How to Create Personalized Onboarding RoadMaps for New Hires


SilkRoad defines strategic onboarding as a continuous process that engages, aligns and activates people. SilkRoad specializes in helping companies leverage technology to create engaging, personalized and ongoing employee journeys, across many different industries and cultures, enabling them to consistently achieve organizational outcome. Today, we are joined by Sharlyn Lauby. She is a author, writer, speaker and consultant. She’s been named a top HR digital influencer and is best known for her work on HR Bartender, a friendly place to talk about workplace issues. HR Bartender has been recognized as one of the top five blogs started by HR professionals by the society for human resource management and best business blog by Publications such as New York times, ABC News, The Wall Street Journal and Mashable, have sought her expertise on topics related to human resources. Sharlyn is the author of essential meeting groups for managers and manager onboarding. Five steps for setting new leaders up for success which are… Maps and setting our employees up for success.

In the little under an hour that we have here today, I wanna talk about four different things. First of all, I wanna talk about personalization being apart of the onboarding process. Five activities that you can add to your current onboarding process to personalize it even more, how technology can assist and a plan for implementation and evaluation. Just so you know, this program today has been pre-approved for SHRM and HRCI re-certification credits and at the end of the webinar we’ll share with you the program codes so that you can keep those for your records. I think that before we get started into a conversation about personalizing onboarding roadmaps I want to make sure that we’re on the same page about what onboarding is and the value it brings to the organization. Onboarding, the way I define onboarding is the process that new hires or newly promoted employees go through in order to become productive and a couple of things that I want to point out about this definition, first of all, I think sometimes and I know I do this myself, when we think about onboarding we think about only people externally coming from outside the organization into the company but we also when we talk about onboarding, we want to think about those newly promoted or newly transferred employees because they’re being exposed to, they’re at a different place in their career. So they’re being asked to do different things and onboarding might be something that is very valuable to them as well.

The second piece is about the process of becoming productive. A lot of people define productivity many different ways. I once worked for an organization that every month they calculated the productivity of every location in the company. So we were a multi-location operation. And they went through and had a productivity line and so if you were above the productivity line, I guess for lack of better word, you were safe and if you were below the productivity line that they had created you needed to come up with this plan in order to show how your operation was going to become more productive. So productive is not simply doing the work. Productive is about being effective and efficient and being engaged and those are three things that are really very important when we talk about onboarding an productivity. And productivity has a tremendous amount of value to the organization.

First of all, let’s talk about the productivity aspect that we’ve been discussing so far. There are some great statistics out there about effective onboarding programs and productivity. First off, it typically takes eight months or longer for a new hire to reach their full potential in the organization. Years ago, I wrote a onboarding program for one of my clients and it was interesting to me because one of the first questions that we asked and we asked it of employees, we asked it off managers and we asked it of senior leadership, we said how long does it take for a new hire to become fully productive and the range of responses that we received was just amazing because managers said it takes less than a month for a new hire to become productive. New employees said six months and senior leadership said well over a year and so when you’re talking about building an onboarding program, it would be interesting to go out there and ask your different constituencies within the organization how long do you think it takes for someone to become fully productive and see what kind of response you get. Best in class companies are 35% more likely to be pre-board new hires and we’re gonna talk about pre-boarding before our hour is up. Pre-boarding process, excuse me, starts well before an employee’s first day of work. Manager satisfaction increases by 20% when employees have formal onboarding programs and this is a little bit different than just having an orientation.

So, being here today we’ll talk a little bit about how you can add some formal aspects to your onboarding program. And then finally, organizations with standard onboarding processes experience 50% more new hire productivity. So if… We’re creating market the way that it is today, I think you’re seeing a lot more organizations say we need to figure out how we can retain people because it takes us a lot longer to replace an individual when they decide to resign or even retire. Up to 20% of turnover happens within the first 45 days. So there’s a need for onboarding to have an immediate impact. 23% of new hires turnover before their first anniversary. New hires who participate in a structured onboarding program, almost 60% more likely to be with the company after three years and you see that same statistic, almost 70% of employees are more likely to stay with the company if they have a great onboarding experience. So I put some pressure on us to deliver great onboarding, not only to make employees the most productive but to also make sure that they stay with the organization. That means when we think about the future of onboarding, we want to think about it from a personalized standpoint. It starts before day one. It makes new hires feel special and excited to come to work everyday. We want to give them the tools to be successful and productive. We want to set expectations and empower them to do their jobs and the final step is encourage regular feedback. This gives us the opportunity when there are things that we do really well and we hear from employees, hey, that was really great, we want to make sure those things don’t go away. And then again, if we get feedback that something isn’t working, that we can deal with it and we can fix it and not let it become a reason for people to leave. Why didn’t you tell me that because I could have fixed that pretty easily and then an employee might stay.

