Intentional Onboarding

Intentional Onboarding

By Staci Hegarty, M.Ed., COO

Starting a new job brings a range of emotions, from joy to apprehension to anxiety. The first day of a new job sets the tone for what an employee can expect from the organization. Many times, the onboarding process has been in place for years, with additions being made as needed. During the early days of the pandemic in 2020, companies were forced to quickly change the way they worked, including how new employees were brought in. Technology can be very useful as a support tool for onboarding, but it should not be the main character in the onboarding process. Even remote employees need some human interaction, especially during the onboarding process. 

Onboarding begins where hiring ends. The offer letter is the first step in the onboarding experience. It should be provided in a timely fashion and include all the relevant information, such as start date, salary, work location, and Next Steps. Most people will not resign from their current job until they have the offer letter, any delay not only causes a delay in starting the new role, but it may also cause stress for the new employee before they have even started!

When possible, have the new employee complete most paperwork before the first day. Even if it is not 100% complete, it will allow everyone to focus on connecting with each other instead of filling out forms. Your company may have protocols for badges, logins, keys, and parking passes that are contingent upon new hire paperwork. Doing this early will mean that the new employee has everything they need on Day One. This is especially helpful if you are onboarding multiple people on the same day.

Provide an agenda for the first day, or first few days. Some things never really change, the first day of school was stressful for most of us as children. The first day of a new job is stressful for the same reasons. Will I get lost? Will I know enough? Will I be alone at lunch? An agenda that introduces the new employee to their new boss, new colleagues, other departments, and organizational leaders will help alleviate some nervousness. Conduct a tour of the facility early the first day to help employees build a mental picture of what their environment will be like. The sooner a new employee has the basics, the sooner they can start focusing on the role-based tasks.

Onboarding does not end after the first few days of employment. It takes time for people to learn their role, how they fit in with the big picture, and what the culture of the organization demands from people. Keeping new employees close for the initial 90 days will help build confidence, help managers to assess training needs, and allows new employees to fail in a way that will not be catastrophic. Even people with experience in the role need to time to adapt and adjust to a new company, with different systems and different expectations. 

For some people, asking questions and speaking up comes easily. For others, it can be difficult to seek answers without feeling exposed or insecure. A thorough onboarding process that continues beyond the first week will allow new employees, regardless of confidence or disposition, the opportunity to learn while also becoming integrated into the culture of the organization. When surveyed, 94% of respondents indicated that a feeling of belonging is critical to their opinion of their employer. Don’t make new employees work too hard to belong, build a process that fosters belonging and inclusion from the beginning.

Contact Envision RISE for more information about how we can assist in building and maintaining efficient and ethical hiring practices and processes.

Our evolutionary platform helps companies create a powerful integration and understanding of the relationship between the organization and the workforce. Envision RISE empowers your people to drive continual change and innovation through effective strategy and transformation.


Ethical Hiring Practices

Ethical Hiring Practices: Building a Robust Workforce in the Modern Employment Era

By Staci Hegarty, M.Ed., COO

The job vacancy rate in the US is currently 5.4%, higher than the average of 3.55%. Unemployment is at a nearly 50 year low, at 3.7%, By 2030, all Baby Boomers will have reached the traditional retirement age of 65, leaving more job vacancies. Organizations are struggling to fill existing vacancies, especially in healthcare and technology https://www.bls.gov/ooh/most-new-jobs.htm. To fill critical roles, it may be tempting to rush through the hiring process or even cut corners to ensure adequate staffing levels.

Ethical hiring practices not only lead to increased job performance, but also to greater employee satisfaction and retention. Every company wants to believe that they are honest and transparent when hiring and onboarding a new employee, yet some employees feel that they were not provided with all the information they needed to make a good decision about accepting an offer.

Transparency

It starts with transparency. Over time, job descriptions and the actual job function may become very different. It is necessary to update job descriptions regularly, with a thorough evaluation prior to posting the job vacancy. If the role has been filled by a long-term employee, it is entirely possible that the former employee was doing a lot of tasks that are not outlined in the job description. Sometimes companies may determine that the role should now be split into two separate jobs, rather than trying to find someone new with a broader skill set. Letting a potential applicant know all the expectations will save time and frustration for everyone. Resist the urge to let the sentence “Miscellaneous duties as assigned” do too much heavy lifting in your job descriptions.

