Effective Onboarding and Reducing the Impacts of ‘Premature Evacuation’ The Fifth S – Strategy

In the previous article we touched on the fourth S Skills and proven strategies for successful alignment, effective onboarding and reducing the impacts of ‘premature evacuation’.

Today we are looking at the fifth S Strategy and applying unique strengths to roles and minimising weaknesses for placement and career success. It’s crucial to recognise that starting in a new role isn’t only about focusing within the function, as many mistakenly believe. It’s about figuring out how to provide value in the context of the overall business strategy.

Understanding the organisation’s strategy

When you understand the business strategy, you can make individual choices that reinforce values, thus aligning behaviour with the business for ultimate effectiveness. Understanding the business strategy of the employer, or at least the business unit, using this framework:

  • Objective: this is not the business’s overall mission, but rather, the specific objective they hope to achieve. In other words, it is the ‘ends’.
  • Scope: this provides boundaries for the customer or the offering, geographic location and vertical integration, often defining where the strategy will not go. It is the ‘domains’.
  • Advantage: differentiating the company’s competitive advantage is the most critical aspect of the strategy statement. It is the ‘means’.

So, I’ve mentioned that strategy has ties to a business’s priorities and according to Tom Bartman, a researcher for Harvard Business School, understanding an organisation’s priorities is more important than understanding its capabilities.

Why is that? Well, priorities impose limits on the business, while simultaneously directing the business’ focus. No matter the capabilities of an organisation (resources, staff and processes), success only comes from pursuing activities that are consistent with priorities and therefore, strategy. You see, if the business activities require additional capabilities to meet an opportunity, the organisation will simply invest in that capability. It does not work both ways.

My practical, proven strategies for successful alignment, effective onboarding and reducing the impacts of ‘premature evacuation’ is based on the famed McKinsey 7-S alignment framework.

In our next post we will be looking at some of the main points of the Sixth S Staff and in our final post for the series we will be looking at the remaining Systems, for effective onboarding and how recruiters can reduce impact of ‘premature evacuation’.

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Greg Weiss is Australia’s leading career coach. He is the author of “So You Got the Job! WTF Is Next?”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7-step guideline for new employees, so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf

He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.

He also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365

The First S – Shared Values

In a previous article we touched on how ‘premature evacuation’ is costing Australian businesses $3.8 billion per annum and proven strategies for successful alignment, effective onboarding and how you can play a role in reducing the impacts of ‘premature evacuation’.

The First S is the central S and all the other S’s feed from the first S of Shared values. Ensure the employees and employer's values overlap and identify the behaviours that underpin these values. This is foundational to the success of the onboarding program, the organisation and the role.

Benefits of values alignment in the workplace

All relationships that stand the test of time are founded in shared values - marriages, friendships, partnerships, rock bands and of course, the employee/employer relationship. According to Ian Boreham, there are three key areas value alignment impacts long-term:

· Work attitudes

· Turnover

· Prosocial behaviours

Work attitudes

When employees have strong values alignment with their employer, it fosters the more intangible aspects of employee engagement. For instance, levels of motivation, commitment and job satisfaction tend to increase. Also leads to enjoyment and greater feelings of personal success.

Turnover

The natural progression from having positive work attitudes is that employees are more likely to enjoy their job, feeling an affinity with their employer and a sense of cohesion with their team. When this happens, they are more likely to remain with the company, reducing the risk of turnover.

Prosocial behaviours

Strong values alignment positively influences organisational citizenship behaviours, fostering teamwork and cooperative behaviours, rather than competitive behaviours. This aids with the sharing of resources for the better functioning of teams and organisations.

The key to all these benefits arising from shared values is employee engagement. You’ve already read about the intangible side of this, but the tangible effects of engagement are visible in direct work output and activities. In short, productivity and success in the role are greater.

When you align employees value systems with the company’s, it allows for proactive decision-making from a place of understanding.

Where values meet needs

The Oxford Handbook of Organisational Psychology cites four essential needs that are crucial for a structured onboarding program.

