Diversity & Inclusion - The Belonging Project
In this new era of “virtual inductions”, new joiners will likely feel “newer” for longer. Investing in the following five steps will maximize Belonging for new hires. Research shows a deep sense of Belonging increases productivity and reduces turnover by over 50%.1 A strong, effective induction program is vital for companies’ long-term retention and bottom line – in these non-typical times and beyond.
New employees must have all the technology they will need – before Day One. In our virtual reality, nothing will happen without it.
If you’re a new joiner, technology is vital – I have to work from home, but I wasn’t supplied with a computer or a phone on my first day, which made it incredibly hard to add value or to feel valued!
We already know that mentors help build trust and psychological safety. Personal-level connections are inherent to developing senses of Belonging – and since virtual new joiners are removed, they are unable to “bump into” anyone around the office or easily establish informal networks. Now, more than ever, mentors are critical to promoting spaces for open dialogue.
Set your new joiners up for success – design virtual networking groups to connect and introduce new hires across the entire business (to peers, stakeholders, functional teams, etc.), mixing the “formal” with the “informal” (think: breakfast meetings and virtual happy hours). Don’t forget to connect new joiners to other new joiners – they can go through this together.
Without the opportunity to make in-person connections the Belonging timelines of new joiners are extended. You can work hard on virtual integration – but recognize and appreciate too that your new hires will need more time than “normal” to fully integrate.
Most organizations have a “typical” induction plan – but how will it play in today’s virtual world? Seek feedback from your new hires and adapt that plan with them.
It is important to spend more time listening to new joiners than talking at them – induction meetings can feel like information overload when they should be as much about the organization getting to know the individual as the other way around.
* All quotes are from Hedley May’s Belonging Project: research and interviews across sectors, on the critical role of recruitment, on-boarding and induction on instilling a sense of Belonging.