- Errol Davis Jr. Taken from: 50 Lessons: Hiring and Firing (Lessons Learned). 2008.
There are three key ideas from "An Inconvenient Renewal" that particularly resonated with most readers: one that I discuss in the section on the barriers to renewal, another that I discuss in the section on levers of renewal, and a third which is the point of this entire section - the notion that people join organizations but leave their managers. I'm definitely not the first person to make this statement, but in the context of the public service it seems that it's the first time it is getting the acknowledgment it rightfully deserves.
Although most people agree in theory with the notion that people leave their managers and we need to rectify that, it seems that public servants (supervisors in particular) either don't fully grasp what's required to turn things around or are ill-equipped to do it.
One such example is the on-boarding experience of new hires where we typically over-promise and under-deliver. The high expectations created by the former only exacerbates the gap with the reality of the latter. In the past two weeks alone I have met four new hires who were offered the world on a silver plate by public service recruiters at a job fair, and ever since they have accepted jobs with the public service they feel they are totally left in the dark. They haven't begin their job yet that they are already starting to harbour ill-feelings towards the employer, a sure sign of things to come. Retention begins on Day One (actually, even before Day One...).
The first day, first week, first month, and even the first year in the job can leave a lasting impression on the new hire. One thing I will try to push for in my department in the upcoming months is to implement a formal on-boarding process which would include:
- Providing peer support to new hires before their arrival;
- Delivering all the mandatory and required training in the first weeks on the job;
- Job-shadowing managers and colleagues to all their meetings for the first 3 months in the job.
- The cost of not doing it;
- The gains in learning and development;
- The level of effectiveness in the job at the end of those first three months;
- The long-term retention of top talent (see "In Hindsight..." in "Conclusion" for more on this).
- What’s the best experience you have had since you joined us?
- How could we improve our on-boarding experience?
- What's the # 1 thing we can do to make sure you're still with us in five years from now?
- How do you play a role in this challenge?
- How can you make a difference?