When onboarding success means exiting, Onboarding Tools: The Role Scorecard & Onboarding Sprint Plan + Want to get great at something? Get a coach!
13 November 2022 Newsletter
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
Hope you’re Thriving!
It’s been a good week with the busyness of the Onboarded book launch fading into regular media interviews and everyday routine.
I’ve been loving getting photos of people with the book, and especially the pictures of books with lots of post-it notes all through.
If you’ve bought the book, it would mean a lot to me if you could post a review on Amazon if you bought it there or on Goodreads. Reviews make all the difference for authors.
Let’s jump into it.
Success Means Exiting
Continuing excerpts from my new book Onboarded, released on the first of November, here’s a snippet about why success means exiting.
Tim was dumbfounded. His face was blank, and he didn’t know what to say. I’d just explained to him that the onboarding process he’d developed, presented to the leadership team, and was so proud of, would not work if it didn’t plan to exit some new hires.
Like so many leaders, Tim was confident that there is one decision, and that happens when we hire. Maybe he was thinking, “That’s the deal done. We’ve signed the contract. Onboarding then helps people learn to perform better.” It seemed entirely illogical to consider exiting new hires they’d spent so much time and effort trying to hire. To have someone exit after 90 days might have seemed a failure.
An exit is a success, not a failure, with an effective onboarding process.
For Josh Gardner, one of the executives I interviewed, the best onboarding process he had ever seen turned out terrible for him. Josh explains, “They did an incredible job of caring about the onboarding. I knew who I could turn to for any question. I knew who to turn to about the values and norms and who to talk to about expectations for the role and resources.” The best onboarding process he’d seen was one where he ended up exiting as an unsuccessful fit. Josh still seemed grateful for the experience, and I sensed that he knew the strength of their process with hindsight meant that it probably wouldn’t work out in the long term in any case.
In the book Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward, Dr. Henry Cloud demonstrates that, when done well, “necessary endings” allow us to stop the pain, foster growth, reach personal and business goals, and live better lives. When done poorly, good opportunities are lost, and misery remains or is repeated. While we all face these kinds of endings daily, Dr. Cloud finds that most of us fall in the latter category and don’t handle endings very well.
Sixty-two percent of people I surveyed agreed with the statement, “We have hired the wrong people, and our onboarding process failed to exit them as part of that process.” Your onboarding process must exit the wrong people to be effective. If 100 percent of new hires pass your onboarding process and become a successful fit, perhaps your onboarding process isn’t rigorous enough.
Or, put another way, if your hiring process gets it right 90 percent of the time, your onboarding process should aim to exit the remaining 10 percent. And no hiring process will ever get it right 100 percent of the time.
A recent study from Leadership IQ found that 82 percent of hiring managers responsible for recently hired failures reported that, in hindsight, they saw subtle clues that the candidate would fail. Yet, they didn’t act because they were too focused on other issues, pressed for time, or lacked confidence in their interviewing abilities.
When we don’t invest time to onboard new hires well, we are gambling on the likelihood that a new hire will succeed. So, the short-term gain of saving time by spending as little time as possible with the new hire is traded against the long-term gain that the new hire will succeed or the gain they will exit if they’re an unsuccessful fit.
Short-term gain equals long-term pain.
Short-term pain equals long-term gain.
This week I came across a fantastic article from Bernie Marcus, the founder of Home Depot, the US-based hardware chain. For Australian readers, the Bunnings chain is modelled on Home Depot, and as legend has it, in the early days, the Bunnings executives visited the US and went to Home Depot stores with the instructions to “take as many photos as we can until we get kicked out”. Then the Aussie team would drive to the next store and repeat it again.
Anyway, the article lists the importance of people to Home Depot’s success.
Here are a few key takeaways:
- They needed experienced tradespeople to work in the stores, so they focussed on qualified tradespeople over 60 years old
- 70 percent of managers were recruited from within in the 70/30 rule
- “Payroll is not an expense; it’s an investment.”
- “We believed that if new hires learned from the founders, they would fully understand our values.” New managers would spend eight weeks learning from the founders.
- Everyone at Home Depot should have experience working in the stores, including lawyers, accountants, marketing executives and human resources people.
Read the article here: Bernie Marcus On How To Hire Right
Want to get great at something? Get a coach
How do we improve in the face of complexity?
Atul Gawande has studied this question with a surgeon’s precision.
He shares what he’s found to be the key: having a good coach to provide a more accurate picture of our reality, to instill positive habits of thinking, and to break our actions down and then help us build them back up again.
“It’s not how good you are now; it’s how good you’re going to be that really matters,” Gawande says.
Watch the 16-minute Ted talk here: Want to get great at something? Get a coach
This week on The Growth Whisperers Podcast
The Role Scorecard & Onboarding Sprint Plan (4 of 4)
What tools do you need to use for an effective onboarding process?
First, you must document what success looks like in the role after the onboarding. Second, you must build a plan to ensure the new hire understands how to succeed in the role.
The role scorecard should include the job purpose, responsibilities, measurable metrics and expectations of the new hire. The onboarding sprint plan should be a detailed weekly list of agenda items over perhaps 13 weeks which incorporates all the aspects of the role scorecard.
This week, in part 4 of 4, we talk about the two tools from Brad’s new book Onboarded, the role scorecard and the onboarding sprint plan.
Listen to The Growth Whisperers
Or watch it on YouTube
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