Orientation & Onboarding – Getting New Hires Connected to The Workplace
January 3, 2021 / 52:23:00
Hello and welcome, everyone, and thanks for being here today. Welcome to Part 2 of our January webinar series, Hiring, Firing and Inspiring HR Tools for Guding Performance. My name is Emmet. I’m a marketing specialist here at Vensure and I’ll be your host for the next hour. Today, our panelist Robin Padget will be talking about orientation, onboarding
and getting new hires connected to the workplace. As always, there will be a Q&A session at the end. We’re going to
do our best to answer all the questions you guys have, but any of that we don’t get to respond to on an individual basis
to after the session. This webinar is brought to you, as always, by VensureHR. Vensure is the leader of 20-plus PEO partners with clients in all 50 states. Today’s agenda includes some common mistakes that people make
in the orientation process, orientation, onboarding, key elements of an effective onboarding program, some successful onboarding stories, and lastly, a Q&A session. And as always, we’re thrilled to have Robin Paggi here joining us as our panelist. She’s a seasoned human resource practitioner specializing in training on topics, such as harassment prevention, communication, team building, and supervisory skills. And with that, I’ll hand it over to Robin.
Thanks Emmet. Last week, my co-presenter and I talked about the interviewing process and the fact that getting new hires on board takes a lot of time, and sometimes some money. And you don’t want to spend all that time and that money getting a great new hire then just to make some mistakes on the orientation process that might make them feel like they’ve made a mistake in joining your company. So, I’m going to tell you the difference between orientation and onboarding in just a moment. But first, let’s look at some common mistakes.
First of all, trying to wing it. Now, think about when you, the first day on a job, any job, the current one, previous jobs, what have you, and see if these are some of the things that happened to you when you went to work. First of all, watching an HR rep scurry around trying to find the laptop and the projector or the correct copies of employee manuals while everyone just waits and fidgets. It’s like they didn’t even know that orientation was supposed to happen that day and they just tried to wing it. Or too much information. I have a client who on their orientation, they spend eight hours going over the employee handbook. I would want to poke needles in my eyes if I had to sit through that, that would be less painful. Too much information, trying to do too much, too much paperwork… all of that stuff on the first day or the first week is a real turnoff.
The sink or swim approach. Just people get thrown in, and good luck to ya. One of the things that happens sometimes with the sink or swim approach is that, again, it’s like people forgot that you were going to start that day and your workstation is not quite ready. It’s covered with outdated equipment, maybe it’s the supply room, there’s boxes of miscellaneous stuff, no telephone, no computer, nothing is hooked up… it’s just, again, like they forgot about you and just put you out there and good luck to you.
The one size fits all approach: having everyone go through the same orientation process or onboarding process regardless of whether they’re a entry-level person, or whether they’re an executive-level person. And so, one size does not fit all in clothing. You know, it doesn’t, and it doesn’t fit in orientation or onboarding.
And then little or no follow-up. What frequently happens is that the next time HR or somebody talks to the new hire, it’s
at a 90-day evaluation period. That’s too late, that’s way too late. One of the things that SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, said is they have data that reveals that about 50% of new hires and entry-level positions quit their job within the first six months. And I don’t know about you, but I have been one of those people, where I went to work at
a new place. And the way the first week, or the first few days, or something went, it just let me know that this organization was not for me. And so that’s one of the things that happens in this process. Again, you might spend a lot of money on a lot of time trying to get a new person into place. But then the way that you treat them on the first day or the first week lets them know that you’re not really a professional organization that takes these kind of relationships seriously. And that’s not what, the impression that you want to give. So think about how important first impressions are. And it is that way with your organization as well. People who do not feel really connected to your organization within the first day, first week, first six months, are easily able to disconnect from your organization. And so you’re still wooing new hires during that orientation process. So that’s one of the things that you really need to keep in mind. Now, let’s go on.
