Each company or organization sets up a Vocoli "instance" to generate surveys, to build a suggestion box, and to connect with the team.
Which one of these is you?
One of the most burdensome aspects of the talent and acquisition budget of any organization is the high cost of employee turnover. Not only are the apparent costs - such as advertising, interviewing and negotiations, expensive but so too is training your new-found talent on-boarding can be a costly process both in resources required and lost productivity of your current staff. Because they are still learning the ropes, new employees don't generally deliver a lot of value in their first 30 days. Sometimes these new employees are doing nothing more than taking in air, observing their surroundings and trying to figure out which is the best benefits plan.
But is there a way to change this? New employees may lack the initial know-how and training for the job, but they are a fresh set of eyes and may have a novel perspective to offer. This can be a welcome contrast to long term employees who may have developed a fixed way of doing things over the years. "That's the way we've always done it" can become a limiting mantra.
New employees, if properly tapped, can help shake off these shackles. But managers should keep in mind the balance between engaging new employees while not alienating long term workers. So, what is the best way to go about this?
Harnessing the Power of a New Employee
One effective way of achieving this is by having new employees present a SWOT Analysis to the company, department, or team (depending on the size of the organization) at the end of their first 30 days.
Such a challenge might make some blanch. Having a new employee address the entire organization while they are still fairly green? While this presentation may be a terrifying prospect for some, if executed properly it can be a win-win for both management and employees.
By issuing this project, management is demonstrating a receptivity to employee input - a fair path to take as listening to employee suggestions just about guarantees positive results. Tasking new employees with such a project also guarantees they are listening and engaged from their first day right up to the presentation. Everyone wants to make a strong first impression and no one wants to look foolish on stage in front of their peers so most will work very hard to ensure they do not. As an added bonus, management can glean valuable insight into operations through this process.
So, what is a SWOT?
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Viewed in a grid, Strengths and Weaknesses are Internal Factors that have a direct, and often immediate impact on the organization while Opportunities and Threats are External Forces that may have a more longitudinal effect. This form of analysis helps organizations focus on strengths, minimize threats, and take advantage of opportunities available. As Sun Tzu said, "Know yourself, know your enemy - 100 battles, 100 victories."
The key to performing a successful SWOT Analysis is staying objective and respectful. Some questions new employees should seek to answer when determining an organization's strengths include:
- What advantages does the organization have?
- What does the organization do better than anyone else?
- How does the organization win business over its competitors?
- What can the organization do at less cost that others can't?
Determining weaknesses can be found by answering these questions:
- What processes could be done better or more efficiently?
- What factors result in the loss of sales?
- Any behavior the organization could avoid?
- Are competitors doing something better than the organization?
It's important when discussing weaknesses to avoid blame and focus attention on possible solutions. Blame has yet to solve a problem and usually just results in hurt feelings and negativity.
When addressing opportunities, new employees should seek to answer the following:
- What new business opportunities are out there?
- Any interesting new trends or ideas in the industry?
Possible opportunities include changes in technology, markets, government policy, social patterns, demographics, and general lifestyles. Local events can also be viewed as opportunities.
To determine threats, new employees should answer the following:
- What outside obstacles does the organization face?
- What are the company's competitors doing?
- Any changes in quality standards, products or services?
- Any new technology emerging that could constitute a threat?
- Any bad debt or cash-flow problems?
- Could any identified weaknesses develop into a full-scale threat?
Done properly a SWOT Analysis can quickly convert a foundering green newbie into a respected, high-performing employee. As we’ve shown time and time again on this blog, empowering employees and heeding their suggestions can lead to enormous business returns. Why shouldn’t organizations apply this concept to their newest employees?
And if your organization is looking for a new way to give its employees a voice, why not reach out to the Vocoli Team today? We are available M-F 9-6 EST at 888.919.5300 or anytime at email@example.com
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