Here are a few highlights and critical reminders for all of us:
- Our son’s class was relatively small. But, he and his 6 classmates received the same attention to detail that larger classes did – including bagpipes, color guard, and the City Mayor’s attendance.
- Leaders reinforced what it meant to be part of their organization (local and global) – its’ mission, rich history, and the family they had now joined.
- Leaders addressed “what to expect” over the next few months (both the firefighter and their respective families) as the new recruits adjusted to many changes including sleep or lack of it.
- Culture was reinforced through vocabulary used (family, community, service, career) and behaviors displayed (respect and tradition).
- Personal stories were shared of destruction, death and triumph, life saving, and hope.
- Tours were offered of the fire fighters’ workplace and equipment used.
- Minimal money was spent (punch & cake) but a precious 30-45 minutes was invested by leadership.
So here are some key questions to consider:
- Are the first day and/or week of work in your organization memorable? New employees know the organization is excited and proud they have joined.
- Is your on-boarding process consistent and contain inclusive elements for family members?
- Is the emotional side of employee engagement addressed? Employees hear and see Identity (what it means to be part of your team) – Importance (doing things according to your culture) – and Impact (the difference they will make)?
- Is storytelling effectively used in your on-boarding?
- Do senior leaders personally invest time in on-boarding or is it delegated?
At our family celebration meal later that day, it was obvious our son was convinced he had made a great decision to join the City Fire Department. A strong sense of commitment to the organization had been ignited. Are your on-boarding processes smoldering or blazing? Maybe you need to consider contacting the fire department.