What is the difference between orientation and onboarding? Orientation is usually a one-time event–it’s when people start the job. And onboarding, as we’ll see in a moment, is long-term and it can be one week, one month, one year–t just depends on the position. So again, that’s one of the reasons that one size does not fit all.
Company mission, vision, and values are explained to the new hire. Now, hopefully they already knew all of those things and you talked about those things during the interviewing process, but it’s really important to talk about it again. Now, I want to give you an example, (a couple examples,) of how you can do that and why you might want to do that. First of all,
I used to work for a law firm and one of the things that becomes apparent in law firms is everybody’s important, it’s just that some people are more important than other people. And who are those people? Well, they are the people who own the place, and they are called equity partners. Now, this can be true in any organization. So one of the things that we did in our orientation process is we had a PowerPoint presentation and we talked about the history of the firm, but then we also showed pictures of the equity partners and said who they are, and how long they’ve been there, and what they do, and all of that kind of thing. And the reason for that is that the firm had about 140 people at that time. So when you’re coming in to an organization, there’s all these faces that you don’t know. You, you don’t know who’s who and what’s what. And so we wanted to give people a heads-up that when you see these people in the organization that you need to remember who they are. And they are people who make decisions about whether you stay or whether you go. Now, everyone should treat everybody nicely. But again, it’s important to know who certain people are so that you really don’t make mistakes with those people when you first get started. Another thing, I used to work for government organization where I live. And there’s lots of departments in the government organization. And so, what we would do with new hires that were working in animal control, or solid waste, or in all of these different departments, we brought them to City Hall and we showed a PowerPoint, or excuse me, a video of the different city departments. And so, the video started with the city manager saying, “Welcome, we’re glad you’re here.” And then each one of the department heads said also, I am so and so. I’m the department head of this department and we welcome you to our organization. And then we showed a PowerPoint that showed all the city departments together. And we are
all working under one mission, one organization. And what we’re trying to do is trying to serve the the residents of our
city. And so this really helped people understand the big picture. And that’s what you’re trying to do with the orientation process, is show them, here is the big picture and this is how you fit in to the big picture. And this is what we’re all about at this organization. This is what we value at this organization. And we want to make sure that you’re in alignment because all of this is trying to help people succeed in your organization. So again, you want to tell them all of these things, hopefully you did in the interviewing process, but it’s good to reiterate it at this time so that they feel a part of something, they understand their place in the whole scenario, and that makes them feel a little bit more connected and headed in the right direction.
Now, as far as paperwork is concerned, minimum paperwork, only the mandatory stuff. You know you’ve been to orientations where you went through piles, and piles, and piles of paperwork, it felt like you were trying to buy a house
or something. Well, there’s only some paperwork that’s absolutely mandatory during the first few days of an employee’s employment. And so, just make them do that mandatory paperwork. Do you need to go through all of the benefits stuff on the first day? Do you have to have people trying to figure out what medical plan they want on the first day? That is not necessary on the first day. And so, just have the stuff that they absolutely need to sign on that first day, get it out of the way.
Now then, safety and other key policies. One of the things we need to make sure is that we are keeping people safe, especially now. And if you’ve got key cards, and name badges, and all of those types of things, you definitely need to make sure that people know how to utilize those things, and how to exit safely from the building, and where people are supposed to gather when they exit safely from the building, and all of those types of things. So, that is key. So don’t shrug that off, as a lot of times people do. They think, you know, nothing bad is going to happen here. Well, as we know, bad things happen in workplaces. And so, make sure they know how to remain safe. And that goes one, to one of our basic core needs that we have. We have the need to feel safe wherever we are. And especially now, people are at a heightened level of awareness of how unsafe workplaces can be. And so, make sure that you go through all of that with them.
