New Hire Emergent Practices

In May I asked what interesting new hire practices have emerged in the workplace and later re-posted the question to Google+. I also collected a number of bookmarks on onboarding, as some companies call it. There are many good practices, such as:

  • Dedicated coaches
  • Formal introductions to people in the work network, especially those at a distance.
  • Encouraging informal conversations.
  • Giving enough time to settle into the work.
  • Using collaboration platforms to enable better communication.

Good practices can be summed up with three key lessons:

  1. Connect People
  2. Connect with Social Media (less hierarchical than other forms of communication).
  3. Start the process as early as possible

Here are some of the more interesting emergent practices, in my opinion.

Offering to pay people to leave after onboarding, so that only motivated workers stay.

Have new employees work one level down for a week to see how their work affects others in the hierarchy. (Executive Yak)

Integrating staff into the workflow, culture, and team from day one (in a supportive environment). This reflects the emerging freelance economy that I work in, much more than the traditional corporate environment. As Will Kryski noted:

 I jump into companies as a contractor with no hand holding, mentoring, etc and am expected to perform from day one. Huge learning curves, little info or help, even on how to use the timesheet system. I just ask as required or figure it out on my own.

And to which I responded that one advantage we free-agents have is in adapting to new contexts. We change clients more frequently than salaried employees change jobs. We’ve had to learn how to adapt. I remember one client where I got to spend a week in a broom closet.

What I found most interesting is that I did not find a lot of unique or emergent practices. Perhaps these are being kept as company secrets or maybe HR departments in general lack creativity and innovation.


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