The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

Guest Post: Resilient Employee Engagement Begins with On-boarding!

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Featured Image

The day always comes. The one you don't want. When your great team member leaves for 'greener' pastures.

In my case it was to one of the Big 4 multinational accounting and advisory firms. I can't compete with that. It's great experience. I did my stint at one myself.

So, Tuesday was the last day with Leya the Intern. Endings always make me sad.

When Leya first came on board I wasn't sure if it was going to work out or not. We both took a risk. From my PhD research, I knew the first day would be critical. The welcome you give makes a surprising difference to their success.

So I put aside the whole first day for Leya. Explained her role, answered all her questions, went through how things are done around here and got her started on some meaningful work.

I also asked Leya what she was interested in. What she hoped to gain from the internship and then did what I could do craft her role with that in mind.

She told me she wanted to learn to be a great coach. So I arranged for her to sit in on some coaching sessions and directed her to some great books on the topic. She later told me how grateful she was that I took the time to welcome her.

Here are my tips for getting the onboarding process just right.

1. Put aside plenty of time, even an entire day nothing says welcome like someone dropping everything to show you the ropes.

If you put in the time upfront, to answer questions and get them settled, you'll save yourself many hours and headaches down the track.

2. Do your homework. There's no point in putting an entire day aside to answer questions you don't have answers to yourself. Prepare and be clear about what you expect.

Anticipate the questions they might ask. When parts of the role remain unclear to you, instead of giving a vague answer, tell it like it is.

"Listen John, to be frank with you, this part of the role isn't clearly defined yet. It's something we'll need to tackle together."

3. Give them hope for the future. Find out what they want and show them the way to get it. Sometimes, you'll need to stick your neck. Like I did for Leya with a couple of my coaching clients.

You may be thinking: "What? Stick my neck out for someone I've never met before?" You bet. It's what makes all the difference. Having faith in them before they've earned it. If you start the relationship on this note, it sets you up for success.

Think of onboarding as welcoming a guest into your home. Your time and care will pay off in spades.

It's the end of an era. And I will miss Leya.

With more than 25 years experience working with senior and middle managers in business, Executive Coach and Organisational Psychologist Dr Michelle Pizer is an expert in the management of people at work. Click here to visit her website and learn more about her.

Share This Post

Like this post? Please share it!

< Back to All Posts


Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

View all posts by Eileen

Subscribe to My Blog!

Like My Blog?

Please share it!

Recents Posts




Optimism Married More Fun at Work Napping e-mail Energy Loss Humor earthquakes Art Disrupt Career Advice Voting ecology Intentions Gifts From The Mountain Energizing Others Motivating Others Suddenly Single Multi-tasking Relationships Stress John Havlik Postive Work Environment Empathy Breathe Back To School love goals Strangers Words Deloitte resilient leaders preresilience Office Celebrations Children Content Generation Divorce Happiness resilience cancer Burnout Laughter Meetings Women LGBTQ Diversity Sheryl Sandberg Persuasion conscience Leadership Skills resiliency Disruption Networking Environtment Politics Hurricane Harvey angels Change Emotional Intelligence Nursing The Last Jedi Ownership Radical Resiliency Jewish New Year resolutions Sexual Harassment Corporate Culture resilient organizations Sales Bill Treasurer Seder Eve Sustainability Tornadoes in Texas Spirit Education Book Reviews Engaged Workers Option B teams Boston Marathon Sleeping Hurricane Irma USAA Thanksgiving Human Interaction Feedback Animals civil discourse Trust Girls U.S.A.A. Dogs Connection Humanity Patriots Faith John Blumberg Talk Ain't Cheap Book waiting Loneliness Communication Adam Grant Walk For Hunger customer service Family Mother's Day Yoga John Mattone holidays employee retention Soft Skills Leaders Open Doors Book Ecotourism women in leadership Christmas Conversation Memorial Day creativity Volunteer Bullying Marriage Kindness Vacation Superbowl Speaking employees Requisite Variety Travel Spelling Bee Technology Interview Fun Work Environment Idea Social Media stuck Listening coaching Charity Depression Positive Brain Repatterning Arlington Cemetary Alzheimer's servant leadership Writing Exercise Twas The Night Before Christmas Your Resiliency GPS Guns gratitude Adaptability Honoring Veterans Climate Change Learned Optimism Breath Mark Scharenbroich work life balance Reshaping the Brain Siblings Survive Aging Adventure St. Patrick's Day WASP Building Resilience Energizing Road Trip Labor Day Play Employee Attitude Henry VIII Branding