Other key policies that they need to know right now. Don’t go through every policy in the handbook with them. Don’t tell them all the ways they can be fired. Just tell them the key policies, or practices, or unwritten rules, or things like that that they need to know today so that they can come back tomorrow. Now, I had a situation happen to me once upon a time and a job far, far away, where there was certain parking designated for clients, but it didn’t say that it was client parking only. And so one day I went to the workplace, and parking was hard to get in this place. And so I scored a parking spot really close to the front door and I thought, cha ching, good for me, I’m lucky today. And then I was told by a coworker that, I didn’t even know who this coworker was, but she had seen me park in that spot and let me know, “You’re not supposed to park there.” And that was my first interaction with that coworker in my new job. You don’t want to have your new employees have encounters like that. So, you let them know, this is where you’re supposed to park, all of those types of things that they need to know that everybody knows, but it’s not written down, so that they don’t get in trouble on one of their first days of work.
Administrative procedures. Make sure that the computer is all set up and ready to go, the phone is all set up and ready
to go, that everything they need to hit the ground running is ready to go. And also, automate as much as you possibly
can as far as the filling out forms and all of those types of things in order to get people on board. And, if you do not have an HRIS system, you should probably think about doing that, as much as you can automate, especially with an HIRS system. They’re great because you don’t have to, as an HR person or their supervisor, keep getting in and changing their information about their beneficiaries, or their address, or anything like that. They can do that themselves. And so, if you don’t have one of those systems, you might want to do some research to find out about them. That’s orientation. Let’s talk about onboarding.
Now, onboarding is the process of helping new employees feel connected to the organization, and that connection is critical. People who do not feel connected can just bounce right out of the organization. They don’t feel any ties. They haven’t built relationships. And if they’re there or not, you know, is anybody really going to notice” Now because of COVID isolation, work from home, all of those types of things, I think we understand how important our connections are. And so, think about that. When you have been prevented from working in your workplace, interacting with your coworkers or your clients, how detrimental to your mental health that can be? I know it certainly has been for me. I, before COVID, was out and about all over California interacting with people, constantly conducting workshops, doing one-on-one coaching, just lots of interaction, which is perfect for an extrovert like me. Now, I’m in my house. I hardly see anybody. I hardly talk face-to-face to anybody. I can’t even see you. I’m just talking to a computer, and that’s very isolating and detrimental. So when we all get to go back to work again, and you get to hire people, and you get to bring them on board, think about connection and how important connection is, because that’s what onboarding is all about.
Alright, so onboarding is long-term, depending upon the position, and that’s why individualized is the next bullet point. For your entry-level positions, onboarding might be six months. For your executive positions, onboarding might be three years. And you might be thinking, “what are going to be doing for three years?” Well, it is development, and it is ensuring that people have the tools they need to be successful on their job. I’ve known a number of people who have been thrown into jobs they did not have the training they needed, even though they were qualified for the job. And not only that, but just because you’ve been an accountant over here doesn’t mean it’s the same job over there, or an HR person here, it’s exactly the same over there. It’s not because of company cultures being different and procedures being different. And so, onboarding and orientation, but mostly onboarding, is helping people be as successful as they can possibly be. And so you want to give them everything they need in order to do that. Helping people fit into the organization is a long-term strategy. And it’s not something that’s just done in a day or a week by handing them the employee handbook that they’re never going to look at.
So these are things to consider when you’re thinking about, “how do we want to create or upgrade our onboarding process?” So, I’m going to give you some ideas along the way, and I really want you to be thinking about that. What can we do to improve or create an onboarding program, and how would we do it? So, just remember it’s long-term. It’s not one day, one week kind of thing. And you need to think about who it is that is on the receiving end of the onboarding, what their position is, but also just who they are as a person because people need different things. And again, we want to hire people because of their individuality and what they can bring to the workplace. But then, we need to nurture that individuality and give each person what they need in order to be successful.
Now, integration and assimilation is one of the most important aspects of onboarding. And again, integration is getting people integrated into the workplace. So how are you going to do that? Well certainly, you’re going to introduce people
to other people. And so one of the things, when I did work at this law firm, again, we had 140 people working there.
