MAA NEWS Winter2021_w - Page 18

Workforce Development by Neal Glatt , CSP , ASM

Let ’ s Make Work Easier
Work can be so hard sometimes . I don ’ t have to tell you this as nearly every organization is short staffed and desperate for labor to help . But as hard as work can be , it ’ s got to be even tougher for new hires when impatient customers and nearly impossible deadlines overwhelm even experienced employees . Maybe that ’ s why they ’ re quitting so quickly . As managers , we need to make it easier for them .
In fact , before we talk about how to boost retention by creating a better new employee experience , let ’ s think about all the people who haven ’ t even applied to our job postings . In a world of job descriptions that are often too long , too boring , and too confusing , we need to rewrite descriptions that introduce our company mission and inspire people to help the team . We need to talk about what ’ s in store for them beyond pay and benefits that every job offers and focus on the career development and purpose that is unique to each organization . And we need to post our story in a clear , concise , and inviting manner .
One of my colleagues also believes that most companies make it far too difficult for prospective employees to apply for work . He strives to make it as easy to apply for a job as to order a pizza from Domino ’ s ( if you don ’ t know you can order in at least 15 different ways from a voice command on Alexa to posting a pizza emoji on social media ). By streamlining applications to the essentials and allowing job seekers to text-to-apply , he can engage people faster and provide a more convenient application process . I like this idea so much that I don ’ t even have a job application anymore . And we all know most people under 30-yearsold hate talking on the phone , so why do hiring managers continue to make job seekers uncomfortable with a phone call to start the process ?
When we do manage to hire a candidate , the experience needs to be a smooth ramp up rather than a swift jump into the fray . I believe that leaders need to focus first on building a relationship with their people before they can lead a team towards real production . Without a foundation of trust and opportunities to learn the positional and cultural expectations , success is impossible , and burnout is likely . But how long will it take to build these relationships and integrate someone new into a team ?
After considering and testing the time requirement for many years , I believe it takes a full year to expect someone to be working successfully . This doesn ’ t mean they don ’ t complete tasks and add value in their first year of employment , but rather that managers need to be intentionally investing in their development at the base level of job performance for a full year to help them stay engaged . A large part of this effort is protecting first year employees from overbearing expectations .
When I propose my one-year theory to most managers , it isn ’ t meet with enthusiasm and excitement . I empathize with their frustration and have worked hard to disprove this idea by onboarding people faster for years . Yet every time I accelerate the expectations , it fails , and I find myself trying to rehire for a position ( costing a fortune in recruiting , interviewing , and onboarding time and costs ). So , I ’ ve given up attempts to fast track new employees .
The good news is that I have found incredible success in a patient approach of weekly coaching and development . In fact , people produce at basic tasks more reliably than ever and while it takes a year for them to reach their potential , I think that their potential grows immensely during that time . By committing my time and patience to my people , both production and retention skyrocket .
It ’ s time for managers globally to change their approach for success . If you want help implementing a better application process or would like to discuss how to better coach your people through onboarding and beyond , I ’ d be happy to help . When you change your approach , you ’ ll be amazed at how the outcomes change too .
Neal Glatt is Managing Partner of GrowTheBench . com , an online training platform for the green industry . Connect with Neal at NealGlatt @ gmail . com .