So let’s talk about five personalized onboarding activities and Kelly, to get us started, let’s do a quick poll. Shall we? Oh, now see, something just popped up on my screen. Yeah, now it’s working. Okay (laughs). There we go. There we go, alright. Yeah And actually… Alright. We’ll give it another couple of seconds but it looks like we have a pretty even distribution where the responses are concerned. We’ll give it just another second but at this point in time it’s looking pretty evenly distributed. Let’s see, about 30 ish percent say less than a half-day, 14% say a half-day, 31% say a full-day and 24% say longer than one day. And all of these are great. One of the things that I would indicate to people is the length of your orientation program should be indicative of the content and when you talk about your orientation program, look at your content and figure out are you delivering the right information at the right… We can move on. And the reason that I bring up, making sure that your content aligns with what orientation is is because I do believe that there are some opportunities for us to reimagine orientation and provide a more personalized experience.

First of all, pre-boarding, a lot of organizations classify this as this way to sort of get a few administrative issues out of the way initially. So, employees have the ability to sign forms prior to their first day, read things, so there’s a certain amount of information that can be given to employees prior to day one and they can process it and that’s the whole pre-boarding process. It could be done electronically. Technology solutions allow you to easily convey that information to new hires and accept it back. So that makes it very wonderful from an administrative point of view. It’s terrific from a paperwork point of view because it’s possible that there’s pieces of paper don’t need to be printed out that then can be filed then in your human resources systems. So, pre-boarding has the potential to really help employees get some paperwork out of the way and I don’t mean that in a bad sense. We all know that when you get hired you have to sign paperwork. The great part about it is it can take care of some of the common issues that employees like to know right up front. I like to think of them as the me issues. Employees want to know things like about paychecks and when they get distributed and when do I get to sign up for benefits and those kinds of things. Pre-boarding gives you the opportunity to communicate that information in advance so that when an employee shows up on the first day a lot of that information they already know. An orientation then becomes a different kind of program verses a program where employees are sitting and just signing pieces of paper. So think about is there an opportunity when you’re designing your total onboarding package to think about a pre-boarding concept that gives information to employees, things like perks and benefits and pay but also things about this is what your first day is going to look like, this is what you need to wear. It’s amazing. Do we tell new hires what their lunch options will be, is there a refrigerator on the work site that they can bring a meal with them on day one or do you always take people out for lunch on their first day. Just little things like that that can reduce the amount of anxiety for day one and turn that anxiety into excitement because I know now that I’m going to be building relationships with people and what I’m going to be doing on my first day. Extend that out. You might want to talk about what people are going to be doing on their first week. You might have hat planned out in advance. I know some of the employers that I’ve worked for in the past, we told you ahead of time this I what your first week is going to look like and then some point during the first week we sat down one on one and had a conversation about what your first 90 days was going to look like but we wanted to always be ahead of the conversation so that employees knew exactly what to expect and that way they weren’t sitting around wondering, well gosh, when am I gonna learn this piece of my job, because we wanted employees just to understand that we knew, we had a plan in place that we knew when you needed to know something and you were gonna know it right before you needed to use it.

