1. Feature Article
How to Make an Inspiring New Employee Orientation Class
By John DiJulius, Chief Revolution Officer
Early on in my career I had the pleasure of attending the Disney University in Orlando, Florida, where I took Disney’s Approach to People Management course. Where better to learn how to create a world-class culture than Walt Disney World. The concepts and principles I learned there totally redefined how both my companies, John Robert’s Spa and The DiJulius Group, created our corporate cultures and helped us build a strong internal culture with highly engaged long-term employees.
Orientation is critical
A critical part of a new employees’ career is their orientation into the company. Psychologists have shown that during periods of orientation, people are particularly susceptible to adopting new roles, goals and values.
Your new employee orientation training should not be about policy, breaks, and where the bathrooms are, rather it should be an emotionally compelling orientation into the company’s values, mission, purpose and storytelling. The story of why the organization was created, what wrong was being made right. The company’s back story and early days. The struggles, how it overcame them, the rags to riches stories of today’s rock star employees who started years ago at entry level positions. Where the company is today and the amazing place it is headed (vision of the future). Most importantly the vital role new employees can play in helping the company achieve that and what is in it for them.
When we hire someone, that is when our leadership team goes to work for them
As Howard Schultz once said, “Most people come to work for a company having had previous work experiences. In many cases, their experience has been bad. As such, they enter with cynicism, and the burden of proof is on leaders to demonstrate that this is a different place.”
So how do you make your orientation training fun and exciting, where your new employees go home bragging to their family and friends about the amazing organization they just joined? Here are a few of my favorite best practices.
Most new employee orientations spend a great deal of time covering all the boring policy and procedures of what not to do to avoid getting fired. While some of this information needs to be covered, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, a 5 Diamond property in Pennsylvania and a former client of The DiJulius Group, had a very clever way for that information to be learned instead of sitting in a classroom. I have learned many techniques from working with Nemacolin, one of my favorites is the scavenger hunt they have their new associates experience. It is a competitive scavenger hunt on this huge resort where each new associate has a list of 50 things they have to discover, find the answers to, and take pictures. In the course of the scavenger hunt, I realized two things: it is a lot of fun, and the new associates are learning a lot about the history of Nemacolin. What a great idea!
Any time I hear a great idea, I replicate it within my organization. Both my organizations’ orientation now includes a scavenger hunt across all our locations. We take a group of new employees, typically eight to twelve in a group, pair them up, give them a list of about 30 things to discover or get the answers to, and have them get pictures of every item on the list. This achieves many things: the new employees have a great deal of fun; they work with another team member; they learn a lot about our culture, legacy, and heroes; they visit all of our locations and meet many existing employees who go out of their way to help the new employees get their answers and pictures.
I learned another great lesson from working with The Ritz-Carlton Hotels—they put all their existing employees through the orientation process again. I immediately brought this idea back to my companies, and we instituted a re-orientation for all our existing employees every other year, meaning if you were hired in 2017, you would retake our orientation training in 2019, 2021, etc.
Mixing experienced employees with new hires has had so many incredible benefits we didn’t even anticipate. During key points in the orientation, experienced employees share great testimonials, telling stories of what it was like when they joined the company. This immediately creates a bond between new and seasoned employees, which results in new employees having friends at work, and reducing the typical anxiety of being a new employee.
Most of all it reinvigorates our seasoned staff. Many experienced employees have expressed great surprise at how much the orientation has improved, and how much of our legacy they had forgotten about. They are re-inspired by our story—where we came from, what it took to get us here, and where we are headed.
*Related – It is Time to Make the Pandemic Irrelevant
2. Article You Need to Read
Beware of the Dangers of Doomscrolling
I read a great article on the Dangers of Doomscrolling & Doomsurfing (thanks to Verne Harnish). Doomscrolling and doomsurfing are new terms referring to the tendency to continue to surf or scroll through bad news, even though that news is saddening, disheartening, or depressing. People who repeatedly doomscrolled reported loss of sleep, stress, anxiety, fatigue, and other negative mental health symptoms.
3. Short Video You Need To Watch & Share With Your Team
Are you in your client’s foxhole or bomb shelter? Watch this short video on How to be a partner your clients can’t live without.
4. Mikki Williams Speaking at The 2020 Customer Service Revolution
The DiJulius Group is thrilled to announce that Mikki Williams will be speaking at this year’s virtual Customer Service Revolution. Mikki is a Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker, Transformational Storyteller, & Executive Speech Coach.
Mikki’s presentation for the Customer Service Revolution is titled The Art and Heart of Storytelling. Mikki will be sharing how to be a master storyteller! Polish your presentation skills in the process and be regarded as THE confident leader to follow. Life and business happen in the narratives, and stories can go where data can’t. People act, buy and follow when you wrap your vision in a story that sparks the imagination and stirs the soul.
5. Newest Episode of The Customer Service Revolution Podcast
- How boring loses business
- Some tips and tricks so that you are not boring in your important business interactions
- Darren’s incredible story of how he went from struggling stand-up comedian (actually being told by a famous comedian “don’t quit your day job”) to winning the title of The World Champion of Public Speaking just nine years later
- How you can transform your day to day communication
- What Darren will be talking about at the 2020 Virtual Customer Service Revolution
6. Resource to Help Take Your Customer Experience to the Next Level