Recognize who is “missing from the table.” There is a lot of discussion now about “hiring quotas for diversity.” This is not the same thing as mindful hiring. Recognizing that certain voices are missing from your organization should not result in a quota mindset, but it may encourage your company to expand or change current recruiting practices to increase the diversity of the candidate pool.

Candidate Sourcing

Be proactive in your sourcing of candidates. It is tempting to let technology do the initial screening, and many organizations assume that AI will filter out any human biases. Research shows that because AI uses human input, those biases can remain. Decide at what point in the process humans will be involved in reviewing resumes. If you are looking for greater diversity, it may take a more hands-on effort that requires humans to be involved from the beginning.

Determine the urgency of each hire. Some roles play a more integral part in the day-to-day operations than others. Replacing a salesperson on a team of 50 may not have the same urgency as replacing a staff account on a team of three. This will help your talent acquisition department know where to focus their energies or even bring in an outside recruiting agency.

The Interview Process

Formalize your interview process. Use a standard set of questions for every candidate. Consider forming an interview panel that consists of people from different departments and roles. Make the panel as diverse as possible, not just in race, gender, and age, but also in time with company. Each person will bring their own lived experience to the interview, which will lead to greater insights for both the company and the candidate.

Share your timeline and keep the candidate updated on their status. Whether you are looking to hire in the next month or the next three months, it’s important to let the candidate know what to expect. Even if your projected start date is a few months out, that does not necessarily mean you will lose the candidate if you keep them updated on their status. If you tell the candidate you will be making a decision quickly, give them a date to expect a decision. Do not “ghost” a candidate if you do not plan to proceed with them! Most people would prefer an honest answer so that they can move on with other options. Honesty says a lot about your organization, even if the candidate is disappointed in the outcome of the interview.

Your company’s reputation is more than your marketing campaign. Your hiring process tells potential future employees, and possibly future customers, a lot about your organization. Honesty, transparency, and consistent communication are markers of integrity. A candidate may not get the job, but they will still tell people about the good experience they had during the process. Word of mouth can go a long way in building a reputation outside of your branding.

Contact Envision RISE for more information about how we can assist in building and maintaining efficient and ethical hiring practices and processes.

Our evolutionary platform helps companies create a powerful integration and understanding of the relationship between the organization and the workforce. Envision RISE empowers your people to drive continual change and innovation through effective strategy and transformation.


The Blueprint for Successful Mentorship Programs

The Blueprint for Successful Mentorship Programs in the Workplace

By Staci Hegarty, M.Ed.

Mentorship has long been touted as one of the most effective ways to not only improve employee retention and engagement, but also to create a diverse and expansive pool of internal candidates for future roles. Yet many organizations abandon their efforts at mentorship programs due to a perceived lack of positive outcomes. Giving up on mentorship tells employees that the company is either not invested in their growth and development or does not have the expertise to nurture employee development. In short, it tells employees they would rather hire someone from the outside than work to upskill their existing workforce. Here we outline a blueprint for mentorship to help guide the way.

Creating and executing a mentorship program requires planning and hands-on project management.

Too often it is assumed that the program can “run itself” because mentors are already proficient at their jobs and mentees have already shown high potential. Excelling at a specific job does not always translate into excelling at being part of a mentoring pair. That is like expecting the top salesperson to become a stellar sales manager without training.

It is critical that the desired outcomes and expectations for the mentorship program are clearly established from the beginning. These goals and aims should not come from one person or department, but from a cross-section of departments and roles across the organization. Once the desired outcomes are established, ensure that there are adequate resources available to achieve those goals. This is not just financial resources, but time and talent resources to start, monitor, and maintain the program. If no one is available to lead the program, consider obtaining assistance from a third party. Organizations such as Envision RISE have experts who can take on this responsibility instead of delegating the work internally.