And a practice when I came on board as the HR manager was that the new person would be introduced, walk around
the entire firm, the second floor, the third floor, and introduce that new person to every single employee who happened
to be at work at that time. And every single time I did that, the new person always said, I’m never going to be able to remember everybody. Well, the point was not for them to be able to remember everybody. It was just for them to make that connection. And back then, people could shake hands, and so that was an important connection. And sometimes people wouldn’t be there, and that’s Okay, because then one of the things I would do is take a picture of the new hire and I would email that picture out to everyone. And I would say, “This is so and so. This is this person’s position. Please, when you see so and so within, walking around the firm or at their workstation, please introduce yourself and say hello.” And so, one of the things that I decided, I made an executive decision out of this is that, you know, everybody always tells me they’re not going to remember everybody, and it just seems kind of overwhelming, so let’s just not do that. Let’s just take the picture, send out the email. Well the managing partner told me I had made a bad decision on that because that interaction, those introductions were important, even though they were a little overwhelming. And so, I learned a good lesson off of that. And we usually learn our lessons the hard way, but learn them and move on. So make sure that you are integrating people as much as you possibly can. And also make sure that everybody knows that everybody is responsible for welcoming that new person, and how they interact with that new person on the first day is critical. Everyone needs to be welcoming. They need to be happy, even if they’re usually not happy. They need to let that new employee know they made the right decision in going to work their.
So, also take them to lunch on the first day. Don’t let them wander off by themselves and have to sit at the cafeteria
table all by themselves while everybody is laughing and talking around them, alright? So, make sure that they are with somebody who is showing them the ropes for the entire day. I’ll talk more about that in just a moment. And the assimilation part also is that we want them to be a part of the group. And so, some of the things that you can do to help make that happen on the first day especially, is before the first day you have a card, Welcome, and everybody signs it or you have a poster that you have up at their workspace or in their office. Again, Welcome, and everybody signs it or whatever. So, one of the things I’m going to discuss in a moment is that there is preparation well before the person’s first day to help them feel integrated and part of the group.
Creating a path to success, one of the things that new hires should have is some SMART goals from the very beginning. And this is one thing the research that I have done has demonstrated that there’s a whole lot of employees that don’t have SMART goals–regardless of how long they’ve been at the organization. And new employees, especially, now, if you’re not familiar with SMART goals, it is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, timely, and smart. Oh, sorry, relevant, that’s the R, and then timely. And so SMART goals are, it could just be that you complete the training videos by your second week. Okay, so once somebody has completed the training videos, then they’re able to mark that off their list. And so SMART goals helps to create the path. These are the things that you need to do during your first week, first month, first three months, what have you. And it gives people a sense of accomplishment because while they’re accomplishing these things, they can check them off their list, and that’s very important for some people who need to check things off. But they’re doing things that are helping them build the skills, build the knowledge, whatever they need to do in order to be successful. And so, the first word with onboarding is connection. The second board is, or second word, is success. So you keep those things in mind. You’re helping the employee be as successful as possible. You’re showing them the way to be successful. You’ve got exercises, you’ve got assignments, you’ve got goals. You’ve got all of those things in place to help them do what they need to do in order to be successful.
And then there’s showing you care. And so the cards, or the poster, or those types of things are the, are ways of showing that you care. You really want to demonstrate you are happy that the new hire is here because they were the missing piece of the puzzle and now the puzzle is complete, and everybody can move forward as a team, and all of that. And there are various ways to do it, as I discussed, plants and things like that, making sure their office is all ready for them, or their cubicle, or whatever, making sure that they have the scissors, they have the tape, they have everything they need. A story about my first day on a job. A job far, far away in a distant land. Before I took the job, or before I started, someone there had contacted me and they’d asked me what I wanted my title to be. Now, this was a new position that was starting, and they asked me, What do you want your title to be? I thought that was fabulous. I wanted to wanted it to be Grand Poobah of everything, but they said no to that. So anyway, so I get to choose my title. They asked me what my favorite color was and what my shirt size was. So I was excited about that because I love new clothes. And so my first day on the job, I arrived and I was shown to my office. There was my name on a placard outside of my office door with my title underneath that. I walk into my office, it’s all nice and clean, all set up. There’s a nice plant. There is a company shirt in my favorite color in my size sitting on my desk. My cards, you know what those cards are called, but, business cards, there we go, with my name and my title sitting right there on it. I felt like this is my home, and that’s what you want.
