Episode 172.5 – Green Apple Slice


What is Employee Onboarding?



The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or an Android app.

This week, John and Rachel discuss a Sapling article, “What is Employee Onboarding?” by Jen Dewar.

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    Good morning! It’s John Garrett, coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices where every Monday we always talk through an article we find online about corporate culture, employee engagement, things like that. I always call in my good friend, partner in crime, Accountants & Alliances for Sage Canada, the Rachel Fisch!

    Rachel: Yay, John! Oh gosh! Please, don’t do that again.

    John: I feel like I’m in WWE match now. “And in this corner…”

    Rachel: Yeah.

    John: Because I would also lose. But things are good. How about you?

    Rachel: Things are good and to Baltimore later this week to go hang out with Tom Hood as well as some of my international colleagues which is very cool. So yeah, looking forward to a very good and productive week.

    John: Fancy. You’re international. You’re Canadian.

    Rachel: Does that count? I’ve spoken in the US. Does that make me an international speaker?

    John: Totally. I found this article, “What is Employee Onboarding,” on Sapling HR website. Rather than necessarily talking through what employee onboarding is necessarily, when somebody is starting at a company, I think we can talk through what makes for good employee onboarding? because there’s a lot of really bad employee onboarding. It’s some really simple things that can help it.

    Rachel: Totally agree. Here’s the thing about employee onboarding. I would also say the same is true for client onboarding, so if you want to keep that in mind as we go through this. However, I genuinely think that this is not an area of the business that professional firms spend enough time in. You have to realize that your first, whether it’s your marketing pitch, whether it’s your job description, that is your first communication with people that you want to do business with. Again, whether they’re employees or whether they’re clients.

    What was really interesting is that, so besides people not putting in enough effort into client onboarding, so they have a client, now what? Now we have to get them set up on our systems and in our processes and things like that. They haven’t done that. They don’t even think about the employee onboarding thing. So what I thought was really interesting was that here it says — and I have to find it — we found that the average structured onboarding program, so of the companies who have one, has 54 activities per new hire. It’s already kind of traumatic making a big life decision, changing a job, and then to know that right off the bat there’s 54 things that need to happen in order for them to be successfully onboarded.

    But what I would say, each of those things is an opportunity to convey the values of your company and how you treat your employees. I would even go so far as to say that, as I said, that can actually start in the job description posting in the interview process, right? All of these communications with potential staff and now staff are ways that you can prove, by doing and not by saying or not by a poster being on the wall, what your company values and how that employee can align to those values.

    John: Absolutely. They even have the phrase “employee preboarding.” So even before the first day, like you said, the job descriptions, the communication, the marketing materials, all those things, then they even have like a buddy introduction which I think is great if you can find people within the firm that want to be somewhat of a sponsor or what have you and I think an excellent idea is if you were able to match people that have similar passions. Even if they work in different departments, that’s actually more of a friend than someone who also happens to do tax. That doesn’t really matter so much because you can’t always relate to that person. But if you find someone else within the firm or the organization that has the same similar passion as you do and you’re able to match those people, then some really cool things can happen with that.

    Just a quick little tip there I think on the preboarding. But then on the first day when they get there, there are so many things you can do to help out for that.

    Rachel: Yeah. And they listen to things, and then it rolls it out to the first week, to the first 90 days, and things like that. So it actually gives you a little bit of a plan. So for those of you who don’t have one or who maybe need to refresh theirs, it actually gives some really great ideas as to what a really effective employee onboarding could look like.

    I think the thing about the buddy thing, because I’ve actually, I don’t know, I may have been influenced by you in a positive way because I’ve mentioned that to other firms who, they’re like, “We’re having trouble bringing new employees on.” I think we’ll probably have an article in a few weeks that talk about being able to maintain culture through a time of growth in the company. This is a really important one is when you’re able to make those relationships with those new employees really sticky right off the bat and really have them feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves which I think is what globally everybody wants anyway.

    John: Absolutely, for sure. I remember when I had Bobby Chadha on, and he talked about his onboarding, it might have been when he was at into it. He said that at the beginning, you have to get up and introduce yourself and say a passion or an interest you have outside of work. It was just part of the welcome to the team. Everyone does this and now we get to know who you really are. People relate to that so much more than whatever credentials you have on your resume because everyone else has the same credentials, so it doesn’t matter.

    Rachel: Well, you’re clearly hired for a reason, right? You’re going to be qualified to do the job. Now, what makes you interesting?

    John: Right, exactly, because the more that you tell me that you’re qualified for the job, the less I believe you’re actually qualified for the job.

    Rachel: I am so qualified to be your podcast co-host.

    John: Exactly, Your Honor. Totally kidding, Rachel. Fingers crossed that you pick up the phone next Monday, and we’re able to chat.

    Rachel: We’ll see. We’ll see.

    John: Yeah, we’ll see. Maybe Tom Hood will kidnap you and then you’re stuck in Baltimore. But have a good week. Have fun down there. We’ll talk next Monday.

    Rachel: Sounds good. You too. Talk to you later.

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