Mindful Pairing: Building Successful Mentor-Mentee Relationships

Be mindful in how you pair mentors and mentees. Avoid pairing people who already have a reporting relationship, otherwise mentorship will devolve into mere training on departmental tasks. Mentorship is about providing professional growth, not remediation or creating an informal management role within a particular department. Leadership succession planning may include the idea of future promotion within the department and may be included as a specific learning opportunity for the mentee within the larger scope of the mentoring program.

Equipping Leaders for Effective Guidance

Train your mentors. Do not assume that someone knows how to be a mentor, even if they are already in a leadership role. Clearly delineate the scope of the program, expectations for time invested each week, and provide a roadmap for topics and deliverables.

Set expectations with the mentees. They need to be an active participant in the mentoring relationship. This may mean they need assistance in learning to clearly communicate their needs, accepting feedback, and building their skill set.

Consistent Progress Monitoring: The Key to Successful Mentorship Programs

Monitor progress frequently. Mentoring programs are not “set and forget”. It requires consistent monitoring and feedback. For example, it may become clear early on that a particular pairing is not working as intended. With open communication, this will be caught early and adjustments can be made to the pairing so that both the mentor and mentee have a good experience.

Stick to your timeline. The program should begin and end on specific dates. Allowing the formal mentoring relationship to drag on will result in complacency for both parties. Extensions to the program can be made if there are good reasons, such as one of the pair being out on extended leave.

Undertaking Mentorship Programs with Care

Continue to follow the mentee cohort throughout their tenure with the organization. When the formal mentoring ends, informal mentoring and sponsorship should take its place. Not every mentee will become a sponsee/protégé, which does not mean they are not an asset to the company. Tracking their career progression will provide data to help assess the effectiveness of the program.

Mentorship programs should not be undertaken lightly. When done well, these programs encourage growth and innovation, and may be a source of previously unrecognized potential. Envision RISE can help craft a mentorship program that fits the needs of your organization. For more information, contact Staci Hegarty at staci@envisionrise.com.


Adapting to Thrive: A Strategic Roadmap for Organizational Resilience in 2024

Adapting to Thrive

A Strategic Roadmap for Organizational Resilience in 2024

By Staci Hegarty, M.Ed.

In today’s dynamic business landscape, where constant change is the norm, organizations must adapt to stay competitive and relevant. However, 50% of change initiatives result in failure, with only a 34% success rate. The critical factor for their success lies in their ability to assess and manage change effectively. As we approach the end of the year, now is the time to complete a comprehensive assessment of your organization’s state in 2023 in order to craft a strategic roadmap for 2024. By examining a range of key components, we are able to determine whether the intended objectives were met and if any unexpected consequences occurred.

This assessment should encompass various critical dimensions and offer a strategic roadmap for tangible results: 

Year-End Review

Gather Employee Feedback

Understanding the perceptions and concerns of employees who experienced the changes is vital. Asana shares a great article on gathering feedback through surveys, interviews, or focus groups offers insights into how employees have experienced and adapted to these changes. Envision RISE offers these services in-depth with an implementation plan.

Document Lessons Learned

Document lessons learned from the change management process. This provides invaluable insights into what went well and where improvements are needed and serves as a foundation for refining future change management strategies.

Review Communication Strategies

The clarity and frequency of communication regarding changes play a pivotal role in change management. Review internal communication channels and tools to help assess the effectiveness of keeping employees informed. This article shares the elements of effective employee communication.

Review Resources and Budget

Review the allocation of resources and budget for change management to ensure that adequate support is available for future change efforts.

Celebrate Successes

Last but not least, acknowledge and celebrate successes and milestones achieved through the change management efforts. This fosters a culture of appreciation and motivation.

A Strategic Roadmap for 2024

The data from the comprehensive assessment acts as the cornerstone for a strategic roadmap, encompassing employee feedback, lessons learned, and communication strategies for organizational adaptability and success. Subsequently, focusing on aligning changes with culture and values, gauging overall change readiness, and evaluating training effectiveness ensures a smooth transition. Future planning, technology assessment, legal compliance, and benchmarking contribute to a holistic approach in steering the organization towards its goals.

Culture and Values

Ensure that changes align with the organization’s culture and value to maintaining a harmonious workplace environment.

Change Readiness

It’s essential to understand the overall readiness of the organization for change. Identifying areas where additional assessments and preparations are needed ensures a smoother transition during future changes.