One of the things about people is we are very, very territorial. We need to have our own territory and our own territory makes us feel safe. And so, that goes along with our safety need. And so that’s one of the reasons you really want to make sure that people have their own territory when they first show up for the job. This is mine. This is my home. This is where
I belong. Get out. And so, first day again, this new job, I walk to my office, I got all of that. And not that long after that, managing partner came along and said, “Hey, I’ve got to go give a presentation you want to go with?” Sure. And so I went and afterwards he took me out to lunch and he asked me to critique his presentation. Oh, well, that’s risky on my side.
But I gave him some feedback and he valued my feedback. And we chat a little bit more. And by the time I got back to
the office after lunch, I knew I had made the right decision. And when I went home that evening, I told my husband, I have made the right decision. And he was so glad because he knows I have popped right out of jobs where I got in there and went, “This is not right for me.” And that’s what you want to have with your onboarding program. The end of their first day, you want that new employee to go home and tell their family about the right decision they made, and they’ll have a sigh of relief as well.
Alright. So, what do you need to have this effective onboarding program? Well, you’ve got to have a plan. And again, the plan needs to begin well before the employee’s first day. You’re not scrambling around the day before trying to get it all
put together. As a matter of fact, you’re reaching out to the employee beforehand to make sure that everything gets set
up. And especially if you have a period of time in between when the employee is leaving their last job and coming to you.
I mean, a lot of times, it’s just two weeks, but sometimes it’s more than that, depending upon situations. And you want to keep in touch with that employee. You don’t want them to be out there and possibly get wooed away by somebody else. And you also just need to keep that communication open and let them know if they have any questions that they can reach out, who they’re supposed to reach out to, all of those types of things. So, have that plan in place. Then you have a team. And that team is usually HR person and the employee’s supervisor, but it could be a variety of people. For an onboarding program that I helped to create, we had a variety of people that the employee needed to interact with on their first two days of work. And so, we had a nice agenda all created, and when the new employee came in, we handed them the
agenda and we said, “From eight to 10 you’ll be with Robin and will be doing the stuff, and then from 10 to whatever you’ll be with this person and they’ll be showing you this.” And then, and we just had this all-handoff throughout about six or seven of us who were the team in onboarding people. So, very important that everybody knows what their role is and they are prepared to carry out their role.
And then a timeline. And again, that was a two-day onboarding just for those of us and administrative staff. But then there was a timeline when they were sent to their supervisor and they’re off actually doing their job. So remember, onboarding takes a long time. It’s not just a two-day, or one-week or a two-week process. It is one month, three months, six months, one year, etc.. So what is on that timeline? It is milestones that the employee should be meeting at certain periods of time in their development, so at six months, they should have completed this, they should know how to do this, they should be well on their way to doing this. And so, when you have that plan and you have that timeline, that’s the path to success that you’re creating for that employee. That is showing them the way, it is showing them how to be successful, it is showing everybody what is supposed to be happening. And, so people aren’t winging it and making it up as they go along.
Now, I love to work with personality styles. And, one of the things that you should know if you don’t already, is there are some personality styles who are great at not knowing what their future holds and just going with the flow. Then, there are some employees who, that scares the heck out of them. They need to know what their future holds. And when you have that timeline, it helps those employees who need to know how to be a little bit more relaxed, and just being able to know that you’re in good hands, we’ve got you, and we’re going to show you the way.
