We live in a time where every second counts and maximum productivity is critical. Decision making, working together, flexibility and empathy are all part of what employers are now looking for more than ever before.
Implementing a strong onboarding programme within an organisation is crucial to improving employee engagement and retention. Employers who support and implement an onboarding process will empower new employees to contribute to the company’s overall success faster.
So, let me be clear about the space I am talking about. Onboarding is the initial process of assimilating someone into an organisation and begins from the time the new employee signs their contract to their first day at work.
A successful onboarding program provides resources for them to learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviours required to function effectively within an organisation. These programmes are the contributing resources for new employees to become fully engaged, culturally aware and who can quickly become part of a productive workforce.
The benefits from a best practice onboarding programme include:
Ongoing clear, concise, and consistent channels of communication
Entry into an organisation facilitates learning at every organisational level
Clearly aligns new hires to key business strategies
Reinforces the employment brand and other positive aspects of the company culture
Builds employee engagement in the company quickly and effectively
New employees know how they can make an immediate contribution to the company strategy
Soft skills are essential. Setting the expectation and standard base line for what soft skills are priorities for your organization can be the difference between someone ‘hitting the floor running’ or taking months to understand where they fit in and how they contribute.
So, what are some of the soft skills employers are looking for:
· Interpersonal and communication skills
· Customer centric
· Flexibility and adaptability
· Willingness to learn and improve oneself
· Team unity and respect for other’s ideas
· Self-sufficient with organizational skills
If you look at the above list, you will find that the ability to listen goes across all these soft skills.
An employee who knows how to listen rather than just being told to listen will communicate effectively, identify more opportunities as they arise, be open to learning, recognise the value in others and work in unity with the organisation.
As I read the experiences people share with our 5L organisation on the changes that have occurred with improved listening I know without doubt the benefits are not only real and tangible but success has been realised in very short timeframes (read the experiences below).
In summary, setting the expectation of the importance of listening as new employees are onboarded into your organisation opens employee’s minds and deepens the benefits I have previously mentioned. Incorporating the development of listening skills into your organisation’s culture through development of staff and leaders as proficient listeners will position your business for success.
“As part of my team’s self-development we were advised that we would be completing a course that teaches people how to listen. My first thoughts were, why do we need to do that, we listen to people all day as part of our role, and we have good results and feedback on our performance. My doubts quickly changed from the moment I started the first module. I can tell you that my ability to listen has increased. Through truly listening I have been able to build trust with family members to a level I have never had before. The feeling I have within myself has increased my self-worth and the relationships I have at work and at home improve each day. I know we must learn how to listen, and you can only do that by completing the assignments in The Five Levels of Listening Course. This was a key factor to making changes and embedding what I had learnt. Learning to listen improves relationships especially with those who we love the most. We all need to listen more, and we all need to learn how to listen.”
-Helen (Call Centre Staff Member)
“I lead a team and as I learnt how to listen, I realized what changes I needed to make to have my team work for effectively. I experienced the most significant change in my team meetings. The outputs and increased productivity have been expediential as we solve problems faster, organize ourselves better and allow ideas and thinking to be heard in a respectful way. All of this by using the simple tool of listening in all its forms.”
-Shaun (Engineering Manager)