It’s the morning commute, and traffic is stopped in both directions as I wait for new goslings and their parents to cross the road. The goslings are a bit wobbly and must be shown the right direction as they learn their way. I admire the cute creatures as they continue their journey and observe the reaction of others in their cars taking pictures of the adorable, fluffy animals. The stopped traffic was inconvenient, yet everyone seemed to give grace to these new little ones finding their way.
A few weeks later, repeating my morning commute, I found myself questioning how confident must a goose really be? Are they just self-aware jerks that don’t mind taking up the whole road, even if they can fly? Or are they so unaware of how their presence and confusion is congesting traffic, and frustrating all of those around them? As I pondered this thought, I realized that just a few weeks ago I was enjoying my morning glimpses of these new goslings. Now, you could no longer tell the young adult geese from the matured gaggle leaders. They are all blocking the road, just wandering around looking for which direction they should be headed, seeming unsure of their choices, and not finding a leader to give them guidance. All while annoying the commuters.
There seems to be multiple lessons we could take away from this gaggle of geese. We could focus on patience and giving grace to others around us, or even admire their confidence in what they are doing and how they are not swayed by others that may be trying to move them off their path. Instead, they made me think about the importance of a company’s onboarding process. How getting new hires acclimated to your team and culture can cause traffic jams like a gaggle of geese if you’re not prepared with a proactive approach.
Umm, what? Yep, even I questioned how I got there, but hear me out...
All of us have been a new hire at a company before, even if you started the company you were still new at some point. We bring our new hires onto our teams with excitement, and good intentions of helping them learn and grow. Over time they start to settle in to their new role, and we relax or stop our intentional focus of onboarding. The new hire seems to be growing and losing their gosling feathers. A little while longer and we notice they “look like the rest of us” as they move about the office and their daily task. Yet, every once in a while, they cause a “traffic jam” as they wander around trying to figure out the right path to take. Maybe we even grow frustrated with them not knowing what to do or where to go. We have superficially fully developed geese causing frustration for others, because we have forgotten they are still in need of guidance and direction. They are still in need of a complete onboarding process that drives connection to our company’s purpose, culture, people, and processes.
If we allow ourselves to be distracted by the superficial growth we see in our new team members, we may never see them grow to be the leader of their own gaggle of geese. However, if we take the time to build and execute a strategic onboarding process to develop our new team members, we may just see them leading their own skein of geese in flight! How are you preparing today to ensure a strongly executed onboarding process will take place for those you welcome to your team?
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