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Posted June 01, 2016 by

How to implement a yearlong onboarding program

How to implement a yearlong onboarding program

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From learning the ins-and-outs of a company’s culture to specific job tasks, joining a new organization and starting a new job can be daunting.

That’s why it’s important for employers and HR professionals to establish a strong foundation for new employees to launch a productive and meaningful career by creating a strong onboarding program, says Jennifer Shofner, Manager, Campus Talent Acquisition at Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services.

While many organizations focus on how to properly onboard an employee that first day on the job, most don’t have a dedicated yearlong onboarding program to help the employee through that first year on the job.

“When combined with functional training, a yearlong onboarding program can provide new employees tools to do their jobs, but additionally, can drive engagement through demonstrating employee and business success go hand-in-hand,” says Shofner.

Below, Shofner provides five onboarding milestones and strategies that help drive new employee engagement at Ecolab:

Day 1: Provide transparency in expectations and culture
All new employees start their first day eager, excited, and hopeful. Ensuring new employees feel welcomed and informed is the first step in maintaining this attitude beyond the first day, says Shofner.  Create a program that is consistent with company expectations and demonstrates your organization’s culture. Demonstrate not only “the what” but also “the how” work gets done. “This can help drive the environment that you want every employee to feel and help create,” says Shofner.

First 30 days: Enable a community for ongoing support
If you ask any employee at Ecolab why they work there, the resounding answer will be “the people” says Shofner. Knowing that relationships are part of Ecolab’s culture and success, the organization intentionally provide a system for networking. The “Buddy” program assigns new hires a contact to answer day-to-day questions, serve as a networking agent and helps them find a community within Ecolabs large organization. “Having one or two close contacts at work can be a powerful driver of initial job satisfaction,” says Shofner.

3 Months: Focus on engagement
Host a dedicated session that demonstrates commitment to employee engagement by providing specific activities to lead and socialize. “At Ecolab, leadership reminds us that are accountable for two areas,” says Shofner. “To grow our business and to grow our talent. Investment in growing talent can significantly impact an employee’s commitment to the company, but only if they are aware of the investment.” At this session, provide specific examples including leadership development programs, employee resource groups, a defined talent planning process, and social events such as intramural sports or team celebrations of success.

6 Months: Expand their vision
Introducing functional training is a good way to help employees develop a strategic understanding of their role and take ownership of their career path. Training provides tactical skill development and visibility into the broader organizational structure. At Ecolab best practices include a field ride-along to experience a day-in-the-life of a sales employees and classroom training led by senior leadership teams. Coach leaders to incorporate their leadership journeys, to include career and personal “peaks and valleys” which validate your leadership model, says Shofner.

One year anniversary: Celebrate
An employee’s one-year anniversary is an important milestone. At Ecolab, the CEO makes it a priority to attend annual celebrations that are part of the onboarding program. “It is a demonstration of the organization’s commitment to hiring, training and supporting talent,” says Shofner. “Dedicating time to recognize this significant achievement reinforces to the employee that they are appreciated and valued.”

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Jennifer Shofner, Manager, Campus Talent Acquisition at Ecolab

Jennifer Shofner, Manager, Campus Talent Acquisition at Ecolab

Jennifer Shofner is Manager, Campus Talent Acquisition at Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. Her career in talent management has included various university and corporate roles where she is energized by helping individuals build careers they are proud of. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering for Minnesota’s talent initiative, MakeIt.MSP.org (check it out!) and supporting her alma mater’s sports teams – go Gophers!

Posted May 17, 2016 by

How to have a great first day at work: Part 1

Congratulations on landing your first full-time entry-level job after graduating from college! Woohoo! This is a huge milestone in your career journey.

Starting a new job can be nerve-wracking. Remember the feeling you had when you started high school? You might feel a little like that on your first day at work, minus the horrific acne and monstrous crush on your neighbor.

This video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, is one of two videos offering help to recent grads starting their first entry-level jobs. Here are five ways you can ensure success on your first day at work.


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1. Dress well, sleep well, and feel well.

Get a great night’s sleep the night before your first day at work. Certainly celebrate your new job with your friends and family, but celebrate at least two days prior to your first day. Wake up in plenty of time to get ready for work. We all have those days when we don’t like the outfit we selected for work, and chances are, it will be your first day of work. Give yourself at least 20 or 30 extra minutes to get ready on your first day at work.

When you look good, you feel good. Dress up (at least a little bit) on your first day at work. Wear an outfit that fits into the company’s dress code, but spend a little extra time fixing your hair or makeup. It doesn’t hurt to feel great when you’re going to spend all day long in training sessions, meeting new people, and looking people in the eye.

2. Arrive early.

Arrive at least 15 or 30 minutes early on your first day at work. This helps you to avoid showing up late due to traffic problems or getting turned around. It’s common to feel disoriented when you are in a new town or don’t know which parking lot to use. How far will you have to walk from the parking lot to the building? Are there designated parking spots? Don’t park in those! Knowing this information in advance is helpful. Arriving early gives you the opportunity to network with coworkers and eases nerves.

3. Prepare an elevator pitch.

An elevator pitch is a 30-second spiel explaining who you are, where you’ve been, what you do, and where you’re going in life or at work. Preparing a brief elevator pitch related to your new position will come in handy when you’re being introduced to multiple teammates, supervisors, and colleagues repeatedly throughout the day. Chances are, you’ll be asked the question, “So who are you? What is it you’ll be doing for us?” Be prepared with a smooth response.

4. Smile often.

When shaking hands and delivering that elevator pitch, smile. Smiling improves your mood and the moods of those around you as well. Start off on the right foot on your first day at work by spreading cheer and goodwill to people around you.

4. Be positive no matter what.

Whether you have to sit through eight hours of training, which you find incredibly boring, or whether you arrive and find that your desk is not set up at all, be positive. Not many people enjoy working with negative people. Avoid making negative comments, regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in. If you need to ask for help, do so politely and quietly. Avoid making a scene in a fussy or dramatic manner right off the bat. Very few things leave a bad taste in employers’ mouths as a new employee who begins complaining before she’s even begun working.

For more suggestions on starting out strong in your new entry-level job, visit our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

 

Posted September 18, 2014 by

New on Your Entry Level Job? How to Get Attention the Right Way

So, you’re starting your new entry level job and want to make a great impression.  If this is your goal, the following post has tips on how to get the right kind of attention at work.

You managed to land a coveted entry-level job at a Fortune 100 company. Congratulations! You’re now just another guppy floundering in an ocean teeming with sharks. It’s the first day on the job and you’re full of excitement in anticipation of the wondrous future that awaits you. As you make your way to the battleship grey cubicle that

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Posted February 21, 2014 by

Starting a New Entry Level Job? 10 Ways to Gain Respect

When beginning a new entry level job, you might be uncertain how to handle new coworkers and a new environment.  The following post offers 10 tips that can help you gain respect in the workplace.

Entering the workforce for the first time or starting a new gig can be challenging. Making it even more difficult: being new to a tenured team – a team that has already spent years or decades creating their culture, developing common ways of doing things and building a shared understanding between members. Here are 10 ways you can ease the “new

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