Pulse November 2018 - Page 63

Why onboard? Say you’ve just spent a significant amount of time and money attracting and hiring an outstanding individual. You’re tempted to relax, pat yourself on the back and welcome the person with a handshake and a handbook. Not so fast. What is your strategy for retaining that talented individual? How do you plan to protect your investment? Your answers can determine whether you’ve gained a long-term colleague or find yourself in the embarrassing position of explaining why he or she “just didn’t pan out.” What you should know is that newly-hired individuals who go through a well-thought-out onboarding program are more likely to be with you a year later by a whopping 91 percent. The number who are still with you three years later approaches 70 percent. People unfamiliar with onboarding want to know if it’s just another word for training. The answer: Yes and no. Though some use the terms interchangeably, the distinction is that training is an important part of onboarding. One expert describes onboarding as “the design of what your employees feel, see, and hear after they have been hired.” In essence, it’s the all-encompassing experience of a new hire’s first steps into their role. Compensation packages alone don’t lead to engaged employees, so consider what some call the Four A’s. l l l l Acquire new people: select and recruit the people you need. Accommodate them: provide the tools they need to work. Assimilate: help them join the team. Accelerate: show how they can deliver results faster. It’s your job to see that any ripple of anxiety quickly morphs successfully into readiness. Begin before new hires even start their first day’s work. Those papers they need to fill out for HR? Send them electroni- cally in advance. Post orientation schedules and frequently-asked-questions on an intranet accessible to new hires from a link in a welcome email. Smooth the way with technology wherever possible. Make getting to know everyone easier. Send them a digital handbook with information about your spa. When was it started? How has it developed since those early days? What is its reputation in the community today? What are its values? Include photos and titles of some of the men and women they’ll be working with. Some spas include a discussion of the company’s ethos, its character, principles, standards, ethics, even spirit. If so, present it as an inspiring concept, one that reflects the standards that have propelled the company to success. Small touches can help, like supplying a new hire with a map showing nearby eateries. Better yet, have employees invite them to lunch each day of their first week. Include a photo of the newcomer in a spa-wide email to your staff. Visuals have impact. In the people-focused spa industry, businesses that don’t focus on acclimating new employees to their culture are at a significant disadvantage. People who know what to expect make better decisions more aligned with the company’s accepted practices. The goal is to make them productive from the first day. Sounds simple enough, right? Yet, because it’s not something most managers do every day, it can be hard to get good at it. Depending on a spa’s size and composition, the key is having a modus operandi that is integrated, consistent and strategic. Successfully onboarding new employees in the first three months requires absorbing them effectively and creating a rapport. The support you provide during that time can foster an outlook that makes them happy to join your spa and ready to work hard for it. Start before they start Many parents have told their kids, “If you decide to do something, make sure you do it right.” It’s time-worn but time-tested advice, especially in this situation. You want to make sure that new individuals feel welcome and respected. November 2018 ■ PULSE 61