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Coaching And New Employees Shortening The Ramp To Productivity Transcript
 

Coaching And New Employees Shortening The Ramp To Productivity Transcript

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One of the biggest challenges for any manager is to rapidly and effectively integrate new workers into the workforce....

One of the biggest challenges for any manager is to rapidly and effectively integrate new workers into the workforce.

This show discusses how professional coaching can expedite the on-boarding process by helping new hires strengthen core skills and adjust to the company culture.

Guests

* Joanne Dustin, Executive and Career/Life Transition Coach

* Dr. Michael O'Connor, Thought Leader

* Sue Schaefer, Certified Coach

Summary

Research shows new hires who were put through a structured onboarding program were more likely to remain with their company three years after being hired. Other studies show 90% of companies believe employees make their decision to stay within the first 6 months.

But what role can professional coaches play in reducing attrition and keeping new hires onboard?

From increasing employee overall engagement to motivating new hires for success, our guests discuss how coaches can keep employees focused, productive, and meeting expectations.

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    Coaching And New Employees Shortening The Ramp To Productivity Transcript Coaching And New Employees Shortening The Ramp To Productivity Transcript Document Transcript

    • Insight on Coaching Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript Prepared for: Prepared by: IEC: Insight Ubiqus Reporting Educational Consulting
    • Time Speaker Transcript 0:26 Tom Floyd Welcome to Insight on Coaching. Insight on Coaching explores the many facets, flavors and sides of the emerging Professional Coaching field. I’m Tom Floyd, the CEO of Insight Educational Consulting and host of the Insight on Coaching radio show. Today’s show focuses on the on-boarding process. In other words, how professional coaching can expedite the on-boarding process by helping new hires strengthen core skills and adjust rapidly to the new culture, environment, processes, and people that surround them. Well to prepare for this show, our research team did its usual searching to see what interesting tidbits of information were out there related to onboarding. Now our team came across some interesting facts that were summarized in a white paper published by SilkRoad Technology titled Successful Onboarding: How to Get Your Employees Started Off Right. Check some of these out: Research at Corning Glass Works revealed that employees who attended a structured orientation program were 69% more likely to remain with the company after three years than those who did not go through the same program. Another study conducted at Texas Instruments showed that employees whose orientation process was carefully “attended to” reached “full productivity” two months earlier than those whose orientation process was not. In yet another study, Hunter Douglas found that by upgrading their onboarding process, they were able to reduce their turnover from a staggering 70% at six months, to 16%. These changes also translated into improved attendance, increased productivity, and a reduction in their damaged-goods rate. At Designer Blinds, an Omaha based manufacturer of window blinds, upgrading the onboarding process played a central role in reducing turnover from 200% annually to under 8%! A 2003 study by Hewitt Associates demonstrating the connection between effective onboarding and engagement revealed that companies, who invested the most time and resources in onboarding, enjoyed the highest levels of employee engagement. 2 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 2 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 3:54 Tom Floyd In yet another benchmarking study published last year by the Aberdeen Group, in surveys and interviews with senior executives in the human capital management community conducted in partnership with the Human Capital Institute, 90% of companies believe their employees make their decision to stay at the company within the first six months. The same study also indicated: In 2005, 60% of companies did not have a formalized onboarding process compared to 24% in 2006. There were pressures to implement an automated onboarding process, pressures including: improving time to productivity, improving retention rates, and improving customer satisfaction. Well it’s clear from these studies that the importance and value of getting the onboarding process “right” is high – but what role can professional coaching play in the on boarding process? Discovering the answer to that question is our goal on today’s show, and we’ve got three guests to help us with that So let me give everyone a quick overview of our three guests on today’s show: Dr. Michael O’Connor, Joanne Dustin and Sue Schaefer. I will start with Michael. Dr. Michael J. O’Connor is an internationally recognized thought leader who has contributed several different types of breakthroughs for producing higher personal, group/team, and organizational performance as well as purposeful fulfillment. He is often referred to as a practical, problem-solving visionary. He is called upon daily to provide his expertise in the areas of personal, group, and organizational behavior. He has dedicated his life to helping others, of all walks of life, positions, and types as well as levels of organizations, through his speaking, coaching, consulting, training, writing, and published resources. Michael has authored several books, including Managing By Values and The Platinum Rule. In 2005, Michael introduced The Hiring & Developing Winners Process; The Online Total Personal Global Profiles System (GPS); and co-authored The Leader Within. Welcome to the show Michael. 