So participation of key players, and I alluded to that a little bit earlier, but one of the things that you want to make sure is that you’ve got the people at the top of the food chain who are welcoming the new employee, from the get go, and they
let them know how important they are to the organization. So, you don’t want to have a boss show up an hour late who obviously forgot or is being interrupted by having to welcome people. And here’s some data that I found. That kind of thing where a hurried or disrespectful boss shows up and and throws this half-hearted welcome out to people–this is not an uncommon occurrence. And at one company that had low morale, they had a 40% turnover rate. And so, that’s one of the things, if your turnover rate for new hires is high, chances are you can fault your interviewing process, but you can also fault your onboarding process. And so if you have people who just bounce right out of the organization, then you need to look at what the organization is doing to make that happen.
Alright. Now, a buddy and/or a mentor, because they’re not exactly the same thing. One of the things again, people need to be connected, they need to have somebody show them around and take care of them a little bit. And so, a buddy could just be a coworker who shows them around and then a mentor might be a supervisor, but it doesn’t necessarily have to
be their supervisor. But again, it is somebody who’s taking care of them, showing them where they’re supposed to go and what they’re supposed to do–running intervention if they need to because things happen and people make mistakes and maybe we need to help somebody out before they get into too much trouble. All of those types of things. So let me tell you about a mistake that I made, again, when I was HR manager at a law firm and I was hiring legal secretaries, and we hired
a new person and she didn’t know much about legal secretaries’ stuff. She had been a secretary for a long time, but a legal secretary is a little bit different. But, that’s Okay, We will pair you up with one of our veteran secretaries and she will show you the ropes. And so, we asked this veteran secretary, show her the ropes and she said, Okay. And then we put
her back there with her and didn’t check in on her or anything like that. And she quit shortly thereafter. And when she was quitting, I asked her in her exit interview, which it’s always a good thing to have an exit interview asking people why they’re quitting, because that helps you know what you need to do to fix problems. She said that the legal secretary that I had paired her up with was planning her wedding, and that’s what she spent most of the day doing. And she really didn’t have
time to train somebody. So, that was my first casualty as an HR manager and learned a good lesson off of that one. Don’t just throw people together with somebody. Don’t just find the first employee walking past and say, “Hey, can you help this person out?” People who are going to be the buddy or the mentor need to want to do it. And they need to be really good at it. And they need to be good at their job, so they’re, they’re not leading people astray because that’s one of the things they’ll do, too. If you’ve got somebody who really doesn’t follow the rules, or the policies, or doesn’t do their job right, or that type of thing, that’s exactly what they’re going to teach the new employee. So, make sure that people want to do it and that there’s some training involved in how to be a good buddy and a good mentor, at least some guidelines associated with it. You don’t want to have casualties, like I created, with just throwing people together and assuming people are going to do a good job, and then you’ve got to replace that new employee.
Alright. So, that intervention that I talked about, people get in trouble sometimes. And I saw this firsthand at a client’s place where I was doing some training, and one of the participants was telling me how he had really messed up with a higher- up, and he didn’t know what to do, and he felt he was going to get fired, and I said, “Well, don’t you have somebody in HR or somebody that you can go to to help you out with this and help smooth the situation over?” And he didn’t know who
he could go to. And so, that’s one of the things that you need to make sure of, is that you let people know if you have any problems, any trouble whatsoever, this is who to contact in order to help you out. I want to tell you about another situation is I was doing an HR audit for an organization and I was interviewing new employees. And I interviewed one, and this
poor guy was seeing a psychiatrist because he was so anxious over the job. And they had just thrown him in there and he didn’t know who he could go to. He didn’t know what he was supposed to be doing. And even worse, he didn’t want me to tell anybody. But, he became so anxious that he didn’t know–he was afraid he is going to get fired. He moved here from another state to take this job. He didn’t know what he was going to do, etc. I’m making myself anxious just talking about
it. So the thing is, is that shouldn’t happen. Those types of things should not happen. Employees should have their buddy, their mentor, their HR person who’s checking in with them, making sure that everything’s going OK. They have everything that they need to succeed.
And then you want them to give you feedback. After all this is over, you want them to tell you how well you did on your orientation process. And so, that’s a really critical part of the whole thing because you can always improve on what you were doing, and you always want to improve on what you’re doing. So, you want to make sure that you are gathering feedback from your new hires so that they can tell you about your, about their onboarding process and how it worked for them.
