When your company on-board a new employee, you invest time, effort, and resources into the process. So if you’re going to spend the money, doesn’t it make sense to put energy into making sure the employee is successful? The key is to help new employees feel like they already belong.
On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Piyush Patel, author of Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work, shares how he on-boards his new employees and how he engages his staff in the hiring process.
He emphasizes the need to show new team members where the finish line is before expecting them to sprint toward it.
Initial welcome steps
Before employees set foot in Piyush’s office, they receive a box in the mail that includes initial paperwork plus t-shirts and other swag related to the company. The company also sends a book about the team and how the company operates.
The most important item in the box is an empty picture frame with a note encouraging the employee to bring a picture of a loved one for the new desk.
Psychologically, he said, the first day presents the highest stress for a new hire.
There’s the potential for a lot of doubt, and lots of room to wonder whether he made the right decision.
If the new desk has a picture of a loved one on it, there’s a better chance he’ll be convinced he made the right decision.
Making time to welcome employees
Piyush, the CEO of his company, dedicates himself to spending a half day with new employees on their first day in the building.
He gives new employees a tour, explains the inner workings of the company, and then gives them a spreadsheet with every employee’s name on it. Their assignment is to go from desk to desk asking a series of three questions.
- Why do you come to work here?
- What’s your favorite food?
- What’s your favorite memory of your time here?
By the end of the exercise, the new employee has heard every co-worker explain all the best parts of the company, as well as a sort of history of the company in the form of memories.
The net result is an employee who is excited to be part of the story.
“Dating” for 30 days
Piyush treats every new hire like a 30-day date for both employer and employee. The two come together at the end of the 30 days to decide whether the pairing is a good fit.
He identifies employees he calls navigators whose job it is to “protect the culture.” Piyush tasks them with taking the new employee to lunch, taking him to happy hour, and walking him through a segment of training.
At the end of 30 days, the group decides whether the new hire is a good fit for the team.
Even if the new hire isn’t immediately a good fit, he’ll evaluate whether the new hire can be rehabilitated.
It creates the sense that the whole team is in this together, and it results in a culture where people love their work.
The result is a community with low turnover and great results.
Some employers say they don’t have time to invest in new employees this way.
To them, Piyush says that he realized he was investing much more time dealing with unfulfilled expectations. He would have saved time by making the initial investment early on.
Instead of constantly rebuilding the process, he could carry out regular maintenance along the way with much better results.
He avoids making employees feel like they are constantly being criticized. Piyush constantly affirms employees: they hear the things they are doing well as well as things they could improve.
He said that people work for three reasons beyond money: belonging, affirmation, and meaning. Once they are in the tribe, you have to work to constantly maintain those.
“Make New Employees Feel Like They Already Belong” resources
We’ve been recommending the book the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley for quite some time because we believe in the message. Based upon interviews with buyers, it offers specific information for sellers to help them become trusted advisors.
As part of the series this week, we have a SlideShare available for you to download, or you can link to it here. As always, we also have a free excerpt of the book so you can try it out for yourself. We believe you’ll like it so much you’ll want to grab your own copy.
Today’s episode was also brought to you by Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and making your brand pop using video. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy.
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