A Note from Ujima Donalson,
When hiring new employees, managers sweat buckets-full of details. Is the job description current? Does it accurately reflect the position's core responsibilities? Does this applicant's experience equip him or her to hit the ground running? Does that one's background and education fill a gap within the organization? And so on. In fact, it's easy to get so swept up in the hiring process that sometimes we may forget that our work doesn't end there.
But as the articles in this issue of the Leading Edge demonstrate, how we welcome, orient, and acclimate new employees can make the difference between an employee who becomes a committed and integral part of the team or one who floats along until something "better" comes up.
"Excellence is not an accomplishment. It is a spirit, a never-ending process." ~ Lawrence M. Miller
Best Practices for Successful On-Boarding
Leadership Interview with Elaine Jennerich and Kurt O'Brien
Earlier this fall, POD interviewed the directors of two different Organizational Development & Training units at UW, Dr. Elaine Jennerich from UW Libraries and Kurt O'Brien from UW Medicine. Both organizations have well-established on-boarding programs, and Elaine and Kurt shared practices and strategies that may help leaders across the UW kick start or refine how they approach on-boarding new employees in their own units or departments.
When it comes to on-boarding, everyone matters. As Elaine explains, "We don't differentiate; an employee is an employee. If you come on as a temporary in Libraries, you get the same departmental orientation as everyone else." Read more
"The beginning is the most important part of the work." ~ Plato
Ask an Expert: Investing in On-Boarding
Susan Templeton, M.Ed., Training and Development Consultant
Question: My unit has spent a lot of time and effort recruiting and hiring a new employee who I think will work out well. Why do I need to invest yet more resources in on-boarding?
As one of the co-facilitators for the University's in-person new employee orientation, Making Connections, I've seen the number of new staff attending our monthly sessions nearly double in the last year. It's good news that hiring's picking up again, but some managers and departments may be out of practice for welcoming new employees to their team.
Hiring a new staff member is an investment. Establishing an effective on-boarding process can increase your return on your investment by improving staff retention, engagement, and performance.
"Your primary influence is the environment you create." ~ Peter M. Senge
Help is on the way! From information on the web to useful books, there are many free and low-cost resources available to help managers envision, or reimagine, how employees can be on-boarded in their department.
All managers can visit Human Resources New Employee Orientation page to determine what orientation activities are appropriate for their employees based on primary work location and role. POD's On-Boarding web page provides tips for managers and also includes an On-Boarding Toolkit that has a wealth of checklists and other resources. (Although a few pieces of the toolkit are geared towards Seattle Campus classified and professional staff, most of it is pertinent for on-boarding any new UW employee.)
"It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it." ~ Jack Welch
NEO by the Numbers
In FY 2011-12, POD offered 12 in-person Making Connections: UW New Employee Orientation workshops. A total of 378 new employees attended and 98% completed an evaluation. Just over 97% agreed or strongly agreed that NEO was effective. In addition, participants responded as follows:
Farewell to Renée Hanson
Please join us to wish farewell to POD consultant and University Consulting Alliance Manager Renée Hanson, who is retiring, at the POD Leadership Reception on Wednesday, January 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. At this event you'll also have a chance to meet POD's new senior OD consultant, Linda Callecod, connect with other POD consultants and staff, network with leaders from across the University, and enjoy light refreshments.
The sun isn't setting for Renée. In fact, she and her partner, Ross, will be moving to the warmer, sunnier climate of southern Oregon—which will also put them close to Renée's granddaughters and other family members. In addition, Renée will consult with POD for special projects on a contract basis, so we at POD and others across the UW can continue to benefit from her wealth of experience throughout 2013 and beyond.
We hope you can join us at the POD Leadership Reception to honor Renée and her contributions to the UW! RSVP now.