• On Boarding – Are the Signs Clear?

    Personnel has now become Human Resources and orientation has morphed into what is now called On-Boarding.  Anyone in HR in this century knows what On-Boarding is supposed to be, but it really is unique to every organization.  There is no one size fits all approach.  Many approaches will contain most of the same elements, but a good program will be built to order for the organization.  You just can’t go to a vendor and buy a program off of the shelf or off this task to some perky contractor. If it is going to work you have to own it.

    Each employer must develop and continually improve their on-boarding process.  It is like any other process though, you might have all of the right elements but if you don’t assemble the thing properly it doesn’t work.

    So how does it start? Well, even prior to the first day, as the employee’s new employer we are sending messages and expectations about our organization.  How did you treat this employee in the interview process?  Did you make them wait in a lobby for 30-40 minutes past the time they were scheduled for an interview?  Was everyone who spoke to the prospective employee courteous?  Did you follow-up with them in the time frames in which you said you would?  Did you provide answers to all of their questions?  See these are all things are things that you can’t undo – and you have already laid this foundation whether or not this prospect is a hire or no hire.

    Ok so I hope you did all of that stuff right – either way you are moving ahead with on-boarding.   Now it is time for all of the obligatory stuff;  forms, policies, training, exits, fire extinguishers, rest rooms and so on ad nauseam.  I am not going to delve into the proper aspects of this, because this is your stuff to get right – or wrong.

    Now you have a new employee at your Company.  Do they now know everything they need to know?  Oh yeah you gave them all of the stuff you can no longer be sued for, but did you give them any of the really useful information as to how to assimilate into the culture.  Sometime some of the cultural fits are a little more subtle.  Things like if you want to advance in this Company you will go with the Friday Night Gang down to the Pub and Grub for more the first than the later.  Or maybe the successful people in this Company are the ones who rarely have a taste – just thought you would want to know.  The people who succeed here almost always started out heading up a committee. Hopefully these lessons will come through in the buddy system, provided your buddies really want new folks to succeed.  In summary, help them fit into your Company culture.  This is an ongoing process.

    Not everything a new employee needs to know is contained in the Company propaganda, because there is some stuff none of us would want published.  So we need to help the new people find their way through the organization.  HR must guide them showing them where to go and not to go. We must also make sure they know how to succeed – because if they don’t – you will be doing this all over again!

  • Project Social Seeing Green

    Another week has gone by and Laura and I are striving to be the best Project Social students- yeah we’re both overachievers.  While we have made reference to our super secret project, we have to be honest.  It has changed a couple of times because we got beat on the draw. 

    One of the things that the two of wanted to do as a pair is create some body of work that would be interesting and useful to those in the hr blogosphere.   We have kicked around several ideas during our various conversations. One topic that seems to return is what we call green HR.  This would include jobs that directly or indirectly relate to environmental sensitive matters, and practices that are designed to reduce waste and improve recycling. 

    In our dialogue I was pontificating to Laura how we are scarring the landscape here in the Mid-West.  My brother-in-law, who is an Arizona native disparagingly refers to me as a flat-lander, well we are changing that.  In my travels over the summer I have seen three what I will call Garbage Mountains.  They are all within about 100 miles of Chicago.  There are literally mountains of garbage that are from the waste hauled of ht urban area.  The one pictured  here is near Pontiac, IL, just to the west of I-55.  If you have driven this stretch of road you have no doubt seen this and hopefully wondered – what in the hell is that? 

    Garbage Mountain - Near Pontiac, IL (I-55 mile post 200)

    I shared this story with Laura and she began to tell me how most European countries are much more forth right about dealing with environmental matters.  In Europe there is much more regulation around the matter than in the states. I told Laura it was interesting to met because at my employer we are diligent about recycling – but only because it makes good business sense – it cheaper to recycle than dump!  We segregate paper, metal, wood and food products and push them to the approriate recycling stream. While we don’t actually make money doing this, it does cost less than sending it to a dump, therefore we have ROI! 

    We both thought Green HR is good direction for our contibutions to Project Social.  At lease in this country, it has to make good business sense ($$$) to get American businesses to be on-board.  We seem to lack the social responsibility held by our European partners.

    So the on-going conversation got us to thinking we need to begin to create a body of resources for HR on  green issues.  We need to learn about green jobs –  jobs that specifically helping address environmental matters. We want to learn about Companies that genuinely care about their carbon foot print, why they care and what they are doing about it.  We are going to  be looking for help and assistance from our fellow bloggers and tweeps as well.  We are going use the simple formula exspoused by fellow Project Social betaite Lisa Rosendahl– tweet out an idea, build on it, look for feedback and blog about it. 

    My Project Social partner Laura Schroeder feels the same way and has posted similarly on this topic over at Working Girl and we want to do our part to encourage the growing movement toward corporate social responsibility. So if you have some knowledge about Green HR that you could share please contact Laura or me.