A Culture of Ideas
Policies, procedures, programs (new, existing and revamped), recruitment, retention, public perception, internal and legislative perception — if your agency or program consists of any of these components, chances are, you have to communicate to someone about them. And that requires awareness, buy-in and understanding. Whether you seek more highly qualified job applicants, are looking to keep the great employees that you have, need to better understand your customers or are responsible for creating and managing the reputation of your agency or program, effective communication is critical to meeting these objectives, and also impossible without sound strategic ideas to support them.
At Horne Creative Group Inc. (HORNE), we cultivate a "culture of ideas" by hiring smart people who care deeply about our clients. Sadly, at some agencies, great ideas are not the priority. You might hear statements like, "We don't worry so much about creative ideas; we have deadlines to meet." Or you might find that those ideas may look interesting on paper but can't be tied strategically to what you wish to accomplish.
We understand and live the maxim that, "to be a successful agency, we have to build time into our schedules to allow people to think, to plan, to scheme and to dream while still meeting our clients' event- and milestone-driven deadlines."
Our most successful clients hire HORNE — and continue to hire us — because they value ideas that provide the foundation for effective communication as much as they value information technology or online training programs that work and provide a measurable return on investment. They understand the value of great ideas and they want to work with a full-service marketing and advertising agency that delivers them.
Many design and marketing firms can deliver "something" on time and on budget. We deliver great ideas that work for our federal clients ... just as we have done for the past 15+ years.
Successful Onboarding Implementation
For better or worse, your organization "onboards" its employees; whether it uses a systematic and comprehensive approach to acclimating new employees or — as mentioned in our previous articles — considers onboarding the act of simply having them "show up" for work to find nothing in place and no one to ask for guidance. Research shows that by avoiding that second scenario, you can maximize employee productivity and retention by implementing a well-planned, consistent and comprehensive onboarding system. In the previous two editions of our newsletter, we discussed the return on investment benefits of making the decision to create an onboarding system and the key elements a great system includes. In this final Best Practices edition on the topic, we will describe successful implementation.
An online onboarding portal is often suggested as the most effective way to implement a consistent and measurable system. A simple system can be implemented by providing links to required information for both key stakeholders who oversee and participate in bringing new employees into the fold and for new employees to use for paperwork. While this system has the benefit of being less time consuming to design and implement, it's more difficult to use for measuring effectiveness. A fully interactive online system allows two kinds of measurements:
1) Stakeholders can track use by managers and executive staff who use the system to bring new employees onboard, including workspace set up, computer/username/password/email set up and other critical functions.
2) Employees enter their personal information required for all paperwork only once and the system will pre-populate all the necessary forms. Also, once employee input is captured, the system can be tweaked to be even more user friendly and effective.
As reported in the Partnership for Public Service's Getting On Board: A Model for Integrating and Engaging New Employees, the keys to a successful program are:
Finally, we suggest you don't try to reinvent the wheel. There are a number of proven systems available commercially that can be customized to meet your needs. The most critical step of all, however, is making the decision to do it. Once you do, consider choosing a company that has the knowledge and experience to tailor an onboarding program to meet your needs, including developing the training and content to ensure your continued success with it.
With that said, we at HORNE look forward to an opportunity to discuss the design and implementation of a Recruitment and Retention Onboarding System that's just right for your organization. Contact Phyllis Horne at email@example.com and we'll schedule a time to discuss a successful onboarding program for your organization.