Now, some successful onboarding stories that I’d like to tell you about. Now, these are stories that are a little dated and they’re pre-COVID. And so, that’s one of the things is that we need to understand that because of the pandemic, and we’re going to be hiring people and we’re going to be onboarding and all of that, that things will probably be a little bit different. And so, I just want to tell you about these examples. They’re a little dated, but let’s learn from them what we can’t.
Alright. Corning Glassworks. Research that was conducted at Corning Glassworks revealed that employees who attended a structured orientation program were 69% more likely to remain with the company after three years than those who
did not go through such a program. Now, I don’t have all of the details about what Corning Glassworks did, but 69% retention improvement is significant. Now, let’s think about all the money that is saved because employees remain at the job. A figure that I have heard, and you probably have, too, is that replacing an employee cost three times what you’re paying them. And just think about when you’re replacing employees, all of the money that goes into the recruiting, and the interviewing, and the onboarding process. And so, that’s a significant savings.
Another study conducted at Texas Instruments showed that employees whose orientation process was carefully attended to, reached full productivity two months earlier than those whose orientation process was not. So, one of the things about the whole onboarding thing is you want people to be as productive as soon as they possibly can. And one of the things that I have learned, it takes people about a year before they really know their job, if it’s, especially a new job to them. And so you want to reduce that learning curve. And so, a structured onboarding process can help you do that.
Hunter Douglas found that by upgrading their onboarding process, they were able to reduce their turnover from 70% at six months to 16%. And so, that’s a whole lot of money that you’re saving. But here’s another thing, they said that the changes also translated into improved attendance by all employees, increased productivity, and not surprisingly, a reduction in their damaged goods rate. Now, why would that be a reduction in their damaged goods rate? Reason for that is because when people think the organization cares about them, they tend to care about the organization. And when people care about the organization, they’re more careful. And so thus, reduction in damaged goods.
And at Designer Blinds, upgrading the onboarding process played a central role in reducing turnover from 200% annually to under 8%. Because of the dramatic drop in turnover, they were able to reduce their recruiting budget from $30,000 to $2,000. And imagine what you can do with that money.
Alright, so I just like to say, finally, a study by Hewitt Associates demonstrating the connection between effective onboarding and engagement, revealed that companies who invested the most time and resources in onboarding enjoyed the highest levels of employee engagement. And I’ve talked about employee engagement before. But for those of you who are not tuning in, I think of employee engagement the same way as I think of a couple getting engaged. When you get engaged, you are saying, “I am devoting my time and attention only to you. I’m not going to look at anybody else. And if anybody wants to try to interact with me, I’m not going to interact with them.” And you want that same thing with your employees at your organization. You want them to feel so connected that they are not going to look at any other organization that happens to wander by. It’s all about you.
Alright. Now, that’s all that I have for you. Do you have any questions for me?
Awesome, thanks so much, Robin. Looks like we do have a couple of questions here. Should companies have a 90-day probationary period?
My answer to that is that if you are not a union organization, you should not have any kind of probationary period. And I, when I am reviewing company handbooks for clients, I see sometimes that they have a probationary period or even an introductory period. And so, let me talk a little bit about that, if you’ve not worked for a union organization. When you first go to work there, you are on probation, which means you’re at-will. And you can be fired for any reason or no reason. And they don’t have to tell you why and they don’t have to give you any warning, anything like that. Once you pass probation, good luck getting rid of you. And so, then employers have to go through progressive discipline process. So, without at-will employees, there is no reason for you to have a probationary period. And when you do, it implies that once people pass probation, then they can’t be fired or they only have to go through progressive discipline. And even an introductory period, there’s no reason to have an introductory period. And I just read somebody’s handbook the other day that did the common language. During your introductory period, we’ll try you out, you’ll try us out, and if we both like each other after 90 days, then you get benefits and things like that. There’s no reason to have that language, because what happens on the 91st day? Are you still trying each other out? No. Can you still fire somebody? Yes. And so you don’t want to have anything that implies that after this date, things are different. The only thing that’s different is that you might get benefits, your vacation might start accruing, something like that. So I strongly discourage probationary periods when people are starting to work or even after. Some of my clients have, when somebody violates a policy, they put them on probation for a month. You shouldn’t do that in at-will employment because it gives again an implication, Okay, well, you you didn’t mess up for 30 days, so you’re good. No, you’re not. So at-will means you can fire for any reason or no reason at any time, as long as it’s not an illegal reason, and you don’t want to have anything that implies otherwise.