Which kind of leads me to the next area of personalization which I really like a lot. It’s called Talent Center and I learned about Talent Center at SilkRoad connections conference. It’s their annual users conference. So it’s a really terrific event if you’ve never been to it before but Talent Center, I had the opportunity to hear about it and the way I would describe it to people was think of it as this dashboard that employees and managers have access to that paints this picture of the things that employees need to know. Everything cannot happen in pre-boarding and orientation as evidence by your responses. So, employees aren’t going to know everything they need to know in a half-day or a full-day, even if you have a program that’s like one or two days, they’re never gonna know everything you need to know on when they leave that orientation. So what Talent Center does is it gives employees a place to go to learn information and think about it from the stand point of these are the things that we’re going to teach you over the course of time. Maybe like a checklist but it gives employees performance expectations, it tells them when things are going to be presented to them and not necessarily from a manager standpoint. Let me see if I can explain this. I once worked for an organization that when you got hired we sat down with you and we said these are all the things that we believe that a new hire needs to know in their first 90 days and some of these things are going to be talked to you by your manager, some of these things you’re going to be talked to you by a colleague, maybe somebody in your department, maybe somebody in a different department but there was this place that a new hire could always go and they could look at this list of things that they needed to learn, so we were setting performance expectations with them and saying these are all the things that we expect you to learn within your first 90 days. And that different people were going to have these conversations about whatever the skill or the knowledge was that you needed to know. It’s great because it also helps you build relationships with other people in the workplace and that is so important. One of the things when we talk about onboarding is if we wanna build engagement with employees they have to go out there and start meeting people and they have to know more people than just the director of human resources and their hiring manager. So we want employees to go out, meet different people, have different experiences and Talent Center is a way for them to do that and to keep track of the different skills and abilities, knowledge, pieces of knowledge that they need to learn in order to become successful in their jobs. When you think of Talent Center in the grand scheme of an employee lifecycle think about it this way. The things you would put in the Talent Center are the things that you recruit individuals for. It’s the knowledge, skills and abilities that someone gets hired for. Then when they actually come into the organization in orientation, you would explain to them how Talent Center works and you would show them using technology how they would find the information or find that dashboard that they can access and it shows them the things that they will be learning over the next 90 days. Then as those things start to happen, they’ll be checking things off of their list. I build confidence over the course of time because I’m learning new things and I’m building new relationships within the organization. And then you get to take what’s in Talent Center and use it as a basis for performance management because at some point in time, managers are going to sit down with employees and say, let’s look at your Talent Center and how many things have you accomplished, how many things do you still need to work on, are there things that we need to do together? So this becomes a very personalized process. However, at the same time, it’s very consistent because any new hire is being tasked with certain things that will make them successful, so it’s not some willy nilly list of things that an employee needs to know.

Kelly, before we move on to the next area, let’s do another quick poll and this one has to do with do managers conduct one-on-one meetings with employees. Again, if you’ll take a minute to answer that. Answer it, a if yes, managers do conduct one-on-one meetings and you found it to be very beneficial, B, if they do but it’s only informally. Maybe it doesn’t happen on a regular basis. C, not really but you’re trying to convince managers that this would be a good idea and d, if senior management still needs to be convinced that having a program or process in place where managers conduct regular one-on-one meetings with employees is being used. And I notice people are voting. It’s interesting, I know a lot of conversations in the media and out in the news about one-on-one meetings being a replacement for performance management and that’s a whole other conversation, we’re not really talking about replacing the performance appraisal today but just the activity of having one-on-one meetings with employees can be tremendously productive and these meetings can happen on a regular basis. It looks like almost everyone has voted. I have to say, Kelly, if you wanna put up the poll results. I’m super excited that we have 0% in the very last, in the senior management doesn’t need to be convinced that one-on-one meetings are a good thing and really, the convincing managers is a very small percentage. Most people are doing it in some form or fashion. Let’s dive into this conversation just a little bit deeper and talk a little bit more about one-on-one meetings because this is another aspect of the onboarding process where it can be very personalized and you can get some really terrific information.

