Ten years ago I had the good fortune to connect with five amazing business women. At the time, we gathered to support each other in our quest to grow each of our businesses. We all provided the same services, but worked in different markets so it made good sense to share best practices and learn from each other since we would never compete with each other.
Over the years, five of the six of us have moved on from that company. We are all in different businesses, but we still get together twice each year to support each other.
I always learn something from our weekends and today, on the return trip from an amazing weekend, I am reminded of the power of team.
When a group gathers to solve a problem it can be chaotic or focused. The difference lies in the preparation prior to the gathering. I am convinced that the reason my group of business women has endured over a decade is because we know there is tremendous value for each of us when we work together as a team on our individual business challenges. The reason we work well is because we prepare. Each of us knows in advance what we want to process with the group. The preparation makes a huge difference.
Three days ago I gave a presentation to a Vistage group and at the conclusion of the program one of the CEOs said, “We don’t have any of the Onboarding processes you outlined, and we need them, but we don’t have plans to hire now.” “Perfect,” I said, “that’s exactly when we should start building your process.”
When you are under the gun to make a hiring decision, you are more likely to make a costly mistake and hire the best available player rather than hold out for the best possible player. The same holds true when Onboarding. When you do not have a thorough process in place and your new hire starts in two weeks, you are more likely to miss an important aspect of their orientation, training and integration into the culture of the company than if you had three months to brainstorm, build and tweak the Onboarding process before trying it out on a real new hire.
Gathering the team of people that will have the most impact on the new hire to brainstorm about what a new hire needs to learn, how they will learn it, how they will know it has been learned, when they need to learn it, who will teach it, etc., makes a big difference in the outcome of the new hire’s experience. Could you do it on the fly? Sure, but why would you do that if you don’t have to?
Alan Weiss, author of Million Dollar Consulting said it best, “If you want to climb the mountain, fine, but there are helicopters available.”
The weekends with my group of business women is like a helicopter ride to the top. A thorough, consistent, documented process for Onboarding your new hires is the key to the helicopter ride to the top. Get your team together and enjoy the ride.