and you’ll find that life is downright painful without it. Companies with high staff turnover rates spend a lot of time and money on hiring. Spinning your wheels in the hiring process is exhausting and hurts employee morale.

There are ways to hold on to these millennials, reduce your turnover, and build a great team. Be sure your company takes the following steps and initiatives.

Take Your Time and Hire Right

The goal is to find a solid employee with a passion for your company and a drive to succeed. You will want to pass on the candidates that seem flighty with exaggerated dreams of fame and fortune. They won’t stick around long.

Also, hiring managers should embrace millennials that already have some job experience with other companies. They know what they like and don’t like at this point and may be more likely to settle in and stay longer.

Millennials Want a Two-way Street

Work-life balance is important to millennials. They have a willingness to work hard but expect quite a bit from their employers in return. Millennials demand outstanding working conditions, nice salaries, and desire growth opportunities.

There are several ways to provide them with what they want and create a pleasant two-way street. Try to offer them the following:

  • Flexible work hours
  • Great training programs
  • Ask for their opinions and preferences
  • Set clear guidelines and expectations
  • Applaud their achievements and efforts
  • Give them quick feedback
  • Be open to frequent communication 

Change Is Good

In your efforts to retain your millennial workforce, you will find that some changes need to be made within your company. Don’t shy away from this. Your style and culture may need to shift in order to create an environment where millennials will thrive and have the desire to stay and grow in their positions.

In recent years, millennials have brought new perspectives to the workforce. We have seen them embrace equality and diversity in the workplace, for example. They are open-minded and passionate. If you want to retain this talented group, then you’ll adjust accordingly and won’t be sorry you made the effort.

We would love to hear your comments! Contact us today.

 

Copyright protected by our associate Gary Sorrell. Sorrell Associates, LLC All rights reserved worldwide. 

 

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Purpose and Vision

Purpose and Vision

In recent years as the millennials have entered the workplace, there has been more
discussion about their need to be part of something greater. Working is not just about
having a career and making money. It has more dimensions, including how their job
contributes to a purpose.

In the past, an organization would craft a “Vision” and post it in their lobby and put it on
their marketing materials. It broadcasts where the organization was headed and to some
degree how they were going to get there. It typically touched on some core values and
maybe even identified their purpose.

Today we need to appreciate that these aspects of business – Purpose and vision are
not just marketing statements but are grounded in the “Why” a
business is doing what it does beyond profit. This Purpose is the muscle behind your
organization’s success.

 The difference is those organization’s which embrace purpose and
vision as more than words on a page have a unique advantage to attract, keep and grow
the talent to deliver on their purpose.

Vision is the roadmap to a destiny. Purpose is the guiding light which leads you along the path to that same destiny.

One without the other is like trying to read the map in a total darkened room. You know
you have a map in your hands but none of the visuals can be detected. Same is true for
holding the guiding light. The light may shine bright giving you the opportunity to see where you are going, but if you have no direction then you wander aimlessly along the path to potential greatness.

By defining your Purpose, Vision and Core Values, you create the foundation of a
“Promise Culture” by which you operate your organization’s success. Commitments are
made every day in both the work setting and our personal lives. Which ones have the
gravity to have an impact on the future?

This week look at your organization’s Vision, Values, and Purpose (if you have one
defined). Do you, as the leader, hold yourself accountable to what they espouse on a daily
basis? Does your staff know what they are, and can they translate them into their daily
activities? Do your customers know your “Promises” and do they realize the benefits of
those commitments?

 

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Harness Your Passion

Pilot your passion

Amelia Earhart, Leonardo Da Vinci, The Wright Brothers, and Marie Curie.. What did all of these people have in common?  They followed their passions unapologetically and found success in something that they were excited about.

When is the last time you spent a couple of hours doing something that made you feel genuinely alive? That made the time fly past, and left you feeling stimulated instead of run down?

To discover your passion, and follow up on it is one of the better ways you are able to use your time. Whether your passion is for protecting the environment, baking cookies, singing, teaching, or predicting the stock markets; pursuing it will definitely give you opportunities to benefit other people by sharing your creations or knowledge. It may also open up possibilities for following your life passion as a job.

Doing what makes you happy is not frivolous or selfish- it is smart. Being pleased makes you healthier, more productive, and nicer to be around. In addition, whom are you helping by working yourself into the ground doing things that do not satisfy you?

Understanding yourself and what you are passionate about, allows you to find a position that is best suited for you. When you allow your passions to guide you, it increases your engagement and investment in the journey. So, find your life passion, and go for it with your whole heart. Time spent doing what you love will never be time wasted.

 

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Leadership & Values

 Leadership & Values – “Valueship”

Valueship is not a new concept. Those who are already leading successful companies are doing so because they are practicing Valueship. James L. Heskett, UPS Foundation Professor of Business Logistics at the Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University, and Leonard A. Schlesinger, the George Fisher Baker, Jr., Professor of Business Administration, senior associate dean, and director of external relations at the Harvard Business School, have studied the correlation between leadership and behavior and organizational performance. They found that leaders of the best performing organizations defined their jobs as:

  • identifying and constantly communicating commonly held values,
  • shaping such values to enhance performance,
  • ensuring the capability of people around them, and
  • living the commonly held values.

