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 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 Third S – Style

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

Today we are looking at the third S Style and how recruiters can assist employees and candidates early in the onboarding process to understand like Shared Values, the importance of Style and managing personal brands to ensure others gain an overwhelmingly positive impression.

Managing personal brands

By following some guidelines, you can assist employees and candidates understand how to best align style throughout the onboarding process. Style is, in effect, personal brand. In fact, the term ‘personal brand’ was coined by Tom Peters, the same McKinsey business consultant who devised the 7-S model. It was published in an article for Fast Company magazine back in 1997 and asserted that in the same way that companies such as Mercedes, VW, Apple, and Google are marketed as brands, people and their careers should be developed and presented as brands as well.

With the right style, it is easy to build a powerful and authentic personal brand. It must be based on on unique skills, knowledge, experience and values as well as ability to work with and serve others.

Mastering reputation management 

Jeff Bezos of Amazon once said “your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” For a newly transitioning employee, it is important that whatever people say about them, when they are not in the room during those first three months, is overwhelmingly positive.

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 fourth S Skill and in future posts we will be looking at the remaining S’s, 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 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

Why You Should be a Lifelong Learner

James has been an accountant for eight years with just one company. He believes this is proof of his reliability, company loyalty and dedication - admirable traits to have.

And James thinks he’s going to be here for the long-haul.

But James has just been made redundant.

All of a sudden, his long-term plan is up in the air.

But, he figures, with his track record, how hard could it be to side-step into a similar position at another company?

Unfortunately, James finds it nowhere near this easy. Employers look at his resume and feel like he has flatlined. They can’t see how he has expanded his horizons to develop any supplementary skills or demonstrated any kind of growth over the past few years.

When you look closely at yourself, do you feel like your career has stalled too?

Past performance is no longer everything

In the 1980s, employers focused heavily on performance as an indicator of who is right for a role. In fact, Claudio Fernandez-Araoz says the mantra was “the best predictor of future success is past success.” You might have been led to believe something similar.

But today, employers are looking for something different. Portability, self-awareness, determination and above all, lifelong learning are the traits at front of mind. These factors are not just what will get you hired now, but help you have a sustainable career, and see you able to find a new job whenever you need it.

Become a lifelong learner

According to a report by McKinsey & Company, between September 2009 and June 2012, there’s been a significant increase in the number of skill sets needed in the workforce: from 178 to 924.

Jobs are now more diverse, and employers favour those people whose skill sets span multiple industries.

If you want to stand out and stay employable long-term, a dedication to learning throughout your life will give you the best possible chance.

In his book The First 20 Hours, Josh Kaufman shows that a set process can help people become competent with a new skill in just under 20 hours.

According to Kaufman, the process is:

  1. Define what you want to learn
  2. Break down the skill into its basic components
  3. Identify the critical sub-skills involved in reaching your goal
  4. Eliminate any obstacles to practicing
  5. 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.

 

 

Keyword: lifelong learner

 

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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.