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Through the eyes of a new hire

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Rebecca here, I hijacked Catherine’s enewsletter again. When I learn cool stuff about positive cultures I like to do that.

Recently a friend of mine got hired as a salesperson at a flooring company, and he couldn’t be happier. Since Catherine’s made me into a culture-nerd, I decided to dig deeper and learn more about their onboarding process. It seems they are following some best practices and I thought I’d share them with you.

So here it is, in my friend’s words. Are these the types of things your new hires are saying about you?

They make contact before the first day.

Even before I started, they sent me a note and some merchandise with the logo on it, which made it seem like they actually cared and I was welcome on my new team – like receiving a jersey from a sports team.

They give a warm welcome.

On my first day my desk had a ton of Cali Bamboo supplies on it and there was even a name tag for my area. They prepared for me to be there, so I already felt that I was part of something cool. Not to mention all of my coworkers made a point to welcome me.

They build relationships early on and work to keep them positive.  

My manager took me out to lunch within the first week of being there and I really enjoyed getting to know him outside of work. The CEO also goes around and high fives people to get them pumped up about working hard which really creates a great environment.

They hire for culture fit.

I just enjoy being there. Many of the people who work here are self-motivated, so you are already surrounded in a positive environment. Everyone is working hard and it makes me want to work hard too. They have little competitions with small gift card prizes for us newbies so working hard helps the company grow.

They make work meaningful.

Selling bamboo flooring doesn’t sound exciting at first, but we’re helping someone make their home more comfortable using eco friendly materials . During training we learn about the company, including how the company started. It’s a relaxed environment, which really fits in with the story. It was a humble beginning and it still has the potential to grow a lot.

They show room for growth.

There is a potential to grow. During the 3-month training they remind us to be on top of our goals and where we want to go within the company. It shows us we have potential to grow and they are interested in seeing us do that.

There you have it. My friend is excited to go to work, has one of the highest talk times out of those he works with, and really sees himself staying with the company long term.

Many employers confuse onboarding with orienting, but this organization really embraces the true meaning of the word. Onboarding is bringing people into the culture and “the way it is around here,” while orientation is orientating people to where the corporate policies and bathrooms are located.

The former is much more important. New hires are much, much more interested in learning about the context of their job than their actual job during their first few days – because understanding the context they’ll be operating in is important to understanding the operating part.



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Catherine Mattice Zundel

About Catherine Mattice Zundel

Catherine Mattice Zundel, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. . Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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