First of all, from an employee perspective, employees during onboarding have a fresh perspective, they have a new set of eyes on your business, on your processes and it would be a real shame not to take advantage of the fresh perspective that they can bring your business. I once worked for a company that I remember my boss telling me after I don’t know, maybe like six months on the job that she never hired anybody from the industry that we were in, which was the transportation industry and she said, I intentionally always hire people outside of the industry because they have such a fresh perspective. I wanna see what people outside the industry perceive about our processes and things like that. So their fresh perspective can really be an advantage to your company. And then talk about frequency. Do you wanna do it monthly, some managers do it weekly but decide what makes sense for you but there are some checkpoints that you might want to put in, especially for new hires, to ask them some questions about their onboarding process. Specifically, are we delivering on the things that we told you during he recruiting process or during interviews? When you look at things like Talent Center which we just talked about, are you getting the information that you need at the moment that you need it? So I think that there are some opportunities when we talk about one-on-one meetings for managers and employees to have these conversations to make sure that employees are getting all the tools that they need in order to be successful. That personalizes the process but there’s also some consistency built into that to where from an HR perspective, if you’re in orientation and you wanna say we do check in meetings at 30 days, 60 days, 90 days and managers are gonna ask you these questions and we encourage you to go back and give them some very honest feedback so that we can continue to make our programs better. You can also think about the methods that you wanna use in order to deliver this information. Obviously, face-to-face meetings are terrific, however, if you have virtual teams or you have employees who tele-work, then you might have to find some other ways in order to deliver, to get this information. And you can use things like electronic poll surveys in addition to face-to-face meetings in order to get the feedback that you’re looking for. But one-on-one meetings extend beyond the employee and this is where as human resources professionals, we get a little involved in the one-on-one meeting concept because managers need to give HR some feedback about the program. They should be in a position where they can communicate expectations about what they expect new hires to know when they leave pre-boarding orientation. So, regularly HR should go back to managers and say, are we delivering on our program expectations?

We also wanna make sure that managers are delivering a consistent training to employees, a consistent onboarding experience to employees. And then finally, that managers feel like they can support the process, both before day one during orientation and onboarding and then afterwards with new hires. So HR needs to get involved at some point in the process and sit down and have one-on-one conversations with managers to say, are we delivering what we said that we would deliver, is there something else that we should change or add to our pre-boarding orientation or onboarding processes, that would help new hires become productive faster or better. So when we think about one-on-one, that’s not just one-on-one between managers and employees. Also one-on-one and I think that they’re really important. One-on-one can be supplemented with other things in the organization and special interest groups are one of those ways that new employees or newly promoted employees can gain valuable information and not necessarily from their manager or from human resources. Special interest groups, think about these less from a Sameist perspective and more about them as groups of individuals who have a common interest or purpose. Some of the ones that you might have be familiar with already, often you’ll hear about women in leadership, special interest groups with an organization, you might hear about veterans, you might hear about parents having a special interest group. So, the benefits of having these groups within the organization include improved engagement because employees can go and see answers to some of their questions. It allows them also to learn to get to know multiple people within the organization and hopefully, increase their collaboration skills at the same time.

Technology can facilitate the communication between the groups and even spark some innovation. If people with a common interest or purpose get together they might tackle a problem that the organization has been trying to work on for a while. I know I’ve worked for organizations that put together groups of individuals, management groups and said, we would like for you to work on this particular issue that the company is facing and they would have a group of people work on the problem and then present it to senior leadership. It was interesting from the perspective that the groups came up with solutions that senior management had never even considered. So when we talk about that new perspective and linking it to a common interest or purpose, some creativity and innovation can occur. I will say that there’s one other thing about special interest groups that can be really very valuable and I think it’s helpful from an onboarding perspective and that is new hires need someplace to go to ask questions about those unwritten rules that every organization has. We all have stuff that’s not written in a policy manual or handbook and new hires need to know that information and it’s best for them to learn it on the front end verses making a mistake and then figuring it out after the fact.

One way that employees can learn that information is through the concept of elaborative hiring and that is the idea that multiple people besides HR and hiring managers are involved in the recruitment process so that when a new hire comes onboard they know more people and they feel comfortable going out and asking different groups of people questions. If your organization has special interest groups then they’re in a position where they can go to the special interest group and they can ask that group some questions informally, you know, hey, off the record, what’s going on around here and that can be very helpful.

The other way that new hires can get answers to their questions is through a buddy program and Kelly, why don’t we launch our last poll because I would be interested to know if listeners today, how many of them have a buddy program currently in place. Answer a, if you do and you’ve found it to be really helpful, b, if you don’t have a buddy program but you have a mentoring program, c, if you’re trying, excuse me, to implement a buddy program and d, no we’re kind of looking for some more information about buddy programs at this point in time. And I notice the people are in the process of voting, just something to add about buddy programs. On some levels you can think of these like special interest groups but on more of a one-on-one relationship level. This is the opportunity for a new hire to get to know somebody that might have something in common with and they can learn the ropes and they can learn those unwritten rules. And it looks like voting has kind of slowed down a little bit and while we’ve got a pretty even split here. 21% say yes and they found the program to be helpful. 20% say they have a mentoring program. 24% on we’re trying to implement one and 36% say we need more information. So let’s dive into a little bit more about buddy programs.

