Onboarding New Employees into Your Company Culture

Image showing "welcome" in multiple languagesRecognize This! – Specific, timely recognition within the first 30 days is the fastest way to engage new hires into your organizational culture.

As an HR pro or hiring manager, you’ve gone to great time and expense to find a smart and talented person to add to your team. Now you need to bring that person on board and integrate him or her into the role quickly. A fast onboarding ramp means faster time to full productivity. Most organizations have good programs in place to quickly onboard new hires on systems, processes, job functions, role, objectives, etc. But what about onboarding into your culture?

Remember, your culture is the culmination of what employees do when no one is looking. It’s the daily (hourly) behaviors of everyone, working individually or together, to achieve business goals. How do you onboard new hires into that quickly?

I suggest the fastest way to onboard a new employee into your culture is to introduce them to it through their work. Educate them during initial new-hire training on your company’s core values and objectives. Suggest to them how those particular values might be demonstrated in what that person will do in their new role on a daily basis. And, most effectively, positively reinforce them for doing so through a strategically designed social recognition program.

What’s that? “Strategically designed” means every employee recognition moment is explicitly and specifically linked to demonstrating one of your core values or contributing to one of your strategic objectives. “Social” means deliberately involving every employee in the act of noticing good work in line with your values or objectives and recognizing others for them. “Social” also means expanding the reach of recognition through secure social sharing mechanisms to not only help positivity flow through the work, but to create a positivity dominated workplace and – yes – a culture of recognition.

Yes, of course you need to engage new hires in their work (read this article for great tips on getting new hires up to speed quickly in their work tasks). Recognizing them for doing that work well (even as they’re learning the ropes) onboards them into your culture that much more quickly.

Indeed, across our clients we see those employees who are recognized within the first 30 days of their tenure with the company engage in more recognition activity (both giving and receiving of recognition) than those who are not recognized within the first 30 days. This increase is by a factor of 3 or more!

Why does this matter? Remember, every recognition interaction is deliberately shining a spotlight on a company core value or strategic objective and how those are being demonstrated or achieved.

Think about your own organization or team for a moment. How much more successful would you be if every employee understood the core values and strategic objectives, was focused on contributing them, and knew when others were doing well in those areas, too?

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