It’s a Wonderful Life. Holiday classic and the movie where Jimmy Stewart first ignited many young hearts (okay just mine) is more than just an awesome flick to watch while setting up the Christmas Tree. It’s a heartwarming tale about the choices we make in life and the meaning we attach to them. Let’s hang out with the Baileys and that friendly Clarence to learn how to make new employees feel their latest job decision is the right one.
In the holiday classic, George tries to paste petals back onto a flower his daughter asks him to fix. At the close of the movie (and I won’t ruin it for you although you really should have watched it by NOW), George finds the petals in his pocket and is reminded of all that is real and true in his life.
How does this apply to candidates? Depending on your recruitment cycle and your candidate’s own calendar, it could be days, weeks or even a few months before they decide to join you in the office. Keep the fires burning by giving them something to signify your mutual commitment. Particularly in the case of a candidate who is relocating or someone who will telework, company branded gear, new business cards or a welcome basket can go a long way in helping them realize your offer is very real!
Every time a bell rings…
Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you know how that line ends. Rituals are incredibly important to incoming new employees and those who have been with you for awhile. Is it a company softball team that we all root for? A dress down day that changed to a “dress up” day? Is it the account manager hitting a gong before every meeting or an entire company dictionary of slang that everyone understands? Chances are, your company has rituals it can share with the new employee. Like a cruise director, make sure your new employee understands unique company rituals, from your onboarding process to giving recognition to a colleague.
“Strange isn’t it?…”
“Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
Clarence (an angel) speaks these words to George as he tries to comprehend why the world without him is so incredibly different. George realizes what a huge impact he had on the world without even realizing it.
For your employees, this is just as crucial. While a company can’t be all things to all people, it does represent where many of us spend most of our waking hours. If your employees don’t know their value to the company, how can they possibly feel inspired by their work? A Gallup study found strengths-based employee feedback resulted in a 12.5% increase in productivity. Aligning your company goals to the new employee from the job advertisement all the way through to their daily activities is key to keeping them happy and engaged from day one…and beyond.
Remember no man is a failure who has friends
Clarence writes this in a book he leaves for George and in the film, as in real life, it’s true! George learns what life is like when he has no friends and quickly sees how many friends would move mountains to help him in his time of need. Your employees want and need that same support system and many of them find it at work. According to Christine M. Riordan (@Chris_M_Riordan), Provost and Professor of Management at the University of Kentucky, camaraderie is key to happiness at work for employees. Her study, published in the Journal of Business Psychology in the ’90s, found the mere opportunity for friendship increases employee job satisfaction and organizational effectiveness.
As a leader helping to introduce new employees to an already established hierarchy, you can make this easier on new hires and the employees who have been there for years. Instituting a mentoring program is by far the most effective way to make this happen but you can do more informal things as well, like planning a new hire lunch that pairs incoming employees with more seasoned workers, ‘get to know you’ trivia games within departments and even by sending out a little ‘get to know you’ email string.
Click Boarding’s paperless onboarding can alleviate some time for new hires to focus on the ‘getting to know you’ phase rather than staying head down filling out papers at their desk wondering, “What am I doing here?” Take a free demo with us!