We’ve talked already about collaborative hiring and I am a huge fan of collaborative hiring but I do understand that collaborative hiring also can add days to the time to hire metric and if time to hire is already a challenge for your organization you might say to yourself, I really cannot afford to add, get more people involved in the hiring process. So a buddy program might be an option for you into thinking about giving new hires and even people who have been recently promoted to like a management or something like that to give them the opportunity to have somebody that they can reach out to and converse with on a regular basis. But the one think that I’d point out is define the program.

When you’re talking about creating a buddy program think about how long you want it to be and that could be related to how long you feel that the new hire process or to become fully productive takes. So let’s say it takes six months for an individual to become fully productive within your organization, do you want your buddy program, do you want that new hire to have access for six months or maybe just three. If you have a buddy program what are the level of expectations? If you go back to something like Talent Center which was one of the things that we talked about, then the different expectations that you can or task that could possibly give somebody to learn from Talent Center. Do you wanna assign some of those to the buddy to where they are responsible for during certain things or letting a new hire know certain activities. And then finally, think about doing some sort of debrief with the buddies, the new hire and the buddy, to make sure that the program is accomplishing it’s goals and expectations. You don’t wanna end up in a situation where you’re assigning buddies and then you don’t really understand or you don’t really know what’s happening in those relationships and again, you’re not looking for the inside scoop on what’s happening in those conversations per say, but you do wanna make sure that the program is beneficial and it’s doing what it’s intended to do and that is creating a personalized experience, making new hires feel important and special, using the tools that they need in order to become productive quickly. So the program needs to do those things to tick off those boxes. So you wanna make sure that you do some sort of debrief with the buddies and the new hire to make sure that the program is working. I could also even see doing some sort of debrief, have one-on-one with managers to say, do you find that the buddy program is making employees more successful in your department. It would be interesting to see what their perception is of the buddy program and how it’s working. And then finally, you can keep, you can use technology to keep this program focused, both in terms of in check ins and goal setting and those kinds of aspects, you can use your technology solution in order to make those things happen.

You can see by the conversation that we’ve had so far that technology can play a key role in enhancing your onboarding program and making it more personalized, you really do have the opportunity to send information electronically. Obviously, you can personalize that information but at the same time you can standardize it so that everybody gets the same thing at the same time, you can make sure that it remains consistent which is an important aspect of hiring individuals. We know that from human resources perspective you can let technology reduce the amount of paperwork that you have for new hires, especially in that pre-boarding process and with opportunities like Talent Center, you can give people more access at the same time. Better communication through one-on-one meetings, through the special emphasis groups, interest groups, excuse me, and through the buddy program then result in onboarding success and if we onboard people well, they become productive and a bigger contributor to the organization and they stay longer.

The last part, just amongst us HR pros is when you build technology into your onboarding process this becomes easy for you as an HR approach maintained and let’s face it, our plates are full. So when you can do that then you can spend more time on these other things that allow you to spend more time with managers, have those one-on-one meetings make the program even better and even stronger. Which leads me to a conversation about how do we make this happen within our organizations. The first thing I want us to talk about is the implementation side of the equation and that is start small. I know it can be really tempting to, I have to admit, one of my challenges as an individual is I go to conferences and I hear about great ideas and I will leave with more ideas than pieces of paper everywhere and I can’t be the only person who thinks that way but…

So one of the things that I try to do when I’m implementing a system is I start small and I think about things in phases. Okay, this is phase one, this is what I wanna do, I need to knock it out of the park, I need to get senior management on my side and then I can go back and ask for something else because if I get phase one right they’ll give me the money. If I get phase one right they’ll say you need to do more. So start small, get senior management buy in, consider launching things in phases over the course of time and also consider going out there and getting a pilot group. Get a group of people who not only want this more personalized approach but also maybe on some level, put a couple of your harshest critics in the group because if you win them over you’re golden. So think about as you’re starting to launch these pieces, getting a pilot group that not only will learn the information but they’ll go out there and they’ll be your cheerleader and those individuals you say I was skeptical but they won me over, those people are your biggest cheerleader. Again, they’re gonna sell the program for you. From an evaluation standpoint, you wanna look at both the quantitative and the qualitative measures and there are lots of them out there depending upon how you design your onboarding program.