Excellent. Thank you. Do you recommend investing in logo’d or branded items or goodies to provide new hires? Is that impact worth the cost?
Yeah, people who know me, know that I’m not a fan of those types of things. And so, while I did talk about on my first day of work, I had a company work shirt in my favorite color, I don’t think I ever wore it, but that’s just me. And so I think to a certain extent, branded items are helpful, and they are especially helpful for some people. I might be in the minority here. So that’s one of the things, I, what I am a fan of is asking your employees whether they like those types of things or not. And again, employers spend a lot of money on putting their logo on all sorts of things that I think is a waste of money. But the best way to find out is not to guess. It’s simply to ask people. And if you’re getting the results that you want by giving people those types of things, then you should continue to do it.
Got it. Okay, what should you do when you realized you’ve made a bad hire?
Yeah, there is a philosophy to hire slow and fire fast. And so that’s why you want to put all the effort into your interviewing process, making sure that you’re making the right hire and your onboarding process to make sure that you’re setting people up for success. But I am not a fan of keeping people around after they have demonstrated that they are not a good fit. And a good fit is because they can’t do the job, they can’t follow the policies, those types of things. And, so, hire slow, fire fast. Now, that does not mean you do not give people an opportunity to improve. But when you have done everything you possibly can to help this person be successful and they just can’t do it, then the best thing to do, for everybody involved, is to let them go so that they can find someplace where they can be successful.
Once here’s a good one. What is Vensure’s onboarding process?
I have no idea. And let me say what that’s about. It’s because I work for Worklogic HR, which is a business partner of Vensure, and Worklogic HR is based in Bakersfield, California. And so while Vensure is kind of like a parent company, I, I don’t work for Vensure. And so someone else from or from Vensure would need to provide more information about that. However, I can tell you about the Worklogic HR onboarding process. A lot of it is automated. And one of the reasons for that is because of our HRIS system that we developed. And that system has been very successful in getting through the paperwork very quickly. And so, that’s one of the things that we take great advantage of, that automated system. The other thing is that we do a lot of the welcome to the organization. So that’s one thing about Worklogic HR, is that it’s a company that believes in THUBTEN. And so, we have a birthday committee that decorates our offices. And so, we have a lot of creative people that go the extra mile to make sure that people feel welcome by decorations and that type of thing. We do some swag. And so, we’ve got some big coffee mugs with our logo on it and we have those types of things. And to our organization, a lot of people are in cubicles, and so we make sure that the cubicles are all set up and ready to go. We’ve got excellent IT that is right there helping people get connected right away. And, one of the things that we do, and when I went to work at Worklogic eight years ago, this really impressed me, is right after my first or second day, there was a staff meeting, and I was and a couple of other people who had started the same day as I, we were introduced to everybody and we told a little bit about ourselves. But then after that, in the staff meeting, each department head went through and talked about what was going on in that department, and they talked about the new clients, the clients that had left, what our revenue was, all of these types of things. There was so much transparency. And I sat there feeling like, Okay, I made the right choice. And that’s exactly what you want your onboarding process to be.
Okay, it seems like that is all the questions that we have today. We will be doing another one of these, Part 3, next Wednesday at the same time, same place. We’ll be talking about necessary notifications before, during, and after the employment relationship. And, so, thank you very much, Robin, for your time today. Thanks, everyone, for joining. And we’ll see you next time.