Speed up employee on-boarding by working out loud

Our associate Lesley Crook shares her knowledge

We invited our associate Lesley Crook to share her knowledge of Enterprise Social Networks and the benefits of using them in the workplace. Endorsed by Microsoft, her #WOLAN framework (otherwise known as Working Out Loud in a Network), looks to change workplace behaviour by embracing more open, digital communications and reducing email traffic. 

 

We quizzed Lesley to find out how her framework addressed and solved an on-boarding business challenge at a global healthcare company. Here's what she had to say:

    

WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM FACED BY THE COMPANY?

The client wanted to create an online collaborative community that immersed new starters into the organisation. The goal being to help new starters get up to speed with who they were, what they stood for as a company, gain useful insight into how they were structured, and how they worked across a complex global healthcare company enterprise. They knew that working out loud could be a helpful solution.

 

WHY WAS IT IMPORTANT TO FIX IT?

To enable networking for pre/post induction new starters, and have someone they can turn to that has recently been in the same “newbie” situation as them. Also for them to feel comfortable in their new role as quickly as possible. And not feel they have no one to turn to and do not wish to keep asking their new team mates or line manager on how to get things done. Particularly useful for those working from home.

 

HOW DID WORKING OUT LOUD ON AN ENTERPRISE SOCIAL NETWORK HELP WITH INDUCTION, THAT WAS NOT POSSIBLE BEFORE?

It amplified the Induction programme across the enterprise which in turn assisted in answering sometimes complex questions by new starters. These would have previously been managed by one way pushed emails to subject matter experts (SME) with no facility to collaborate or ask broader questions and it often took a long time to get a response from some SMEs. With WOLAN, SME's that people were not aware of often responded.

 

Equally, the common, simple questions that new starters ask repeatedly in their first 100 days had already been raised in the Induction group with relevant answers, so the Induction community manager could quickly respond by sharing a previous answer. That question would then be brought back to the top of the feed in the enterprise social network, which likely also benefited other new starters.

 

WHAT WERE THE BENEFITS?

Along with an increased speed in direct responses to questions by SMEs, the client valued access to other new starters and authentic conversations with trusted employees. An enthusiastic demonstration of the right company behaviours and values for the new starters was also a key benefit.

 

Feedback from the client also referenced the added bonus of the Induction programme being continuously publicised. Meaning that consequently, new starters are “nipped in the bud” (made aware from the start) of the company culture and behaviours associated with “Working Out Loud in A Network” #wolan. Therefore the new starters immediately become collaborative champions!

 

WHAT IS THE FUTURE FOR #WOLAN?

The focus has been very much on accelerating a new starter’s on-boarding process from the moment they join the company. But what if an organisation could accelerate this process before the employee had even set foot in the door. What if they could experience and even contribute to #wolan from the point at which they signed the paperwork to join their new employer?

 

Well, this scenario is possible now and its delivery couldn’t be simpler. The new employee as part of their on-boarding process is provided with an app. They download it to their smartphone or tablet and are given access to content that is directly targeted at them. Immediately the culture, values and mission are delivered via a video message from the CEO. An overview of products, services and core markets are contained in a library of documents. And maybe there is a hub that they can start to post to enabling them to engage with other new starters or current employees.

 

Recent research shows 22% of staff turnovers happen in the first 45 days and are costly. Estimates show it can cost around three times a new starter’s salary if that employee leaves within the first 12 months. This is a problem that isn’t going away and needs to be tackled early in the new hire lifecycle. The earlier the better and through the use of modern technology in the guise of apps new starter attrition rates will improve and bring sizeable savings and efficiencies.

 

If you're interested in finding out more about how Enterprise Social Networks can help your business, get in touch with us today. 

 

 

 

With thanks to MANJIT MARBAHA@GSK2014 for feedback on #WOLAN.