Obviously, there are from a quantitative perspective, there are things like the program cost and the return on an investment. When you think about things like orientation, you can use Kirkpatrick’s levels one through four and those are the sheets that you give out at the end of a training program, you can look at a pretest and a post test. There are lots of different things that you can do there with Kirkpatrick’s levels but you can also look at theory productivity measures, you can look at turnover which have different connections back to onboarding. From a qualitative perspective, look at those poll surveys that we were talking about in one-on-one meetings. Managers give them stay interview questions that they can go out there and ask employees on a regular basis during one-on-one meetings. It might be interesting if you ever have a manager’s meeting where you get the floor for a couple of minutes, you might want to come up with a stay interview question that you ask managers to incorporate in their one-on-one meetings each month and then you have the ability to go around and ask them hey, how did your employees respond to that particular question. A stay interview question is a question that gets to the heart of why do employees stay with the organization.

In this context when we’re talking about onboarding, we have researched that supports good onboarding programs result in employees staying with the company longer. Well, if that’s the case, then let’s go out there and ask a couple of questions about what was your onboarding experience like. What something that a previous employer did with onboarding that you would love to see us do? What’s one thing about onboarding that we should absolutely not change? Those kind of things and you can do those in a causal way during a one-on-one meetings and then save a question or two for a full blown engagement survey. Some organizations do annual or every other year full blown engagement surveys so you might not want to wait that long in order to get some of the stay interview information. So think about what can you do in the one-on-one meeting, what do you wanna do in an engagement survey and then finally, think about exit interviews and I know that the person is leaving the organization, the employee is leaving the organization but when you think about an exit interview one of the things that you want to understand is not necessarily why the person is leaving but what promoted them to start looking in the first place and I think about this because when we talked about some of those earlier stats about people leaving within their first year of employment, I always wonder if when I’ve done exit interviews with employees and I think about the employees who left in the first year of employment and they might say to me, oh, you know, just got this great offer and I couldn’t past it up, but how many of them became disengaged or disillusioned as a result of our onboarding program and if I had known that I could have fixed it.

So I think that there’s sometimes a connection between onboarding programs and first year turnover and the reasons that people decide to start looking for other opportunities and when we think about evaluating our process because we really do have many many options available to us, think about whether or not some of these go together, you don’t have to do all of them but do you wanna look at things like if retention is a strategic objective of your organization then maybe you wanna look at things like stay interviews and exit interviews and turnover or if productivity is more of a strategic imperative for the company then maybe pulse surveys and productivity and Kirkpatrick’s levels especially when you’re talking about learning taking place and people being able to incorporate what they’ve learnt into the work that they do. So you can look at those kinds of things and say to yourself, what do I need to focus on from an evaluation perspective, what do I think my senior leadership wants to see and how does that tie back to the goals of the program that we talked about initially?

I wanna give us some time to do a little Q&A but before then let’s just do a quick recap on some of the takeaways. Onboarding is an incredible opportunity to make employees productive and engaged with the workforce but it really does take offering them a personalized roadmap. We need to take care of their needs with programs like pre-boarding and Talent Center that allow them to focus on their work and then we’ll bring managers into the process by encouraging one-on-one meetings where feedback can be exchanged, give them, managers the ability to support employees and programs like the buddy program or the special interest group and then use your implementation and your evaluation strategies to revise the program in the future. As we promised, the program today was eligible for HRCI and SHRM re-certification credits. The HRCI program code is 328612 and the SHRM program code is 17-O1GBT. And Kelly, at this point in time I’m gonna turn it back over to you for a little, hopefully some questions. Awesome, thank you Sharlyn.

We did have some questions. Reminds me that you can enter those in the questions box in the console located on the right hand side of your screen. We’ve got a full eight minutes to have Q A with Sharlyn here. So, the first question was how do you distinguish onboarding verses orientation? For me, I distinguish onboarding and orientation, onboarding to me is a much longer process if you just talk about length of… Onboarding is a longer process, orientation is a much shorter process. Orientation has a company aspect to it that sometimes I don’t know that onboarding in general does. New hires need to know things about their pay, their benefits themselves, then there’s stuff they need to know about the company and the products and services and things like that that the company provides and then there’s the job that the new hire needs to know and so sometimes when you divide up everything that a new hire needs to know, the paperwork and the me stuff, pay, benefits, perks, all that kinda stuff, I kinda think can be handled often in pre-boarding and then I believe that a lot of the company stuff can be handled in orientation and then a lot of the individual work stuff can be handled in onboarding post orientation.