Training and Development

Evaluate the effectiveness of training and development programs for employees affected by changes so they have the necessary knowledge and skills to adapt successfully to the evolving organizational landscape. Envision RISE provides a series of online professional and personal development courses in the RISE Academy

Future Planning

Develop a plan for strategic change for the upcoming year that involves identifying goals, assessing required change management efforts, and creating a roadmap for managing change. Consider a process and procedure review

Technology and Tools

Evaluate the technology and tools used to support change initiatives. Consider upgrades or changes to better facilitate future changes.

Legal and Compliance

Confirm that changes comply with all legal and regulatory requirements. Reviewing any legal challenges or compliance issues that arose during the year helps mitigate risks. 

Benchmarking

Compare the organization’s efforts with industry best practices and benchmarks for identifying areas of improvement and maintaining a competitive edge. Indeed shares a thorough guide on benchmarking. 

As the year concludes, it’s an opportune moment for a comprehensive assessment of your organization’s 2023 journey, deciphering key components for goal realization and uncovering unexpected consequences. This holistic evaluation lays the foundation for a strategic roadmap, encompassing crucial elements like employee feedback, lessons learned, and communication strategies. Ultimately, this assessment serves not just as a reflective tool but as a forward-looking roadmap, steering organizations through the evolving business landscape with adaptability and resilience in the face of change. For those seeking effective implementation, Envision RISE is a trusted partner to assist on this transformative journey.


The Evolution of Mission, Vision and Values

The Evolution of Mission, Vision and Values

By Staci Hegarty, M.Ed.

We often treat our organizations’ mission, vision, and values as immovable bedrock. In many ways, they are. Yet as the world changes, we must consider that we may need to adjust or expand the goals and aims of our business.

Evolving Envision RISE

This even happens to organizations like Envision RISE, a company that prides itself on offering leading services and training to assist in organizational change and transformation. Founded by IpX, the Institute for Process Excellence, a leader in enterprise transformation, RISE was launched to provide organizational change management (OCM) primarily through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Since 2020, our customer’s found the most success when our partnership kept the lens opened to support all types of organizational change. Of which, successful DEI can become a byproduct of improving legacy policies and procedures along with focused goals and objectives.

Our values have not changed, we believe that companies succeed when their people succeed. That means creating a workplace where all voices are valued, and differences are embraced. Yet the world has changed. The words “diversity, equity, and inclusion” have become a distraction from the core work of centering and uplifting people in the workplace.

Realigning Company Values for Success

Before you start revising anything, it is critical that leaders agree on their values. Not their personal value system, although that will have an impact, but the values of the company. Your values may expand or transform over time. For instance, many companies did not include sustainability as a company value even a few years ago. Now many organizations have begun to prioritize sustainability in their daily operations. The important thing is to verbalize those values in a way that people can understand and support.

Look at your mission statement. Whether it was written one year ago or one hundred years ago, it may need to be updated to better align with your strategic plan. If you need some ideas, this Hubspot blog can get you started.

Your vision statement is about the future, while taking the current state into consideration. Your vision statement will help to guide your strategic plan. If your vision statement doesn’t include your people, your strategic plan will fall short.

You don’t have to do this alone. The experts at Envision RISE can help your leadership team clearly identify the mission, vision, and values of organization through a variety of services, including executive and leadership alignments, assessments, and focus groups.


An image of a Funny Race Car and a Drag Race car with similar paint schemes and sponsor logos. Each car features

Travis Shumake to Honor Father's Upset Win with Tribute Car at Auto Club Finals

TRAVIS SHUMAKE TO HONOR FATHER’S UPSET WIN WITH TRIBUTE CAR AT AUTO CLUB FINALS

NEW YORK, NY (November 7, 2022) — 40 years after his father Tripp’s upset Funny Car win at the 1982 World Finals, Travis Shumake will return to southern California with the same goal. In 1982, the elder Shumake was brought in by Funny Car legend Billy Meyer as a “blocker” to defeat championship contenders Don Prudhomme & Frank Hawley. The single-race deal and Cinderella story ended with Shumake in the finals against Kenny Bernstein after taking out both Hawley and Prudhomme earlier in the day at what would be the last World Finals held at the famed Orange County International Raceway. This weekend at the Auto Club NHRA Finals, Shumake wraps up a successful debut season racing the Randy Meyers owned and tuned Top Alcohol Dragster with the support of Envision RISE, an evolutionary platform that utilizes Organizational Change Management (OCM), Human Resource Management (HRM), and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) to create a powerful integration and understanding between organizations and their workforce.

