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5 Kinds of Stories to Tell During Onboarding
Posted By David Lee On February 22, 2012 @ 5:36 am In Advice and How-Tos | 2 Comments
That is one of THE most important messages your new employee orientation program should communicate.
This is so crucial because people of the caliber you want to attract and retain place a high value in working for an employer of whom they can feel proud.
So, make sure you communicate to your new employees — both explicitly and implicitly – that they can be proud to work at your organization.
You communicate the message “You can be proud to work here” implicitly by conducting a well-designed, well-organized, effective onboarding program. They see by the way you deliver the onboarding experience that your organization does things right. Conducting a high quality onboarding program engenders both pride — “I’m part of a great organization” –and respect for management — “They know what they’re doing here.”
You communicate the message “You can be proud to work here” explicitly by sharing stories that demonstrate why your organization is worthy of pride.
These include stories with the following themes:
I recently heard a great example of a story demonstrating the last theme on the above list from the Director of Claims at a property and casualty insurance company. While her story was part of an interview I did prior to a leadership retreat, it is a perfect example of the kind of story you want your leaders to share with your new hires during orientation.
You also want to put brief video clips of such stories such as this on your recruiting website.
When I asked this director, Barbara, what she liked about working at the insurance company, one of the things she mentioned was their high level of integrity:
“It’s not one of those companies that does things you feel uncomfortable about. I can sleep well at night working here.”
She went on to give an example. Whenever an official hurricane warning or watch is announced, the company reimburses their marine clients for the cost of removing their boats from the water. It’s in both their customers and the insurance company’s best interest that customers don’t gamble with this, whether it’s worth the cost to pull their boats out of the water versus risk the potential damage caused by a hurricane. Thus, the insurance company reimburses them to do that, if it’s an official hurricane warning or watch.
During last fall’s Hurricane Irene, the storm gradually faded as it reached New England, losing its status as an official hurricane. However, given the vagaries of weather, it could have easily ramped back up to hurricane status when it reached Maine.
The leadership team found themselves facing a decision that would affect both their customers and themselves.
“Technically we didn’t have to pay for boat owners to pull out their boats, because Irene was downgraded. But … what was the right thing to do? If we waited until it reached Maine to decide, they never would have gotten their boats out on time. We talked about what was the right thing to do. We decided it was to fund it. That’s one of the things about this company that I love, the high integrity.”
As she told this story, her expression and voice tone beamed with pride.
This is a perfect example of the type of story you want to collect, catalog, and share at your new employee orientation programs. You also want to use these on your recruiting website, at job fairs, and in your interviews. Not only does it communicate “You can be proud to work here,” but it also communicates your organization’s core values, an important role of your employee orientation program.
Sharing stories that inspire pride as part of your new employee orientation program not only will make your program more inspiring, it will also help “seal the deal” in your new employees’ minds that they made the right choice. So start collecting and using stories that communicate “You can be proud to work here.”
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