4:56 Michael Thank you, Tom. O’Connor 3 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 3 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 4:57 Tom Floyd Our next guest, Joanne Dustin. Joanne Dustin is an executive coach, a career/life transition coach, and an organizational development consultant with over 25 years experience in the industry, most recently as the Director of Career Development for Keane, Inc., an information technology and management consulting firm headquartered in Boston, MA with over 10,000 employees located in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and India. Joanne designed, developed and administered Keane’s Leadership and Organizational Review program incorporating succession planning, talent management and executive coaching. She has been a featured speaker at conferences and professional associations, and has authored many articles, most recently co-authoring, with Elizabeth Black, “The Career Collaborators Program in Action”, published in the March, 2007 issue of OfficePro magazine. She is currently writing her first book: “Life Beyond I.T”., featuring stories of people who have left the corporate I.T. world and are finding passion and purpose in their lives through new careers. Welcome back to the show Joanne. 5:55 Joanne Dustin Thank you Tom. 5:56 Tom Floyd And our last guest, Sue Schaefer. Sue Schaefer is a partner with JivaroCXO, a performance-based executive search firm. JivaroCXO “onboards” executives to help position them to deliver results in the first 90 days of employment and beyond. As a former Fortune 100 company officer, Sue has more than two decades of senior management experience. She has collaborated with renowned leadership coach Marshall Goldsmith to implement new workplace partnering and career development programs across her 500-person organization, was coached personally by Marshall early in her executive career and is a certified Marshall Goldsmith, LLC coach. Welcome to the show Sue. 6:34 Sue Schaefer Thank you, I’m happy to be here. 4 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 4 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 6:36 Tom Floyd On today’s show, as with all of our shows this season, is going to be a group discussion. I’m going to pose questions to all three of you and as a panel to get your thoughts as a group. And the first question that I wanted to start out with, a very big picture question and what that question is: when people hear the term “onboarding”, what do you think that term means to most people? In other words, how would you define what onboarding is? Sue, let’s start with you. 7:05 Sue Schaefer I would say to me onboarding is really any process that will help facilitate a new employee to be getting set up to succeed in that particular position. So it would include acclimating them to the environment, to the politics, to the processes, and all the normal HR procedures that need to be dealt with in employment. 7:32 Tom Floyd Okay. Michael, anything you would add? 7:35 Michael No, I think it basically is looking at culture fit, the fit with the job and the fit with the O’Connor person you’re reporting to as the three key elements. 7:46 Tom Floyd So job, the person you’re reporting to and just kind of the fit within the culture and the environment? 7:51 Michael Yes, the culture is the most important obviously. O’Connor If you don’t fit in the culture, nothing else matters. 7:55 Tom Floyd Okay, got it. Joanne, anything you would add? 5 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 5 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 7:58 Joanne Dustin Well said, both Michael and Sue. And in addition sometimes surreptitiously we want the new employee to be as productive as possible as quickly as possible, among all those other things, but bottom line is the bottom line. 8:16 Tom Floyd And do you find that there’s a little bit of irony in the fact that you want them to be … or companies, I should say, want them to be productive as quickly as possible, yet the onboarding process takes time? 8:27 Joanne Dustin Yes. And in many companies they want to give as little time to that as possible and get on with things. 8:34 Tom Floyd Yes, they just kind of want folks to hit the ground running, so to speak. 8:38 Tom Floyd Well, in general, and I’ll continue with you, Joanne, on this one, why is onboarding a hot topic right now? 8:46 Joanne Dustin Ah, that’s a great question. In part because of the unemployment rate being so low and the number of people who have been thinking about leaving their organizations are anticipated to act on that within the next year. They say 50% of people are going to look to find other job opportunities this year. 9:11 Tom Floyd Holy cow, 50%? 9:13 Joanne Dustin Yes. 9:14 Tom Floyd And in your experience, what are some of the reasons for that? Why are … is that half of the folks in the U.S., is that global? 