Last year, I looked at new hire practices and found some interesting methods:
Ensuring new hires understand the shadow or informal part of the organization through the use of tools such as network maps (Jon Katzenbach, Senior Partner of Booz & Company, author of The Wisdom of Teams).
Pairing with another worker or even tripling with two experienced workers and getting to work immediately, in order to reduce formal training (Menlo Innovations)
Two actions that can begin even before a formal offer is made:
- Providing access to an online knowledge base.
- Connecting to an internal social network to connect online & ask questions.
Embedding collaboration from the start by co-developing an individualized new hire program.
Giving time for new hires to just look around and talk to people (Semco SA; New Seasons Market).
Good practices can be summed up with three key lessons, I later wrote in new hire emergent practices:
- Connect People
- Connect with Social Media (less hierarchical than other forms of communication).
- Start the process as early as possible
Yesterday, Jane Hart had Mark Britz in conversation on the uses of social media for onboarding at Aspen Dental. The conversation was recorded and will be available at the Social Learning Centre shortly. Here are some of the highlights of what Mark had to say, via the Twitter stream that accompanied yesterday’s conversation:
- Getting new hires to narrate their work, through blogs and other social media, is a good practice.
- Allow Community to be the cornerstone of the onboarding process.
- Use the tools you have already for social learning. Focus on building community for onboarding.
- As new hires come across work “exceptions”, they will need to leverage a community of peers to deal with these types of problems for which training does not prepare them.
- Mark used a wiki to capture 85 questions Senior Recruiters were being asked by Dentists in an FAQ for new-hire managers & recruiters. Any initial mistakes were corrected and now these FAQ are on a Yammer page for easy access.
- You should get new hires to share their learning and narrate their work via blogs (one blog, multi-user) by just making it a part of the work process.
- When the organization didn’t support networking after training, the employees created their own Facebook group.
- Social media can be used as tools for 1) collaboration, 2) community, 3) sharing – about equal use for each was observed.
- Using social media (Yammer) for peer to peer learning, completely eliminated the need for any formal training of the remote recruitment team [though the organization is not opposed to formal training].