Every company’s looking to make that perfect hire and most expend significant time, talent, energy and money to seeking out and identifying the individuals that will best benefit the mission and goals of the company. But while so many spend so much on evaluating and hiring that perfect “diamond in the rough” employee, many human resource (HR) professionals fail to realize the two most important challenges to introducing, developing and retaining the new resource talent.
By definition, a resource is a source or supply from which benefit is produced. Typically resources are materials, money, services, staff, or other assets that are transformed to produce benefit and in the process may be consumed or made unavailable. Perhaps defining the role of those who are responsible for managing a company’s most valuable asset as “human resource managers”, is at the core of why so many HR functionaries miss defining the two most important challenges their departments face in today’s competitive business environment. Employees, while a resource of skill sets and experiences, are first and foremost people. And often integrating that “perfect hire” into an organization is not just a matter of the tangibles of science and evaluative data, but the intangible, and the difficult to quantify, aspects of human emotion and personality.
Onboarding is the buzzword used to describe what should naturally happen when new hires enter the ranks of their new company, a planned, integrated process that not only gets the newbie familiar with his or her specific duties, but gives the person an understanding of the company’s overall culture and goals. On boarding is not orientation, it is a process that leads new hires to feel a strong, emotional sense of welcoming to the company and where they become comfortable within the organization; feel that they have made the correct job choice; and are eager to build a long-term relationship with the company and their fellow associates. No matter what form it takes, onboarding has one overriding objective: To make sure the employee feels welcome and supported, and is poised to be successful.
No matter the type or function of an organization, the most important factor in the successfully introducing a new entrant into an operation is quickly and effectively engaging them into the culture. In a Towers Watson Global Workforce study last year, 63% of U.S. employees said they weren’t engaged in their jobs, more than six in 10 U.S. workers. Engaged employees are passionate about their work and have a genuine connection with their employers and their co-workers.
They want to know exactly what they’re responsible for and what they’ll be judged on and have a clear understanding of expectations. They need to feel they have the power to decide how their jobs can be completed, and the freedom to suggest how tasks can be simplified or streamlined. Engaged employees tend to feel that they’re “in the loop” and have input on what’s going on in their work environment and what’s happening in the business as a whole. They desire to be secure in their understanding of how what they do on a day-to-day basis fits into the overall operation. Overall, good candidates are interested in promotional opportunities, extra training, learning new skills, personal recognition and naturally seek leadership from people they know and trust.
As is true with many things, the science of managing a resource is easier and more predictable than managing the elusive motivational characteristics of the resource. But the later proves to be not only more challenging, but perhaps more significantly important to an organizations ability to effectively prosper and grow through the application of an organizations “human” resources.