Is Sprout getting into the dating game?
Thankfully not! That’s another ball game that we will leave for you.
However, lately, I can’t help thinking about the similarities between that and businesses onboarding of new staff.
In general, I see Wellington employers doing a great job of creating excitement in the attraction phase of bringing new people into their businesses. They have a swagger, it’s new and it’s exciting.
As I see it, there are three key phases to the onboarding process, which I wanted to talk through in this blog post – hatch, match and dispatch.
Hatch - meeting new talent (the first date)
Most business owners get the importance of providing clarity on their direction, sharing the purpose of the business and generally creating a connection. In general, they are great at sharing those exciting insights, but at Sprout, we love the opportunity of facilitating that process and creating alignment and clarity across the business.
Once the person starts, the excitement and enthusiasm is there, so let’s give them the best possible chance at success.
Match - onboarding (the start of a relationship)
From what we see, only about 50% of the time there is a proper onboarding process in place – i.e. a 90-day plan, goals and objectives and a solid induction.
This is all well and good if the person is an absolute self-starter (and a mind reader). However, the reality is that people need to know what direction they are going, so they can effectively play their part in helping the business get there.
It’s also important to note that some of that initial excitement can disappear if expectations and promises set in the ‘dating phase’ are not met.
Match - retaining great talent (growing old together)
In many businesses, employer and employee now know much more about each other than ever before. The good, the bad and the … you know what.
What is interesting is that in New Zealand it seems we are not great at having honest conversations about the bad and the ugly.
As employees, we’re often uncomfortable sharing with our boss what we are really thinking. But equally, as leaders/employers we struggle to have honest conversations with our team.
An area that I have really loved about my Sprout journey has been the ability to get behind the ‘unsaid’ and working out what is really going on in both parties’ minds.
We call this process Sprout Conversations.
There are always little gems to uncover when having Sprout conversations. A team member that has a great idea, a disparity between an individual’s level of engagement and the perception of their boss, or maybe just a vehicle to say, I really love my job!
It’s not necessarily a negative conversation.
It gives me the same satisfaction when I can help an employee become even happier and engaged in their job, as I do when I help make that initial match.
The dispatch (the break-up) - say goodbye, the same way you said hello
Despite the best efforts from both parties, the reality is that you can’t hold onto people forever.
Like any good relationship, they often start with a hiss and a roar. Unfortunately, when someone resigns, they can tend to finish with just a roar - and not in a good way.
Breaking up is hard. However, if you are honest in your reasons and drivers for this, there is no reason that this has to be an ugly or awkward exit. It’s constructive for the business and healthy for the departing employee to share.
I find it interesting how many times I hear about a Generation Y/Millennial employee get a hard time for leaving a role after 2-3 years to go overseas for their ‘OE’. In many cases, their manager – of a slightly older generation – likely did exactly the same thing.
Try to view staff retention beyond one single period of work. If you can do this, when someone does leave you, you are more likely to attract them back one day. At the end of the day, work is part of life, not the other way around.
See you later - in summary
Hatch - create engagement in your business, take the person on a journey
Match - make sure you deliver on the promises made at interview and become truly connected
Dispatch - part ways in a positive way, say goodbye the same way say you hello
In the meantime, I am off to speak to my business partners about our next OE.