Never before in history has Valueship been more important than it is today. Almost daily, role models, athletes, corporate leaders, and government officials are accused (and all too often convicted) of theft, drugs, or graft. Adultery is so common that many people give very little thought to the gravity or potential pain and loss it can cause. Our daily entertainment consists of television shows filled with violence, impropriety, and questionable values. Implicit in all this is a subtle approval of behavior we then verbally condemn. By our actions or our apathy, we are setting the standards and values…or lack of them…for our followers and our children, the next generation. The need for Valueship can be seen in every profession, rank, and industry. The important decisions we make in life and in business should be influenced by values.

One classic example of leadership based upon values was the decision of Johnson & Johnson to recall all Tylenol capsules when there were seven reported deaths in the Chicago area which were attributed to use of the product. Although the problem was a result of product tampering after it was on the store shelf, the company decided to remove all product from every store in the US. The fact that this decision would cost them millions of dollars in the short term was secondary because of their commitment to their number one value: “We believe our fist responsibility is to the doctors, nurses, and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services. In meeting their needs, everything we do must be of high quality.” Having a clear understanding of their organizational values made the decision to act so decisively obvious.

Valueship is a process of leading people and organizations with as much focus on doing the right things as doing things right. When people, processes, and structure are in alignment with the values, vision, and strategy, the individual and the organization are balanced and the actions of each produce positive results for the other. When people feel as if they are an important part of the organizational whole, are committed to the goals and values of the organization, and see the leaders living these goals and values, they will generally be motivated to do good and even exceptional work. The result is a strategic alignment of resources and true organizational cohesion.

Adapted with permission from Executive Leadership. Copyright © Resource Associates Corporation – Sorrell Associates. All rights reserved.

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Core Values

“Core Values”

Values-based leadership begins with identifying core values. Core values are the basic principles which we have chosen to guide our actions. Core values define beliefs, standards, and acceptable behaviors. Once determined and communicated throughout the organization, they guide and govern the decisions and actions of the individuals and the organization. The core values shape the organizational culture and the behavior and actions of all who are associated with that organization.

The core values provide the framework for decisions, priorities, and actions. Some examples of organizational core values are:

  • Our integrity has no room for error.
  • We will conduct our business honestly.
  • Our “customers” must always be treated respectfully.
  • We believe that our employees are the key to our success.
  • Our actions will evidence trust, credibility, uncompromising integrity, and dignity of the individual.
  • We believe that our first responsibility is to our patients. (customers, clients, etc…)
  • We believe in our employees and will create an environment that fosters, respect, fairness, and opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  • We pledge to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our guests who will always enjoy a warm, relaxed, yet refined, ambiance.

The four values of Disney: Safety, Courtesy, The Show, and Efficiency are known and understood by all employees. Furthermore, they are rank ordered so that they can clearly guide the actions and decisions of everyone throughout the Disney organization. The Quality Principle of Mars, Inc., “The consumer is our boss, quality is our work, and value for the money is our goal,” has the same benefit for everyone who is associated with that company.

Adapted with permission from Executive Leadership. Copyright © Resource Associates Corporation – Sorrell Associates. All rights reserved.

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Shaping Organizational Culture

There are many challenges that face executives and the leaders of a business.

Shaping Organizational Culture

Guiding and directing the way employees handle the business, transactions, relations with one another, and overall functions of the company are key parts of being in leadership. Establishing a well-defined organizational culture is vital to being successful in business development.

What is Organizational Culture?

All businesses and organizations create a way in which the employees relate to one another and the outside world. There is a set of expectations that are passed around by the environment of the business. This can include the way employees handle transactions, conflicts, customer service issues, policies, and many other aspects of the business. These expectations encompass everything that is written in the form of a policy, to the unwritten rules that have been established over the course of time.

Who is in Charge of Shaping the Organizational Culture of a Business?

It is best that these cultures are established by the leaders and executives of the business. If there is a lack of leadership, the culture will be defined and taught by the employees of the company. This is a dangerous way to allow your business to be run. It is best that as a CEO, you stay on top of the organizational culture of your company and intentionally shape it into what you want it to be.

How do Executives Shape Organizational Culture?

In order for the executives and leaders of a company to shape the organizational culture, there are few things they will need to put into place:

– Establish a vision: A vision statement is an inspiring statement of where the company is headed (think 5-10 years down the road).   A vision of the future helps all employees have a good understanding of what the business does and where it is going.

– Create a mission statement: Once the vision of the company has been created, a leader must create a mission for the business.  The mission for a company should be fairly specific and revised yearly. When the mission for the company has been established, it should be made known to all employees.

– Strategic business planning: When there is a well-defined vision and mission statement, strategic business planning for the business can take place. Every decision can be made with confidence when the question is asked, “Will this decision help the business meet its goals or hinder it from meeting its goals?”

