Get 'em While They're Hot: Begin Engagement and Retention with Onboarding

By Joyce Gioia CEO, Employer of Choice International, Inc. | November 28, 2010

When human resource professionals attend my workshops, both in the US and worldwide, the section on "Onboarding" is a real eye-opener. Invariably, they find a number of ways they can improve their processes. The onboarding period presents one of the best opportunities for hotel human resource professionals to begin their process of connecting and engaging the new employee, so that s/he will stay.

When we start a new job, we are often excited and feel very positively about starting our new positions. If we receive positive reinforcement for those feelings, they will grow stronger; if we are discouraged from having those feelings, it is sometimes the beginning of a long, slow, and painful downhill trip, ending with voluntary turnover.

So it just makes sense to capitalize and build on that early excitement, but how can we make sure we are really connecting with our new employees so that we may tap into their reservoir of energy and effort?

Onboarding―a longer process than most people think

Most people believe that onboarding begins with their first day of work. We take a different view: we believe that onboarding starts with their very first contact with the organization and doesn't end until the close of their first year of employment. How you handle the critical bonding opportunities will determine the level of engagement and the longevity of tenure of your new employee.

Every contact with the suspect who hopefully becomes a prospect, who hopefully becomes a candidate, who hopefully becomes a team member, is important. However that first contact is critically important. Whether it is an online job position or a newspaper advertisement or an inbound telephone call, how the individual feels at the end of the contact is crucial.

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Coming up in March 2018...

Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.