Dec 17, 2016
Business leaders often say that their employees are the most important asset of their business. However, without a strong new hire orientation program, some companies are failing to invest in employees. This puts long-term success in serious jeopardy.
New employee orientation, if done right, can lead to more productive workers and, ultimately, increased customer satisfaction. Unfortunately, a lot of organizations are doing it wrong. So, how do you it right?
How we make a difference
New hire orientation should instil a sense of accomplishment from day one. They should be inspired enough to go home and proudly explain their new role to their family, friends, and neighbours: “We sell products that make a difference.” Whether they run a department or are an individual contributor, all employees need to know that they are significant to the big picture. You can give them that by:
- Explaining how the business works and how they fit in and contribute.
- Talking about trends and opportunities and how your company plays a part in changing the lives of customers.
- Offering an energetic multimedia presentation which illustrates the company’s proud traditions and opportunities.
Serving customers should be the number one goal of any company. When an employee understands the company’s number one goal, they are more likely to work a job with a clear feeling of purpose. You don’t have to provide new hires with a list of customer names and addresses. But you should make sure that employees from top to bottom see customers as more than faceless, nameless deep pockets who pay for your products or services. Here are some areas to cover to ensure that your new hire is able to stand in your customer’s shoes:
- Share customer success stories and what value you are adding to customers.
- Understand your customer’s full range of options, as well as his or her ecosystem of providers and competitors.
- Know your customer’s experience, try role-playing exercises at all points of the customer’s experience with your company.
- Anticipate customer needs. Follow trends and know what customers will want tomorrow. With scenario planning, new hires can serve customers better by watching out for underlying market shifts that impact your industry.
Products and services
From orientation forward, demonstrate your company as your customer’s hero. You can do that by helping employees develop an understanding of how your products–whatever they are–help individuals, families, or businesses meet everyday challenges.
Your new hire orientation could include anecdotes that describe how your company helped fill a need or provided the solution to a specific problem. Intimate knowledge of your company’s place in consumer’s hearts can be another source of employee pride.
Consider a video presentation that follows your products and services from production to consumer and beyond. That might sound a bit hokey, but it can help new employees understand how your company connects with customers. Putting a video in new hire orientation will help employees engage and make material relatable and easier to remember. Developing effective training videos takes some work, but it is not difficult.
How to reach customers
Even if a new employee isn’t a part of the sales force, he should understand how your products make their way to the consumer.
- What is the core benefit of your product and service?
- How do marketing and sales work together?
- Does your company ship worldwide from a central distribution point?
- Are your products or services offered to the public by retailers?
- Do you reach customers via direct sales associates?
The answer to “How do we sell?” will be a part of an employee’s identity throughout their life on the job. It can demonstrate your company’s local or global reach or help a new employee understand that there is a ladder of opportunity should sales be their ultimate goal.
Journey so far
Employees need to know that they are a part of something stable. Even if it isn’t a big conglomerate, they should know that the company has a history and a future, and that they can be a part of it. That doesn’t mean that new employee orientation should include a detailed analysis of a decade of annual reports, but employees should hear about the company’s foundation and plans for growth.
The path you lay out for new employees during new hire orientation paves the way for their journey into a long-term relationship with your organization. This template will get you started with a strong foundation to welcome your new hires and get them productive more quickly. Show them where they fit into the big picture and set the stage for a bright future!