6 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 6 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 9:22 Joanne Dustin Well, it’s … the numbers relate to the U.S. 9:25 Tom Floyd Okay. 9:27 Joanne Dustin This is from Business Wire recently, and they … I think it’s the rate, I mean I’m not quoting them, this is my assumption. 9:38 Tom Floyd Okay, got it. 9:39 Joanne Dustin I’m thinking that it’s because of the way they’ve been treated, since the situation was very different when there was an oversupply of talent and organizations had some latitude to be not as caring and not as nurturing of people’s careers as they may have been in the past. And people have had to do more with less, there’s been so much competitive pressure among organizations that they’re looking to cut costs wherever they can, and in part that’s driven salaries down. So they’re feeling that hit financially as well as in terms of their futures, what their career opportunities are within their organizations. 10:30 Tom Floyd Interesting. Sue, anything that you would add? 10:33 Sue Schaefer Actually Joanne, you said that very, very well. I think really it comes down to the two points in terms of attracting and retaining for all the reasons that you just outlined. 10:45 Tom Floyd And do you find … and I know this came up a little bit on some of our shows a few weeks ago when we were talking about the differences in generation … do you find that what it takes to attract talent and retain it, are those consistent across generations, for example, millenials versus baby boomers, or are they a little bit different too? 7 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 7 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 11:07 Joanne Dustin I’ve actually found – I don’t have a lot of empirical data on this per se, but what I personally found is that yes, it does, it varies by generation. What I’m finding with the baby boomers is basically they want to make sure that the time that they have left in the work force is gratifying, satisfying, they’re doing something good that they can feel good about and that they’re also making the right amount of dollars to help them continue into retirement. And then people just entering the work force, I’m seeing much more of a view of a much more altruistic view of wanting to help the world and making sure that what they’re doing for the majority of their time is something that is more fulfilling on a global scale. 11:51 Tom Floyd So really making a difference. 11:52 Joanne Dustin Yes. 11:53 Tom Floyd Now Michael, anything that you would add in terms of why onboarding is such a hot topic right now? Michael, are you still there? It looks like he may be calling back in here. We’ll go ahead and move on to the next question real fast, and I know we’re about ready to go to break. But just to kind of start the conversation, what are some things that you’re seeing that organizations are doing wrong in the onboarding process? Sue, let’s start with you. 12:24 Sue Schaefer I think the biggest problem that I’m seeing in the organizations that are actually doing and implementing an onboarding process is that they’re taking an approach of ‘one size fits all’, and just implementing one major onboarding process and assuming it’s going to work for your front line employee all the way to your executive. 12:44 Tom Floyd And finding that kind of cookie cutter type of approach really isn’t going to work necessarily the same way for all levels within that organization? 12:52 Sue Schaefer Exactly. 8 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 8 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 12:53 Tom Floyd Got it. But I want to explore that further, let’s go ahead and go on pause right now. I’m hearing the music for our commercial break. Stay tuned everyone. More about the onboarding process when we return. 15:42 Tom Floyd Welcome back to Insight on Coaching. For those of you just joining us today, today’s show focuses on the onboarding process, and what role coaching can play in that process. And when we left off we were talking a little bit about what some organizations are doing wrong in the onboarding process. And Sue, you had mentioned that a lot of companies tend to take a ‘one size fits all’ type of approach, and that that’s not necessarily a good thing to do. What are some things that, if we take two different roles, like executive versus individual contributor, when we think of the onboarding process, what are some things that should be done differently in each of those two roles? 16:22 Sue Schaefer Well I think some of the success that I’ve seen in companies that have done a more customized approach is for instance on the executives is that they’ve looked at why people are failing in these new jobs. You know, often they can … I think it’s close to 60% of the executives fail within the first 18 months of their job. 16:40 Tom Floyd Wow. 16:41 Sue Schaefer And the reason for that is really a lack of clarity around the expectations of the job, and adjusting to the way that work gets done in that new company and also making sure you know how to really use the political acumen that you’ve developed through your career in that particular organization. So the companies that I’ve seen that have approached those problems and customized an onboarding approach for the executives is that they’ve actually used coaching in the first 90 days of the executives’ career with that company to help really understand and align expectations across all of the stakeholders, for instance, of the business. Because often you have … the CEO would have a particular expectation of the person that is different than the peers and different than the subordinates, and obviously all of those people are going to determine whether that person is … 9 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 9 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 17:33 Tom Floyd Ultimately successful. 