Well yesterday we discussed that one of the main things Gen Y/ Millenials want to feel in the work place is a connection. They want to feel like they matter and also that they are making a difference. So how does a company do that?
There are several different ways, but they unfortunately don’t exist in most of today’s companies. One of the main ways is through a little thing called Relational Onboarding. I discussed this in a previous blog and you can go back and see what I wrote, but the most important thing to remember about “Relational Onboarding” is the power of connections to the organization. When I say connections I mean real, honest to goodness, flesh and blood people.
Relational Onboarding connects new hires to the organization in a much more dynamic fashion than the old traditional onboarding. It is based around creating real connections to real people and then reinforcing that connection through an internal communication tool. This can be an internal social media site or an intranet with social media functionality. Smaller companies can develop groups on LinkedIn or Facebook to allow their employees to stay connected in real-time. The “real-time” aspect is very important, it allows new hires to get answers from a community rather than a single individual who may be on vacation or out sick that day. The community allows everyone to participate and be a part of the success of new hires.
Relational onboarding is not limited to new hires but can also be used to revitalize a department or entire organization. Innovation and ideas come more easily to groups working together for a common cause, in this case the business.
If you have been in corporate America for any time at all you have heard the phrase “silos”, narrow silos that departments and organizations work in where one department or portion of the company does not know what the other is doing. In most of these cases the actions that occur are duplication and redundancy as well as mistrust and blame. Relational Onboarding alleviates these actions and allows for greater productivity, shorter ramp up time, and more cooperation between people, real people. And let’s not forget “Trust”, you tend to trust those you have some connection to.
So get your new hires out of the manuals and off your websites and have a plan to have them meet those people in the organization that will be vital to their success while they are there. They want to stay with the company, you just need to help them do it by framing a program where they can make real connections with real people and maintain those connections.
Last but by no means least the list of people they should be connected to is so much more than just their team members or immediate managers. The Millenials want to feel connected to the company and feel like they are making a difference. The only way for this to happen is if they are connected to the Executives who are running the organization. So yes Executives have to be involved.
When I ran a new hire program for a Fortune 500 company I always had the CEO, President or one of the Executive VP’s speak to them. This is vital to a new hire feeling connected to the organization.
So real connections with real people is the key to helping the Millenials feel connected, it is not only the key for them, it is a deal breaker.
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