In our first post about hiring Millenials, we talked about ways you can make your company attractive to Millennials. AEC firms tell us hiring is their number one concern and finding the best talent is important and difficult.
Creating a meaningful workplace is about being thorough and authentic. But let’s take this even further because there are practical ways you can develop an effective onboarding process that fits with your brand identity and meshes with your new hire.
- Introductions: Formally structure how the new hire is introduced to others, from their immediate team to people higher in the management structure. Best idea – Set up meetings (over a shared lunch) between a new hire and key people on the leadership team for a one on one. This expands who a new hire knows in an organization and lets them learn more about how the office works. Incidentally, introductions are important in many other aspects of your business as well.
- Feedback: Explain how performance feedback is shared and when. Highlight the different ways, both formal and informal. Best idea – set up meetings between new hires and their direct managers for a specific day and time each month to sit down and review recent work and progress. Ensure new hires can also share their feedback on what is working for them and what’s not. Prioritize feedback and do more than just listen. Implement changes where it’s possible to do so. Change, both in the employee and the organization, needs to come out of these meetings, or they are just lip service. Make sure the brand identity your promised lives up to the brand identity you can actually deliver.
- Reporting structure: New hires can get stuck between competing managers with different priorities. Make sure they know who has the last word and who they ultimately are responsible to. Best idea – if there are conflicts between manager priorities, sort it out in private before even getting a new hire involved. This gives everyone more confidence in the the organization.
- Responsibilities & Expectations: Communicate the new hire’s responsibilities clear and in writing. Use specific examples. Be results oriented and use real metrics or measurable achievement. For example, explain you want a new hire to write three blog posts or you want them to start building sales relationships with two new business leads a week. Best idea – train managers to communicate their requirements in terms of who, what, why and how many phrases instead of subjective phrases like “sell more” and “work harder.”
- Corporate brand: Share your brand story and organizational goals with new hires. Have a transparent way of communicating your brand positioning, brand identity, and growth plans for the company. Best idea – have a quarterly all hands meeting where department heads share triumphs, challenges and plans for the next quarter with the whole company. Celebrate successes and talk about how challenges are going to be overcome.
- Perks: There are great things about every company. Maybe you offer lunches, flex time, time off for volunteering, a RRSP contribution program or a volleyball team. Let employees know what they can take advantage of. Best idea – not everyone can offer what Google does. But figure out what your AEC firm can do within the corporate culture and the budget and make sure all employees know what’s available to them.
Can you think of any others that have worked for your firm? Please let us know.