17:34 Sue Schaefer Yes. So people when they use that executive coaching to go in and actually work with that person, it acclimates them very quickly, gives them a lay of the land so they’re able to really focus on their priorities very quickly, whereas more of an individual contributor or a front line person, for instance, sometimes that has more to deal with some of the skill building and making sure they have the right skills in place, but also a lay of the land from how work gets done is very important as well, depending on how cross- functional that particular position would be. 18:06 Tom Floyd Okay, got it. I definitely want to come back to many of those points, particularly around how coaching can be helpful for example in learning the culture and getting the lay of the land and things like that. But Michael, I want to turn to you now, from your perspective what are some of the things that you’re seeing that organizations are doing wrong in the onboarding process? 18:29 Michael Well, most of the organizations are so quick to fill slots that they don’t really do a O’Connor sound job in making sure that they have a good fit of the person in the first place. And we know that research and authors of books like “Top Gun” has talked about that. And basically 75% of all hires are mis-hires, we’ve seen that repeatedly, and that doesn’t change, it hasn’t for decades. And so one of the things is really first making sure that the individual, they have a clear set of expectations about role, priorities in terms of key results as well as the critical task for achieving them. And then doing a sound job in terms of both capabilities and the motivations that are required for that. Most people I found in this business they are pretty good in looking at capabilities required for performance, but they have a very limited and naïve notion of the kind of motivations that fit both a position as well as for a culture. 10 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 10 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 19:31 Tom Floyd One interesting thing that I’ve seen in some of our research referred to the criticality of the first 30, 60, 90 days, for example. And they use the analogy of the duck, how a baby duck will imprint on its mother so quickly at the earlier stages in life. Are there almost some similarities there as well, in terms of when I think of motivation, for example? You want to capitalize on new hires’ motivation in the beginning to keep it going? 20:04 Michael Well, the very first day we say is critical in terms of the performer with their O’Connor supervisor, and so we use the tool called the ‘top choice tool’, and what we do is after the orientation program occurs on the very first day, is you meet with them and look at what are your key strengths so you can capitalize on them in having success, and be satisfied in that job starting on day one. And also, what are the key improvements required for ongoing improvement, to indicate there is a performance culture. Because you never get that opportunity again. If you wait till three, six, nine months later to start identifying performance issues, rather than indicating from our assessment indicate there is an upside opportunity for improvement for you, and this is a performance culture at the beginning of day one, then there is no resistance when you bring that back up later, so that’s a very important thing in terms of developing a positive productive communications and the person seeing that this is a job as well as an environment in which they are expected to grow, but they also can have a winning career. 21:08 Tom Floyd Interesting. Joanna, I want to turn to you next, and when we think about what some of the typical activities, processes, tasks, things like that, that the “average company” includes in its onboarding program, in those first few days, in your experience are we talking about pretty basic things like orientation, human resources policies and procedures, basic information about the company and training, blah, blah, blah? 11 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 11 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 21:37 Joanne Dustin Absolutely. You know, it’s been the bailiwick of HR for a long time, and were much focused on filling out the right forms and signing your name on all of the forms. And being sure that they knew where their office or desk was, and not … they would provide some canned information about the company, and if the people coming on board were really lucky, they got to meet with some senior level executives. More often than not, that was done in the larger organizations by video. So there wasn’t … it was pretty cut and dried, and people came to expect that in onboarding, and they come in with the attitude “I have to go through this, but I’m really not going to learn anything here”. 22:32 Tom Floyd So it’s certainly not something that a lot of people are looking forward to in terms of it being highly exciting or engaging, for example. 