Andrew Penny, June 16 2020

Onboarding in a WFH World. What I learned after 18 holes...

I played my first 18 holes late last week with owners of Keynote Group and Rhapsody Strategies. It's quite different. Staying apart. Separate carts. Limited socializing after the game. Still fun – but different.

After the game, 2 metres apart, we talked about the whole WFH movement. How many offices will shift to WFH? How do you interview? How do you hire? The folks from Keynote - one of the leading Executive Search firms - raised the issue of on-boarding and new employee training. If everyone is WFH then how do you do it?

For senior management hires (Keynote’s speciality) the expectation is that they should be pretty much ready to go once hired. The problem lies with more junior hires who not only need more hand-holding with the onboarding, they often need further development of their skills and abilities. Can this be done WFH?

As a result of the new regime, employers are increasing the space between their staff. To do this they won’t be leasing more space anytime soon but they will be introducing shift work. And this is key to how to onboard and upskill new hires.

When companies design their shifts (i.e. who works in-office which days) they need to ensure that they expose the new hires to the mix of skills, mentors and attitudes they want to encourage. And this could be done on a progressive basis – start with one group and evolve to a different group, with different characteristics later on. It most certainly shouldn’t be random, “Hey I think we can make space for that new person on Wednesdays and Thursdays”. It needs to be planned.

How companies design their in-office staff time will become one of the most important factors in successful onboarding and employee growth in the WFH world.

Note: As we move further into a WFH world, the onus on onboarding and employee growth must inevitably to shift from the employer to the employee. This will require changes in beliefs attitudes and processes by the employer and by the employee! How do you do that? Read what my colleague Graham Birkenhead has to say in the next Tuesday Tuneup (which comes out next Tuesday…; )

Best regards,

We still have a good 6 months left in 2020. We are well into the 'new normal'. As a CEO or owner its time to figure out how where to grow. It could be new verticals, new geographies, new products... So where do you go? I invite you to look at our Market Feasibility program. Let me know if you’d like to chat.

Written by

Andrew Penny


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