When you're new to a company, you can feel quite lonely. Who will you eat lunch with? Who can you ask for help? You can also feel lost. Why are you working there? What can you do to make a difference? Where do you go from here?
This can be hard to remember this several decades after you've joined the company and when you've developed a wide social network, but people who are starting out might not only feel tremendously isolated, but also not know about opportunities to use their strengths.
Gallup has an article about helping newcomers make friends in order to increase employee engagement and retention. This reminded me of the Human Capital Institute's webcast and whitepaper on relational onboarding and how social networking accelerates new hires into star performers, which said:
Rather than abandon highly motivated new hires to orientations, hard to navigate intranets, and stacks of dusty manuals, successful organizations help new hires build a strong network of relationships with colleagues who can help transform them into star performers. Building strong relationships from day one makes new hires feel more connected to the workforce, resulting in decreased turnover, shortened time to contribution, greater engagement and job satisfaction. This webcast will examine how HR executives can make the shift from ‘administrative’ onboarding’ to ‘relational onboarding,’ and how Corporate Social Networking technology can help build the network of connections integral to a new hire’s and the company’s success.
Sally Colella and Nancy Wheeler, Human Capital Institute
I've been with IBM for seven months, and I want to share this kind of onboarding experience with everyone. As a new hire, I'm learning so many things every day. Writing about what I learn helps me not only understand and remember things better, it also helps me share what I'm learning with other new hires and with other people throughout the company. Isn't that amazing? I get to create value for other people while I'm learning. Blogs have helped me make friends, ask for help, give help, get plugged in... It's terrific stuff, and I want to help as many people connect as I can.
That's one of the reasons why I love working with IBM. I want to help organizations figure out how to use social networking to help bring new people on board, connect passionate people with each other (employees, customer evangelists, whoever!), and join the conversations inside the company and in the world. This is challenging because it's not just a matter of introducing a blogging platform or putting up a wiki - it requires a lot of thought about the work culture, and yes, even the occasional cheerleading. But this is work I love to do, and if there's any way you can help me find organizations who want to consult with me and my team, please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]. =)
I worked on a little sketch presentation on "[email protected]: In Pursuit of Passion" over the weekend, trying to explain why this is just so cool. I put it up on Slideshare on Saturday, and today it's the Slideshow of the Day. That probably means lots of people are interested in this topic. =) Are you? Let's talk about it so that we can figure out how wonderful it can be!
Link from myventurepad: Make Friends with Employee Engagement