22:40 Joanne Dustin Yes. Sadly, yes. 22:42 Tom Floyd Now, what are some of the things that you’re seeing more cutting edge companies starting to change or integrate into their onboarding programs to kind of move away from that view? 22:51 Joanne Dustin There’s a lot of exciting stuff. There’s the bleeding edge stuff that IBM does, you probably know about that. Because the company that provides the software they’re using is out in your area. And they’re doing a lot of virtual, I don’t know what you’ve heard about this, but they have … 23:13 Tom Floyd I have heard about … 23:15 Joanne Dustin I know you’ve heard about second life. 23:16 Tom Floyd I’ve heard some, but if you can go ahead and give some examples, that would be great. 12 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 12 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 23:18 Joanne Dustin Sure. Well, IBM has four programs they’ve launched or in the process of launching. One of them is in China, and they’re using this tool to bring people together virtually pre-employment. They’re going to be hired, they’ve already gone through the process of selection, but they’re not officially onboard with IBM yet, but they’re starting a community before the fact to start to inculcate the culture, to what Michael was talking about earlier. 23:48 Tom Floyd So they’re courting them before they’re actually … before they went on the job, before they’ve actually started. 23:53 Joanne Dustin Yes. 23:54 Tom Floyd And are people excited about that, or are they resistant towards that? And what I have seen about that program, it’s coming back to me now, is that one theme they were playing upon was that people are actually very excited and start to do research about the company, things like that … 24:12 Joanne Dustin Yes. 24:13 Tom Floyd … Before they start their new job anyway, and this just kind of helps fuel that. 24:18 Joanne Dustin Exactly. 24:20 Tom Floyd Got it. 24:20 Joanne Dustin Exactly. Another one in India, where they’re providing some support to them to simulate projects. So when people have come on board and they’re excited to get going, if they’re not already assigned to a specific project, they can jump right in and do these simulated projects and gain some experience that way. 13 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 13 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 24:43 Tom Floyd So it’s almost like a safe environment for them to practice. 24:45 Joanne Dustin Yes. 24:46 Tom Floyd Oh, fantastic. 24:47 Joanne Dustin And then they have another that they’re launching that involves, to what Sue was speaking about earlier, about the older population. They refer to them as the aging IBM’ers. I think they should probably get away from that label. 25:02 Tom Floyd Probably. 25:04 Joanne Dustin Again the same thing, using the virtual environment to connect them in a mentoring relationship with some people who are coming onboard. 25:12 Tom Floyd Now that actually, I’m glad you brought up mentoring, because that was on my list of things to bring up today. So mentoring and coaching, at least with my consultant hat on, I hear use those terms synonymously sometimes, and it drives me crazy, personally. But from my perspective, I saw a very useful table that someone on our team shared with me, that I felt summarized the difference between mentoring and coaching nicely, because to me there is definitely a difference. And what that table basically said is that a mentor shares his or her experience of the way something is done. So in other words, this is what I found worked for me, as I partner with someone to help them learn the ropes. And as all of us know, a coach works with someone to identify goals and areas of growth, now here’s something you’d like to focus on and more or less gently guide them down an overall path of self-realization, self-realization definitely being key, where the person who is being coached kind of learns on their own, based on what’s inside of them, this is what will work for me. So if we talk first about mentoring, are you finding the companies – it sounds like you are – are including mentorship programs as part of the onboarding process? Sue, what are your thoughts? 14 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 14 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 26:30 Sue Schaefer I have seen some companies do, include mentoring programs, mostly with more of the accelerated development programs, and also involved more in the succession. So when people are changing jobs within a particular company, I’ve seen the mentorship. But I haven’t seen a tremendous amount, although it sounds like IBM might be doing that around actually assigning a mentor to a new employee outside of an accelerated development program. 26:59 Tom Floyd Michael, any thoughts? 27:01 Michael Two types of mentoring I’ve seen and working class the definition of mentoring is O’Connor really focusing on personal growth versus coaching me for performance improvement, meaning that in the mentoring relationship the client decides and in coaching performance, the manager ultimately decides based on the performance level. But we look at mentoring in terms of it, as it relates to guidance for success, especially younger employees around a company’s cultural or values expectations, and taking individuals who are known to be highly aligned with those values and then matching them up with individuals that they can help them guide them in the direction that they’re going to get good results consistent with their career expectations. And the other would be in terms of different roles which would take individuals who are higher performers that wanted to assist others to aspire to that, almost like an apprenticeship type relationship. 