I asked my son what he’d expect from his first day at work. He was quite clear about it: a good welcome from the ‘boss’ (probably with added croissants and chocolate) and access to an app for training, learning about the company and clearing up doubts online. A corporate app with different functions divided into areas, one being Human Resources, but also others explaining activities in the various departments.
It might seem obvious, but companies often do not focus on integrating this human and technological balance with an overview during the first days of onboarding. As some wisely say, there is no second chance at creating a good first impression. These first impressions can make a difference to the new worker’s future image of the company. A lot of importance should therefore be placed on this onboarding process. It needs to be clear, attractive, interactive and ongoing, to strengthen bonds with the company and the brand. Working on the induction of new employees is essential and requires contributions from various people, including Human Resources, management personnel and the entire work team. Additionally, some organisations have for years included the figure of ‘buddies’, who aim to promote company values and provide support for new employees, clearing up doubts and queries about the things not included in a manual or procedure. These areas include important intangible aspects, such as company culture, which are sometimes not given their due importance.
As mentioned, this induction must be ongoing, ensuring the employee experience is unique and has a value proposal adapted as far as possible to new trends. Besides an attractive salary or benefits package, people want to become part of a project, from the first day to the last, in a collaborative environment, with opportunities to grow, and feel they are being listened to and informed, all with a healthy balance between their professional and personal lives. For this reason, some Human Resources departments have appointed a Chief Happiness Officer into their structures. This person’s role is to design proposals on how to improve employees’ well-being, taking a strategic, cross-company approach that goes well beyond organising yoga classes, creating recreational areas or providing three days’ remote working a week. Ensuring all aspects of individual well-being are well managed generates an impact that goes unseen but which impacts on business results, creating greater permanence and pride in belonging.
The new work models thus require companies and personnel management departments to be more creative than ever. And the first step in such creativity is a large dose of empathy and active listening. The other day I read a phrase in LinkedIn I could not agree with more: “To think outside the box you first have to speak to those who are outside your box”. Those virtual team coffee breaks, talked about so much during the pandemic, must not fade away. In an age of digitisation and artificial intelligence, it is people who have to put value on the things that make us different from machines: being more human than ever, with a constant critical sense, being close to employees, without forgetting the added initial croissants and chocolate.
Published at Diari d’Andorra 20.07.23