– Making of policies: policies, procedures, and values are very important to shaping organizational culture. This defines how employees are to respond to one another and to their customers. When well-defined, the decision-making process becomes easier.

These are just a few of the things that you, as an executive, should be doing to shape the organizational culture of your business. Understanding the importance of this part of your company can be the difference between succeeding and failing at what you are trying to accomplish.

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Developing A High-Performance Culture!

Developing A High-Performance Culture!In the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy stated that he wanted to send a man to the moon and bring him back safely by the end of the decade; a pretty lofty goal.  Senator George Smathers from Florida agreed with the “lofty goal” part.  So, before voting to secure funds for the initiative, he wanted to make sure he made the right decision.  He visited Cape Canaveral to do a bit of detective work on his own.  After much time, observation, questioning, and exploration he still had not made a decision.

At the end of the day, he saw a worker cleaning up and asked what her job was.  Her reply was simple, “I’m part of a team that’s going to send a man to the moon and bring him back safely by the end of the decade.”  Decision made!

This is an example of strategic alignment at its best.  Everyone knows the organization’s charge, and all of the stars are in alignment (strategic intention: systems, processes, leadership, management, expectations, authority, responsibility, individual empowerment, and supportive behavior).  But what happens when the stars are misaligned; when the systems and departments are out of sync?  What happens when a department exists for the good of itself and individuals behave selfishly rather than for the greater customer and organizational good?

The simple fact is that the more an organization’s systems and processes are aligned with its strategic intention—and all of the employees support this alignment behaviorally—the greater the opportunity for success.

In fact, if the plan is sound, it’s almost impossible to fail no matter how ambitious the organization or that plan is—even if that includes sending a man to the moon.

Organizations are complex entities.  Effective leadership calls for developing strategy and implementing that strategy to secure a competitive advantage.   This means structuring the organization to achieve that strategy, ensuring the internal processes are focused on customer needs and focusing all of the people within the organization.  The George Smathers story exemplifies the mindset of and results generated by strategic alignment.  So, how can you as leaders really know how effective your organization and its strategy actually are?  Rather than guess where the disconnects are, why not consider an instrument that pinpoints the strengths and limitations so that goal directed actions can occur—exactly what was needed to send a man to the moon and nothing less!  Organizational assessments are diagnostics that measure how effective and efficient your organization is.

Think about it.  Every once in a while it is necessary to take stock and ensure that the organization is focused on a clear strategy and that everyone within it is in alignment with what needs to be accomplished.  After all, we go to the Dr. periodically, we do a mental assessment of home improvement needs before we clean the garage and remodel the kitchen, and we even consciously check out our waistline and general overall health once or twice a year to determine what we need to do to make improvements.  Why shouldn’t we do the same for our organization?  How do you know that your resources are being properly allocated, and how can you better utilize your limited resources?  What are the alternatives in hidden cost, productivity, customer and employee satisfaction, and profits?  If an organization’s structure does not support its strategy, it is out of alignment and the strategy will not be achieved.

Organizations that learn to identify new relationships between what they do and the results they seek can further increase the gap between themselves and their competitors.  Does this sound familiar:  Constant radical change, uncertainty, new rules and regulations, increased customer demands, and alphabet soup programs?  How to manage it and how to thrive under these conditions depends a great deal upon how well your organization is aligned.

Getting Started:

First, are you in agreement that senior management must determine that there is a need for data in order to understand your organization?  Second, are you committed to using this data to better allocate your resources to improve results?   Third, gather the data.

Selecting the Instrument.

Opt for one that has a proven track record.  A safe and wise bet is an assessment modeled after the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award.  The seven Baldridge categories provide a framework that has been proven time and time again.  The results generated by Baldridge winners are consistent and astonishing.  The seven Baldridge categories are:

  1. Leadership – Includes creating and sustaining values, organizational direction, performance expectations and customer focus that promotes performance excellence.
  2. Strategic Planning – How the organization sets the direction and how plans are put into action.
  3. Customer Focus – Addresses how the organization determines the requirements and expectations of customers.  It also addresses how the organization strengthens relationships with customers and determines their level of satisfaction.
  4. Information and Analysis – Deals with the use of data and information in the organization to better understand areas for improvement and how the organization is performing.
  5. Human Resources Development and Management – Determines how employees are encouraged to maximize their potential, as well as maintaining an environment conducive for performance excellence.
  6. Process Management – Identifying how processes are designed, managed, improved and their cycle times reduced.
  7. Business Results – Focuses on performance improvement in key business areas and how effectively these results are communicated throughout the organization.

These seven criteria are called the Criteria for Excellence and address all of the elements for the health and survival of your organization.

 

Who Should Conduct an Assessment?

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, give serious consideration to assessing your organization:

  • Profitability is slipping
  • Customers are defecting
  • Employee turnover is high
  • Market share is eroding
  • Internal conflict is the order of the day, excessive meetings, lack of personal accountability, communication breakdown, time management issues, reactive rather than proactive thinking (shall I continue?)
  • You spend more time reacting to competition

Or the best reason of all… You just want to improve!

 

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