business matters is very grateful to Pinsent Masons who hosted this lunchtime CPD talk and provided a sandwich lunch for those attending.
To hear the audio of the lunchtime and see the PowerPoint presentation that our speaker Joy Lewis used, click on the icons at the foot of the page.
Joy started by outlining a little of what “Adopt An Intern” is about as an organisation and what its activities encompass. To see the short 1-minute video that Joy played, click here.
Turning to the topic of the day, Joy encouraged us to recognise that, in common with pretty much everyone, each of us will have experienced a degree of uncertainty and angst as we face up to starting with a new company or even moving departments with our current employer.
In order to make that first day, and the first few weeks, of employment slightly easier Joy outlined the five “top tips” that she and her whole team had identified.
In a very interactive session, the following points were highlighted and discussed.
Set People Up To Win
- Don’t over promise
- Remember that your staff will have a part in explaining culture and managing expectations
- Take into account that people will, themselves, have over-promised during the interview process
- If you can, pair the new start along with someone experienced
- Identify the soft skills such as communication, time management, delegation that the new start has and use them as the foundation for a positive assessment at the initial review so that the “compliment sandwich” approach can be used allowing critique of other skills that need to be developed
- Catch the good and bad behaviours early – 86% of new starts will decide in the first 6 months if they will stay or leave a particular job/company
Look Critically At Your Onboarding Processes And Make Sure They Are Effective
- Just having a list of procedures is no good – they have to work and be helpful
- Establish an honest approach right from the start and make it a 2-way street
- Be clear on what is expected from people so that there are no “surprises”
- Be willing to have conversations about money and a contract early on – people need to know they are valued and have a degree of security
- If you are able to operate a mentoring system then perhaps pair up people from differing groups – for example Millennials and “Traditionalists”
- Create and use opportunities for teamwork and bonding
Have A Visible Workplace Culture
- Nowadays, many people will apply for jobs with a high emphasis on the values of the employer and company – make sure that your vision and values and the actual workplace culture match up
- Make use of appropriate communications tools (e.g. Slack) to encourage open team working and celebration of achievements
- Focus on the outcomes of the team and company – it’s not all about money
- Let your existing staff communicate the culture for you – for example whether the culture is “9 to 5” or “job to finish”
- Encourage diversity and flexibility in the workplace – giving flexibility will often result in gaining commitment and in the long run each party, and the business as a whole, will benefit
Find Out What Motivates Your Staff And Work To This
- Traits such as curiosity, competence, confidence and commitment will not make a staff member stay but can be worked on and developed
- Tools such as the system from the “Vistage Network” of cards showing personality types can, if used and shared as a team, successfully improve the understanding of what makes each individual “tick” and allow relationships to be deepened and improved upon so that effectiveness and trust is generated
- This is an overarching tip and Joy emphasised that, if this is good and effective, then the other tips have a better chance of making the biggest difference
Those present benefited from Joy’s talk and from the interactions over the lunchtime and took back food for thought as they left.