By Jackie Weathers

As we all know, people make organizations successful or unsuccessful. Your employees are the ones who deliver on your organization’s promise to your customers. They are the face of your brand to your customers.

Think of some of your favorite brands and their promise to you. Publix–where shopping is a pleasure; Disneyland–the happiest place on earth; or Target–expect more, play less. How do you align your employees’ behaviors to the promises you make to your customers?

It starts by aligning your business and brand strategies to your people strategies. Do you acquire, connect, and engage employees who believe in delivering your promise to your customers? It is this distinction that sets successful organizations apart from their competitors.

Let’s assume you hire employees who are capable of delivering on your brand promise and have the same values as your organization. How do you connect them to and prepare them to deliver on that promise during their first days, weeks, and months? How do you do it in a way that makes them want to do it and build loyalty to the organization? Offering an evidence-based onboarding program aligned to your organization’s promise is the answer.

Three key steps drive the development of an evidence-based onboarding program. They are:

  1. Determine the promise and focus the lens
  2. Determine what is needed to connect the employee to the organization
  3. Develop the onboarding experience

Let’s look at each one in detail:

1. Determine the promise and focus the lens

Determining the promise is all about connecting the silos: marketing, human resources, and operations. Placing the organization’s brand strategy and customer promise lens over the people strategy highlights the key knowledge, skills, and abilities employees need to connect to the organization.

2. Determine what is needed to connect the employee to the organization

Collect internal and external data to get a clear viewpoint of what it means to deliver on that promise. Find out

    • What your customers need and want from your employees
    • What your employees need and want to deliver that promise

To determine what your customers need and want, look for customer data. Customer data include such things as internal customer research, Yelp, Facebook, and so forth. What are your customers saying about your organization? What do your customers need and want? Are your employees delivering on your promise? How do your company’s values align with your brand strategy? What are the gaps?

To determine what your employees need and want to deliver on the promise, look at employee exit interviews, engagement surveys, focus groups, Glass Door, and turnover data. Look for clues to why your employees stay or leave and what it takes to be successful in your culture.

Based on the data you have collected, determine the areas needed in an onboarding program for an employee to be successful. Develop a survey listing these areas asking new employees to rate each area on how valuable it is to them and how satisfied they were in their onboarding experience at your organization.

3. Develop the onboarding experience

Once the results are in, average the responses and plot value and satisfaction using a four-by-four grid. This clearly shows which areas to focus on when creating an onboarding experience for your employees. For example, if value is high and satisfaction is high then the organization is aligned with the needs of the employee. Conversely, if value is high and satisfaction is low, there is more work to do.

Many growth-oriented organizations are able to align their business, brand, and people strategies and get phenomenal results. The key is knowing how to connect your new employees to your brand so they can and want to deliver on your promise. Evidenced-based onboarding allows you to uncover those needs and create a clear line of sight for execution.

JackieWeathersAbout the Author
Jackie Weathers is a partner at Holland People+Brands® and president of Jackie Weathers Consulting. She has helped people grow and develop for 25 years at Fortune 50 and Fortune 500 businesses. Jackie’s expertise is facilitating an organization’s efforts to align its brand and business strategies to its people strategies by improving employee performance and connection to the organization.



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