Next, it was not exactly a question, more of an explanation or statement but Pauline says that some managers do one-on-one meetings, some do not. There’s conversation around what case would you use the one-on-one meetings and how to get managers to buy in. So from your perspective, what are the benefits of one-on-one meetings? What are some best practices and what impact can it have on a team, a department or an organization? When it comes to conducting one-on-one meetings, one of the things that I think would be super cool and we were talking about what happens in orientation, if you can fit it into your orientation process, especially if you create that pre-boarding step, I would build into orientation and teach employees about their role in one-on-one meetings. So you can teach managers and manager development or manager training about one-on-one meetings and then at orientation I would teach employees about one-on-one meetings so that both the manager and the employee come to that event knowing what their role is and knowing how to conduct a meeting because I think that some of the reason that people don’t do them is because the meeting doesn’t go well and I think back on the times that I’ve been to a, what do I wanna say, a boring meeting that doesn’t make me wanna go back to the next time that this group of people is gonna get together. So from this standpoint of if we teach managers and employees how to have really great one-on-one meetings I wonder if they would enjoy the meetings more and therefore, they would want to do them more. Now as far as why a manager might wanna conduct a one-on-one meeting and I think the biggest part comes down to performance.

There’s such an opportunity to have performance related conversations with employees and one-on-one meetings are the perfect place to do it. And I’m not taking about performance reviews. Forget about performance reviews for just a second. I’m talking about those daily conversations that we need to have with employees about the work that they do, the things that they do really really well and the things that we’d like to see them improve on. We’re not talking about discipline or that kind of stuff. Those conversations need to happen and I think if they did they would make these other conversations when you do have to have disciplinary conversation or you do have the annual performance review conversation. It would make those conversations so much easier because you’ve already had, you’d already set expectations with employees in a one-on-one meeting and so these other conversations become a lot easier and they also become focused in a totally different direction. Instead of focusing on the negative, they get to focus on the future and the positives, so, that’s my two cents about why managers should have one-on-one meetings. I think it would make their jobs easier. Yeah for me when I have one-on-one meetings with my managers, they are almost no longer than five minutes. I tell her exactly what I’m working on and then she always asks what roadblocks I’m faced with and then she asks what she can do to remove them. So it empowers me to do my job, to do it faster, to do it correctly and then she enables me to achieve it by either giving me resources, giving me guidance, probably ask someone else for something where it may not quite be my place to ask for something she will help me facilitate that. So, it helps me contribute to the organization, how to contribute to my team a lot faster than what I could do on my own and I know that I’m doing the right thing and it’s really not a huge time investment on her part.

Kelly, can I just peg you back on a couple of points that you brought up there? I think it’s real important to understand one-on-one meeting does not mean a one hour meeting. Again, I think that you really kid it with the, I wouldn’t want somebody to make the assumption that a one-on-one meeting needs to be this incredibly long meeting because it doesn’t have to be that way. The second thing that you brought up that I think was so important is managers have real opportunity to ask employees how am I doing. So managers can use one-on-one meetings as an opportunity to say what can I do to support you, those kinds of things, so that when you look at things like your employee engagement survey and you look at how employees are rating management teams. The management team has an opportunity to get the answer to that question long before an employee engagement survey comes out. If they regularly in a one-on-one meeting say how am I doing and what can I do to better support you? Exactly. You have the feedback, you have the ongoing dialog as it’s happening verses waiting a month, 90 days, six months or a year to have that crucial conversation when you can just have it right now. Alright.

Well everybody we are at the top of the hour here. I wanna thank everybody for joining us. Like I said, you will receive a recording of this broadcast tomorrow around this time so do look for that. If you have any questions you can, you are more than welcome to reach out to either Sharlyn and myself. We’ll be happy to answer those. Some of you did ask some questions that we weren’t able to get to so I’ll make sure that we get you an answer to that. We hope that you will join us for the next installment in this series that is on October 19th. Hope you’ll join us for that and I wanna thank Sharlyn Lauby for a great presentation today and I hope you all have a great rest of the day. Thanks everybody.