Those are:

1. The need to belong which refers to human’s desire to develop robust interpersonal relationships.

2. Social exchange theory says our social behaviour and relationships are an exchange process which facilitates a person’s perception of who they are within a group.

3. Uncertainty reduction theory says we try to reduce uncertainty about others by gaining information about them to help us develop a sense of belonging. Improved interactions can also hasten productivity.

4. Social identity theory refers to a person’s sense of belonging based on their perception of who they are within a group.

You can see that each of these needs has strong ties to the tiers in Maslow’s hierarchy, from Safety, through to Self-actualisation. This tells us that an onboarding program centred around shared values provides the best chance of surviving the critical first three months.

My practical, proven and adaptable structured onboarding process is based on the famed McKinsey 7-S alignment framework, so in our next post we will be looking at some of the main points of the second S Structure and in future posts we will be looking at the remaining S’s Style, Skill, Strategy, Staff, Systems for effective onboarding and how recruiters can reduce impact of ‘premature evacuation’.

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Greg Weiss is Australia’s leading career coach. He is the author of “So You Got the Job! WTF Is Next?”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7-step guideline for new employees, so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf

He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.

He also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365

How to Find a Fulfilling Career

Roger is a recent commerce graduate with a noticeably extroverted nature.

And he’s in a great position - he has received two incredible job offers.

The first opportunity is with a high-profile company. The money and prestige are very appealing to Roger, but he will primarily be doing a backroom analytical role.

The second opportunity isn’t as prestigious. But Rogers gets the feeling he would have the freedom to express more of his inner motivations and personal narrative here.

Which opportunity do you think Roger will take?

Don’t be misled: money isn’t everything

Money and prestige are tempting factors when weighing up job opportunities. After all, you start to imagine the different ways these could improve your lifestyle and all of sudden it seems like the answer to all your problems is right in front of you.

The trouble is, these factors aren’t enough on their own. According to Herzberg’s Theory of Motivation, it isn’t just a case of being dissatisfied or satisfied with a job, for there are two sets of factors which govern negative and positive work attitudes.

When hygiene factors, like salary and job perks, aren’t met this breeds dissatisfaction. But, when they are met, satisfaction is still not guaranteed. That is because positive attitudes towards work also depend on motivation factors being adequate.

Therefore, an enriched career also depends on your values, motivations and the working culture that is best suited to your personality.

In other words, it must incorporate what is most important to you.

Why are values so important?

Your values are what you stand for, what you represent.

If you aren’t aware of what’s important to you, it will be unclear which is the best road to take.

That applies to all decisions you’ll make in your life - not just how to find a fulfilling career. However, values are handy filters for evaluating job opportunities and the organisational culture of a new employer.

Even though it looks as though Roger is going to take the first job opportunity, I believe this a mistake, and he will be a square peg in a round hole.

Why? One of Roger’s core values is extroversion. If his new workplace doesn’t provide him with the environment to express this value, he is going to feel this misalignment of values significantly. And that is likely to breed poor motivation, performance and levels of satisfaction - not the enriched career he deserves.

If you want to learn more about how to find a fulfilling career and evaluate job opportunities, reach out to me directly or get your hands on a copy of my upcoming release: So You’re Career Confused! WTF is Next?

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Greg Weiss is Australia’s leading career coach. He is the author of “So You Got The Job! WTF Is Next?”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7-step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf


He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.


He also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.

 

Keyword: How to find a fulfilling career

How to Answer: “What Do You Do?”

Hannah has just arrived at a networking event. As expected, the first person who approaches her, asks “so, what do you do, Hannah?”
 
After being made redundant from her six-year stint as an administrator in the construction industry, Hannah is here because she is looking for new job opportunities. And yet, the words that seem to tumble unbidden from her mouth are: “oh, I’m an office administrator, but I’m in between jobs right now.”
 
Hannah’s lacklustre response, which she repeated throughout the event didn’t seem to inspire any connections with those she spoke to. And in the end, she felt rather deflated.
 
But, is it really any surprise that Hannah didn’t get out of this event what she was hoping for?
 
