Effective Onboarding and Reducing the Impacts of ‘Premature Evacuation’ The Seventh S – Systems

In the previous article we touched on the Sixth S Staff, and proven strategies for successful alignment, effective onboarding and reducing the impacts of ‘premature evacuation’. In this article we are looking at the Seventh S – Systems.

In a new employee's first three months, it is critical that they get up to speed quickly with the systems an employer uses. The systems that new employees find on the job might not be in line with their personal preferences. But, that doesn’t matter.

Because what does matter in the first three months is that any employer expects new employees to fit in, function and perform well as quickly as possible using those very systems, including software platforms, email systems, phones, the intranet, CRM, all IT, the way meetings are recorded, task and project workflows, and more.

This is why the recommended seventh (and final) alignment choice is:

  • To learn how things work to support delivery

Learn fast

In his book The First 20 Hours, Josh Kaufman helps people understand that if one follows the right process, anyone can become proficient at any new skill in just under 20 hours, or 40 minutes every day for a month.

According to Kaufman, accelerated learning, or “rapid skill acquisition” does not require memorising the minutiae and it’s important to approach it differently to academic learning. Instead, you should aim to immerse yourself in the central aspects so you can add that skill to your skillset permanently.

To put it in perspective, think for a moment about learned skills that anyone has been able to transfer (at least in part) from one job to the next. This is entirely different from the ‘cramming’ one did at school to just pass your exams - only to promptly forget most of what they’d learned.

Here’s the thing. In a new job and especially in those first three months, no one expects a new employee to be a world-class expert in one of their systems. Where it’s at - if they are to impress their new employer - is reaching a sufficient level of skill for using all of their systems.

According to Kaufman, the process is:

  • Define what you want to learn
  • Break down the skill into its basic components
  • Identify the critical sub-skills involved in reaching your goal
  • Eliminate any obstacles to practising
  • Commit to at least 20 hours of deliberate, focused practice

Want to find out more about becoming a lifelong learner so you can develop a sustainable career? Please reach out or stay tuned for the release of my upcoming book, 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

Effective Onboarding and reducing the impacts of ‘Premature Evacuation’ The Sixth S Staff

In the previous article we touched on the fifth S Strategy and proven strategies for successful alignment, effective onboarding and reducing the impacts of ‘premature evacuation’.
 
Today we are looking at the Sixth S Staff, as a subjective aspect of the McKinsey 7-S framework, and the onboarding process. Staff is where people skills come into play and how interaction with staff can contribute to onboarding success. 
 
Fitting into teams  
When starting a new role, you can find yourself joining any number of teams, as part of the onboarding process, it helps to understand how teams are formed allowing appropriate contributions from day one. 
 
There are four stages of team formation, which psychologist Bruce Tuckman defined in 1965 and this model remains relevant for us today. 
  1. Forming - In the initial stage, the team leader plays a dominant role, helping to define the responsibilities of each team member. 
  2. Storming - The second stage is ‘make or break’.
  3. Norming - Continuing to be actively involved, despite differences, allows people to work towards a resolution.
  4. Performing - The final stage sees team goals achieved with hard work, but without conflict.
 
What makes an effective team
According to Gina Abudi, effective teams share these common characteristics: 
  • Clear communication among all members 
  • Team member consensus 
  • Group brainstorming and problem-solving
  • Commitment to each other and the project
  • Positive and supportive working relationships 
  • Effective and inclusive team meetings 
  • Considered and timely handoffs between team members and stakeholders to keep the project moving 
  • Positive, supportive working relationships among all team members 
As Andrew O’Keefe, author of Hardwired Humans has shown, we can learn much about team dynamics from primates. Observing chimp communities can provide a greater understanding of what it takes to maintain organisational harmony.
 
Team charter 
A team charter is a roadmap to define the team’s purpose, processes and intended outcomes.
 
According to mindtools.com, there are seven elements to a team charter. These can be used to gain a deep understanding of a charter already in place or to assist in the creation of a new one. Abiding by a team charter will help any new team member fit in seamlessly and therefore heighten the chance of survival in the first three months. 
  1. Context 
  2. Mission and objectives 
  3. Composition and roles  
  4. Authority and boundaries 
  5. Resources and support 
  6. Operations 
  7. Negotiation and agreement 
 
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 final S 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

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

Effective Onboarding and reducing the impacts of ‘Premature Evacuation’ The Fourth S – Skills

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

Today we are looking at the fourth S Skills and applying unique strengths to roles and minimising weaknesses for placement and career success.

Anyone who has been involved in hiring someone new for an organisation knows that there are so many factors besides skill level to take into consideration. Whilst skills form the base of someone’s ability to perform the job, it’s no secret that hiring for a value fit is the key to kicking off the onboarding process in the best way possible.

Skills and knowledge are all things that can be acquired in a relatively short amount of time, but values are usually already ingrained in a new hire’s mind - they either already align with your organisation’s values or they’re unlikely to ever align themselves. Since values form the foundation of everyday behaviours, it’s important to take them into account from the get-go!

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 fifth S Strategy and in future posts we will be looking at the remaining S’s 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.

‘Premature Evacuation’ is causing Australian businesses $3.8 billion per annum

A worrying trend

Recent research by Korn Ferry shows that 90% of Fortune 500 executives are concerned about employee retention. There is ample evidence showing millennials have a greater propensity to leave their new jobs within their probation period –Invariably this is within 90 days and the replacement guarantee period. The trend is worrying, with global HR consulting firm Mercer surveying 163 large employers in 2018. They found that voluntary turnover in 2017 accounted for 15.5%, up from 14% the previous year. The Mercer research shows clearly that Millennials accounted for half of voluntary separations (51%), followed by Generation X (25%).

According to Deloitte ‘premature evacuation’ is causing Australian businesses $3.8 billion per annum in rework and lost productivity. These statistics are in line with typical comments we are hearing from many recruiters. We polled recruiters and anecdotally many share their concerns. Typical comments from many recruiters can be summarised by the following two:

“I believe choice is becoming more prevalent and so if companies are not willing to adapt to new ways of working, then they will suffer.”

“Millennials have been are overindulged by their parents and the school system. They expect everything instantly, causing false expectations that can’t be realised at work. We are very concerned about the impact this has on the longevity of our placement.”

Proven strategies for successful alignment

It’s been proven that when recruiters or employers provide structured onboarding processes to new employees it reduces the chances of unwanted employee turnover by 69% and that 84% of employees will stay longer haul with their employers.

I’ve designed a practical, proven and adaptable structured onboarding process on the famed McKinsey 7-S alignment framework. I thought that if organisations can get aligned by utilising this framework, then it makes sense that employees can too.

Here are the alignment choices we suggest new employees make and that you can support your placement with to reduce the chances of unwanted turnover during the guarantee period:

The for new employee, the central S to the whole model is:

1.   Shared values with all the other S’s Structure, Style, Skill, Strategy, Staff, Systemsfeeding from the first S of Shared Values.

In subsequent articles we will address some of the main points of each of the 7 S’s 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