Our team discovered that if we simplified our new employee onboarding focus to only 3 things, their productivity would skyrocket.
Few things worth achieving come easy or fast. Want to be in great shape? You have to be consistent. Want to have a great relationship with your spouse? You have to be consistent. The successful people you know can most likely look behind them and note that they were intentional about the way they’ve lived their lives. More often than not, they use a calendar to schedule EVERYTHING, or at least, most things. The point I am trying to make is that they had a consistent, disciplined approach that allowed them to establish routines in their lives. Healthy patterns lead to success. Unfortunately, the same is true for the opposite. Randomness and chaos breed problems, especially when working with coworkers and onboarding new hires.
One of the most important aspects of bringing a new person onto your team is how they are onboarded. This crucial introductory period is critical to their long-term success with your group. Just like health, you will see consistent long-term, positive results if you approach the process with intention and consistency. Ignore this process, and you will end up with a dissatisfied team that doesn’t communicate well, fails to respect the organization, and has an overall lack of buy-in from your employees.
After many years of recruiting in the insurance and risk management recruiting industry and hiring for our company, I formed a thesis: our employee onboarding success was directly proportional to the cadence at which we operated. We found out that if we would simplify our focus to a mere 3 things, our new team members would quickly get up to speed on the work, our process, and our culture.
How does it work?
To keep things simple, keep your new hires focused task list to only 3 things per month. This should be 1 significant activity and 2 minor activities.
You want to keep the major activity as your main priority and ensure it is something that really moves the business forward.’ The minor abilities should be supporting activities and more tactical than strategic.
Here is an example of a monthly onboarding cadence by our company:
1. The Work: Become familiar with their job and what constitutes success (major)
2. The Process: Familiarize yourself with software tools and how to plan out our day/week/month (minor)
3. The Culture: Meet and mingle with new team members (minor)
In this example, the central event ties directly to the minor events. The team meet and greet events and understanding the software tools are both chances to become familiar with all clients/projects. Thus, the major activity is reinforced throughout the month by the 2 minor activities.
Getting up and running is an exercise in memorization. Memorization comes from repetition. Give your new team members a disciplined, focused monthly cadence with simple priorities that support one another. Your business will become easy for them to get to know, focus on, and integrate with.
A consistent cadence also helps management measure performance and removes the complication of the typical workplace. First, it aligns the organization on goals. Second, you build a measurable system for success. Third, it motivates your team by consistently feeding the reward/feedback loop when they achieve your monthly goals.
How to plan your first new hire onboarding cadence:
Begin by focusing on “the one thing” they need to learn in the first month. Typically, this would be like going through training, meeting new clients, familiarizing themselves with their initial projects. Your secondary goals should support the primary goal, but if it doesn’t line up perfectly, that’s ok.
A consistent onboarding cadence will become the heartbeat of your culture. It’s a tactical framework that will help your team become more agile and focused, ultimately leading to positive results. We dare you to try it out on your next new hire!