“Our partnership with Travis has created a direct path for us to connect in a unique way with the NHRA fan base and our clients,” said Envision RISE’s founder and CEO, Joseph Anderson. “Travis has been a huge supporter of our mission and has worked hard to demonstrate his commitment to becoming a top NHRA driver and an advocate for opportunity derived from hard work and respect.”

The second-generation driver will be channeling the spirit of his popular father and the surprise success of his 1982 win with a throwback paint scheme, helmet, and crew uniforms.

“I grew up watching a VHS of my dad’s magical day at World Finals. I still watch it. Regularly. I’m just as proud of his other wins and accomplishments like being in both the Cragar Five-Second Club and the 250 MPH Club but having the TV coverage and interviews make this race special. He’s been gone 23 years this Sunday and his finish line interview with Steve Evans is the only place I can go to hear his voice. I get to hear him, see him, and now I’m hoping my own finish line interview with Amanda Busick. Makes the hairs stand up on my neck.”

“I’m not just here to honor my dad, I’m here to win and wouldn’t mind facing off with one of the drivers in the hunt for the championship. We’ve got the car. Between me, Hunter (Green), Fiona (Crisp), and Matt (Sackman), this Randy Meyer “team B” car has been turning on win lights all season long. If the points stayed with the car this beast would be deep in the points battle.

Shumake grabbed a top 3 qualifying spot in Charlotte and posting a career best semi-final finish at historic Maple Grove Raceway where he won the first two rounds on impressive hole shots. This weekend’s Auto Club Finals will be his 4th national event and a chance for the New York City resident to close out his season on a high note and carry momentum into the off-season as he looks to expand his racing schedule in 2023.

“I’m chasing funding for 2023 just like everyone else but am starting to get excited about the future.” Said Shumake. “Right now I’m just enjoying the opportunity to learn from Randy and drive alongside Julie (Naatas). Add all the marketing help I’ve gotten from Megan (Meyer) into that mix, and you quickly realize I’ve been training under the best in the business all season long. I hope bringing big names like Sheetz and Envision Rise into the sport shows folks I am serious, committed, and certainly no flash in the pan.”

Shumake and the Envision RISE Top Alcohol Dragster will be on track twice on Thursday, November 10, running at 1:45 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. and teams will get a final qualifying run Friday at 2 p.m. Saturday will begin Shumake’s quest for victory with the first round of eliminations at 10:15 a.m.

 

About Envision RISE
Envision RISE was founded as a modern workforce development platform to create a non-divisive integration and understanding of the relationship between the needs of an organization and the requirements of the actual workforce. The platform provides a voice to the individual and a framework critical to long-term business sustainability.


Promoting a Culture of Calm During Chaos

Staci Hegarty, Envision RISE, Vice President of Equity & Inclusion

We are more than two years into the most intense period of change that most of us have ever experienced in the workplace, and for some of us, in our lifetime. After the initial shock, many organizations managed to adapt to life during COVID. Theses adaptations were far from perfect, and we are still working through it and learning from it. There is civil unrest across the US, which will not abate any time soon. The economy is teetering on the brink of recession, with inflation at a 40-year high and gasoline hitting record prices. The “Great Resignation” coupled with low unemployment pushed staffing levels to the breaking point. Many organizations are struggling to find their center. Those that have taken promoting a culture of calm during chaos seriously have been better able to weather the storms.

We are not our best selves right now.

And yet, we have done some of our best change management over the past couple of years. We were so confident in what we believed to be true for so long that we rarely questioned it. When forced to question almost everything, look what we discovered! We can be flexible in our work locations and still get results. We can engage in uncomfortable conversations about topics we were always told were off limits at work, which allows us to learn more about ourselves and our colleagues. The economic issues we experience are not in a vacuum; we are an inextricably connected global economy. Finally, we can demand better from our workplace cultures, or we can find a better workplace.