After all, Hannah offered her listeners only the barest of facts in her response. There was nothing to wow and intrigue. Nothing to remember her by.
 
How have you answered the same question in the past?
 

People want stories not facts

When someone asks “what do you do?” it’s a pretty standard approach. But that doesn’t mean they expect a standard answer. In fact, when people ask you this, what they are really wanting is to be wowed.
 
The best way to achieve that is with a storied approach. Stories can:
  • Help you make a positive impression, quickly
  • Hint at the best parts of your nature, without having to brag
  • Distinguish you from the crowd - it’s good marketing!
  • Help others get inside your head more than words on a page can
  • Inspire others to join you and get on board with your career move
 

Use a core story to highlight self-discovery

There’s no better time to have a core story than during a career transition. And the stories that are most successful under these circumstances are those that promote your own realisations of self-discovery and dedication to lifelong learning.
 
A core story is a way to wrap up elements of your achievements, skills, interests, values and motivations for you to articulate as your personal brand.
 
After we spoke on this, Hannah developed a story that she has since used at other networking events and, to her delight, landed her an exciting job opportunity. Here is Hannah’s core story:
 
I am fascinated with colour, modern design and architecture. While working in admin for a construction company, I realised I was limiting my own life enjoyment by working in the right industry, but the wrong role. It has occurred to me to relaunch myself into interior design and reset my career in this area, which is why I’ve been studying a design course in my spare time for the past six months.
 
 
Could you benefit from a better answer to the question: “what do you do?”
 
Read more about it in my upcoming book written with the career confused person in mind.
 
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Greg Weiss is Australia’s leading career coach. He is the author of “So You Got The Job! WTF Is Next?”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7-step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf
He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.
He also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.
Keyword: what do you do

How to Test Out a New Career and Make the Right Decision

Rochelle had been doing marketing for for-profit organisations for many years, before getting the opportunity to move into marketing for membership-based businesses.
 
With her natural ability for marketing and her wealth of experience, Rochelle continued to perform well and enjoyed her new role. Recently, Rochelle was offered a fantastic opportunity that she just couldn’t pass up. And so she stepped up into the role of CEO for a membership-based organisation.
 
Unfortunately, Rochelle is now in over her head. She goes to work every day feeling like an imposter. She feels stuck, empty and is wondering when those around her will start to notice her failings in this new career too.
 
Have you ever jumped into a new role, and despite your enthusiasm, found it wasn’t what you expected?
 

Always test the waters first

It’s not surprising if you have. After all, research shows we’re not well equipped to make good predictions about how we’ll feel when doing something new.
 
That proves especially true when you haven’t taken some key steps to understand a new role better and mitigate any potential surprises.
 
Luckily, there’s a solution. When you’re facing an opportunity for a new career, or are even just contemplating the idea of one, I always recommend testing the waters before making a decision.
 
That way you are the most informed you can be about the realities of a role, rather than just basing your decision on your own assumptions.
 
 One strategy for testing the waters is to have Prototype Conversations.
 

Have Prototype Conversations before deciding on a new career

According to Burnett and Evans, authors of Designing Your Life, talking to someone already living the life you want can be the best way to find out if what you believe is actually true.[1]
To have a Prototype Conversation, you should connect with people already working in the job or industry you’re interested in and ask them to share their story over a coffee.
 
It’s an opportunity to find out what they do and don’t like about the position, what surprised them about it when they started, and how they actually found themselves getting there. You should focus as much as possible on the factors you believe will make the job enriching for you, while also be aware of the clues they provide to those factors that could deplete your energy.
 
Ask as many questions as you can and try to limit talking about yourself. Your stake in the discussion is to gather as much useful information as possible.
 
There will always be something that surprises you about a new career.
 
Why not test the waters first?
 
For more strategies on how to test the waters of a new career, look out for my upcoming release: So You’re Career Confused! WTF is Next?
 
[1] “Designing Your Life” by B. Burnett & D. Evans. Published by Vintage Digital, 2016.
 
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Greg Weiss is Australia’s leading career coach. He is the author of “So You Got The Job! WTF Is Next?”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7-step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf
He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.
He also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.