MaidPro Named HR Onboarding Leader by SHRM

January 03, 2018

MaidPro's VP of Human Resources, Kay Lynch, featured in article by the Society for Human Resource Management on her innovative onboarding approach for MaidPro Franchise. Check out her onboarding tips in the article below:

Original Onboarding Options from 4 HR Leaders

How HR leaders are taking onboarding to new heights by creatively engaging new hires in their companies’ cultures and teams.

The war for talent isn’t won when employees walk in your company’s door. The challenge simply changes from hiring them to keeping them—and that battle begins on day one with effective onboarding.

Indeed, smoothly integrating workers into their positions—and the company’s culture—is critical, given that up to 20 percent of employee turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment, according to research by O.C. Tanner, an employee recognition company based in Salt Lake City.

The stakes of going back to the drawing board are high, especially at small companies that can least afford the vacancies. It now takes a whopping 68 business days to fill a white-collar job in the U.S., compared with 42 days in 2010, according to a 2017 study by CEB, an Arlington, Va.-based management and technology consultancy. And the average company loses roughly $407 each day a job remains open, CEB found.

Unfortunately, many companies struggle with onboarding. Over a third of employers don’t have any structured process in place to assimilate new employees, according to a 2017 CareerBuilder survey. “If a company doesn’t have a formal onboarding process, it says to new employees, ‘We don’t care about you,’ ” says George Bradt, managing director at PrimeGenesis, a Stamford, Conn.-based onboarding and leadership consulting firm. That message can lead new employees to adopt a bleak sink-or-swim mentality, Bradt says.

Of companies that do have structured programs, many mistake orientation for onboarding, says business consultant Doris Sims Spies, author of Creative Onboarding Programs(McGraw-Hill Education, 2010). Orientation entails the basic steps of getting new employees acclimated to the office—that is, “Here’s your desk. Here’s the bathroom. Here’s your benefits paperwork.” Although providing that type of information is important, onboarding is much broader than that.

It’s about showing new hires how the company operates and how their positions fit within the bigger picture. It’s a way of introducing people to your company’s culture and integrating them into teams. “Orientation should only be one piece of your onboarding program,” Spies says.

Done well, onboarding enhances retention. According to a 2013 survey by the Aberdeen Group, companies with an engaging onboarding program retained 91 percent of their workers through their first year.

That’s why a growing number of employers are using innovative practices, such as games, video and team-building exercises, to get new hires excited about joining the company. They’re also working to make sure people can hit the ground running with functional workstations and equipment.

Facebook, for example, has a “45-minute rule,” which means all new employees can begin to work within 45 minutes of arriving because all of their systems and devices have been set up before they report for their first day.

But you don’t have to go to Silicon Valley’s major players to find businesses with unique onboarding programs. Leaders at Suffolk Construction, a national construction firm based in Boston, invite entry-level hires to participate in a variety of team-building exercises, including rowing the Charles River together. New employees at Bedgear, a Farmingdale, N.Y.-based manufacturer of performance bedding, take a walking tour of downtown Manhattan to visit other retailers that sell customized products, including Warby Parker and Samsung.

These kinds of group activities can enable new employees to work together more effectively, Bradt says. They also help co-workers bond—and studies show that workplace friendships can increase job satisfaction, boost productivity and strengthen commitment to a company, while decreasing stress and turnover. (A 2013 Gallup poll found that close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50 percent and that people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work.)

The four case studies highlighted here show how smaller companies are rolling out the red carpet with creative practices for engaging new hires in their cultures and teams. Use their stories as inspiration—and a source of ideas—for creating or reshaping your own program.

MaidPro: Show, Don't Tell with Video

Location: Boston | No. of employees: 65 (plus more than 225 franchisees) | Business: A housecleaning franchise

The Tech Touch

A year ago, MaidPro’s HR team decided to create onboarding videos that teach franchisees throughout the U.S. and Canada everything they need to know about the company. “We wanted to capitalize on digital technology and capture people’s attention,” says Kay Lynch, vice president of human resources.

In many respects, MaidPro sees itself as a technology company, since it offers its franchisees MaidPro’s robust property management software, a cloud-based system that lets them manage customer interactions, including scheduling, billing, employee routing, payroll, invoicing, marketing and other tasks.

Video onboarding reinforces the high-tech approach. “We’ve tried to capture our entire community,” Lynch says. “You can tell people about your company, but it’s more powerful when you can show them visually what the company does.” New franchisees also attend a one-week training seminar at the company’s Boston headquarters.

Three C’s

The videos focus on culture, community and commitment. “They’re fun and lighthearted,” Lynch says. For example, one video shows Chief Operating Officer Christopher Chapman making a bowl of his famous guacamole for the office. Another showcases MaidPro’s “Adventure Trip” to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, where headquarters employees and franchisees gathered last year to share ideas, socialize and enjoy the beach. Yet another highlights MaidPro’s 2016 rodeo-themed convention in Colorado Springs.

Support from the Top

MaidPro’s HR leaders couldn’t have reshaped onboarding without support from the executive team, Lynch notes. “At our company, the attitude is, ‘If you want to try something new, go ahead and do it,’ and that’s what we did,” she says.

5 Ways to Improve Your Onboarding Program

You only have one opportunity to make a great first impression. Here are five strategies to enhance your company’s onboarding process:

1. Start early
Don’t wait until an employee’s first day to start onboarding, says business consultant Doris Sims Spies. Instead, give new hires as much information as possible in advance (for example, the employee handbook and benefits paperwork) so you don’t have to waste time with it in person. Just make sure you give employees the chance to ask questions about these documents on day one.

2. Preview the program
Provide employees with an “onboarding road map”—a brief overview of the weeks and months ahead—so they’ll know what to expect, says Sharlyn Lauby, president of ITM Group Inc., a South Florida-based training and HR consulting firm.

3. Make it fun
Rather than lecturing employees, use games to jazz up standard company walkthroughs and less interesting compliance-related topics, Lauby recommends. For example, turn a tour of the office into a scavenger hunt, where new employees have to take selfies with certain people or in particular rooms.

4. Create informational videos
Give new hires a taste of your company’s culture through videos, such as footage of employees volunteering or bonding at a company retreat. You don’t need a big production budget—just a creative spirit. At MaidPro in Boston, company leaders decided to hire a videographer to shoot one onboarding video showcasing an important company outing, but the other 11 videos were shot and edited by MaidPro’s Brand Manager, Madeleine Park.

5. Solicit feedback

Continuously improve your company’s onboarding process by collecting feedback from new hires. Share their insights with the executive team so leadership is invested in the process.

Daniel Bortz is a freelance writer based in Arlington, Va. View full article here!

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