For those waiting to “return to normal,” I have bad news for you. There is no going back. The last few years exposed many truths about our workplaces and how we are affected by that culture. Crisis shows us our true selves.

Amid chaos, what was the prevailing emotion at your company? Did you find out that your organization is much more fragile than you realized? Or did you uncover innovation and resilience that was just beneath the surface of everyday life?

Understand more about your company by understanding its DNA. Your company’s DNA structures the ecosystem framework. Upon this framework is built the foundation for your culture throughout the employee lifecycle. When the DNA is fragmented, broken, or otherwise unstable, it creates an imbalance that compromises the health of the organization. Unhealthy organizations struggle to overcome the stress of change, especially unexpected change. The RISE Human Resources Management (HRM) DNA analysis helps identify the areas that need attention and strengthening. Combine the HRM DNA analysis with the Envision RISE comprehensive cultural assessment to create an actionable strategic plan for lasting organizational cultural transformation.


Hiring the Right Chief Diversity Officer the First Time

Staci Hegarty, Envision RISE, Vice President of Equity & Inclusion

Most people with the responsibility of hiring new employees have had at least one experience with a “bad hire.” I don’t love that phrase, it somehow places blame on no one and everyone without encouraging any accountability within the process. But for lack of a better phrase, I’m going to use it.

Bad hires are expensive for the company and the culture. Salary, benefits, maybe relocation, and training are all sunk costs for every new employee. The hope is that the new employee will contribute to the organization in a way that is productive, thus justifying these costs. A new employee likely left another job to accept this opportunity. They accept that there are costs to a new job, even if it is a higher salary. For a while, everyone is investing, and no one is really seeing dividends. Most of the time the investment pays off and the new hire works out.

When they don’t work out, there are consequences for everyone. Not just the monetary output from the company, but what a bad hire can mean in the long run. An underperforming employee often comes with a negative attitude, which has an impact on colleagues and customers. That negativity can spread quickly to employees who used to be contributors. There are expenses that are difficult to quantify, such as lost productivity during the initial training and learning period. Most projections are that when a new hire doesn’t work out, it is often a cost of more than $100,000 to the company in losses.

What happens when a “bad hire” is your Chief Diversity Officer (CDO)? The field of diversity, equity, and inclusion is notorious for high turnover and burnout. The qualifications for the role are often unclear. What kind of degree should the person hold, if at all? How many years of experience are appropriate (hint: stop looking for the “10 years of experience” unicorn, there aren’t many of us who meet that requirement)? For many organizations, this is a new role, with a vague job description, minimal budget, no staff, and a reporting structure that can be stifling for a DE&I expert to execute their duties. Yet the expectations for measurable, immediate change are high (if not impossible).

While sometimes they are reviled, other times they are encumbered with unrealistic expectations of patience, compassion, and forgiveness. A bad hire in this role can set your DE&I efforts back more than not having created the role in the first place.

Everyone in your organization is watching your CDO. They set the tone for what the cultural shifts will look like. They are responsible for the psychological safety of your employees, often while sacrificing their own. While sometimes they are reviled, other times they are encumbered with unrealistic expectations of patience, compassion, and forgiveness. A bad hire in this role can set your DE&I efforts back more than not having created the role in the first place. Before you hire, take the time to create a detailed and robust job description. Build a budget for the role, including a salary which is commensurate with the responsibilities. Take the time to vet any internal candidates thoroughly. Sometimes an internal hire makes perfect sense, other times it may not. This is not the time to be in a hurry to close the job requisition.

Finally, the entire leadership team needs to be aligned in their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Your Chief Diversity Officer will be a member of the leadership team and must be viewed as such by his/her/their peers. If the rest of the team isn’t ready, take the time to work through it. This is where a third-party can help with an Executive Alignment program. These programs are reasonably short but can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your leadership team and your DE&I efforts.

Adding a Chief Diversity Officer to your organization is ideal for establishing a culture of belonging. Invest the time, money, and effort to do it well the first time.

Staci Hegarty (she/her), M.Ed.

Envision RISE, Vice President of Equity & Inclusion