27:58 Tom Floyd So the ones, the people who are the exemplars, really kind of demonstrate the culture and the values well. And coming back to the imprinting thing, trying to get folks kind of paired up with for some of the same reasons. 28:08 Michael Right. O’Connor 28:09 Tom Floyd Okay. Well, I’m hearing the music for the next break. Let’s go ahead and go on pause. More on the onboarding process when we return, stay tuned. 15 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 15 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 31:16 Tom Floyd Welcome back to Insight on Coaching. For those of you who just joined us today, this show focuses on onboarding, and the role that coaching plays in the … or can play, I should say, in the onboarding process. Where we left off before our last break, we were talking a little bit about mentoring versus coaching and the role that both can play in the process, and I want to go ahead and move on to a conversation about coaching that really is kind of the meat of what we want to get at in today’s show. And the question that I have for the three of you is a two part question. Part one of the question: are you finding that more companies are starting to integrate coaching into the onboarding process, is part one. And part two is: what are the business reasons or what value do you think that companies are expecting to experience in doing so? So what’s the business case that kind of sells them on wanting to integrate coaching into the onboarding process? Joanne, let’s start with you. 32:15 Joanne Dustin I think they recognize the value in coaching in general, but I don’t think they really understand coaching. And in many cases they’re looking at coaching as being skills focused, how to get somebody up to speed on performing those tasks that they’re going to be asked to do, rather than in the broader context that we spoke about earlier, that we all recognize as being so important in terms of the culture, in terms of the political structure and how to navigate it, and in terms of how they fit within the organization. From the – part of what I do is focus on employee engagement – and I think it’s really important, and this was touched on earlier as well, that people are engaged early on. Michael, you said on the first day – absolutely. Even maybe before the first day, because I think the whole process begins during the recruiting process. When I was at Keane, we learned that. We had a huge influx of new consultants coming into the organization and being in the highly competitive world a few years back for talent, what they recognized was the relationship began – we had our own recruiters internally – the relationship began with them. And we encouraged them to maintain that relationship after the person joined the company as well. 33:50 Tom Floyd So the recruiter actually stayed in touch with them once they were hired. 16 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 16 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 33:52 Joanne Dustin Yes. 33:54 Tom Floyd That’s a great idea, because it is kind of like that’s your initial point of contact into the company, almost like your security blanket a little bit. He walks you through the process, so from a human being perspective that makes total sense to me. Michael, anything that you would add in terms of what the business reasons are, or kind of the business case that the companies who have decided to integrate coaching into their onboarding process, what is the business case that really sells them on that? 34:23 Michael Well, as Joanne said, my experience is, and the research I’m familiar with, is simply O’Connor trying to get better results, and unfortunately, I think they focus on capabilities, as she also mentioned, not on motivations that drive that. And it seems to me another opportunity that they’re missing here is around the concept of retention, is you gain additional commitment of the employees to the organization, then they will get better results because they’ll reduce that loss cost of valued employees, which is usually about three to twelve times of what you’re paying them, both compensation and benefits. This should entail their costs, so that’s a huge area, but again the work that I’ve done with like Ken Blanchard and others in situational leadership, we’ve written about in our book, “The Leader Within”, indicates that most managers are not really effective coaches. And in fact most coaches and internal consultants that are hired as internal coaches aren’t very effective there either. And that’s for the same reasons, that in effect a coach involves different motivations and capabilities itself. 35:26 Tom Floyd And what are some of the things that an internal coach, just kind of along the same lines, would be missing from that component? Because on previous shows, we’ve heard guests definitely share that internal coaches weren’t just as effective as external coaches, if not more effective. From your experience, are you finding that it’s the kind of neutrality and “safety” that an external coach can bring to the situation? Or what are some of your thoughts there? 17 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 17 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 36:02 Michael Well, I think it’s different, whether you’re an internal or external coach, that it must be O’Connor a person whose perceived and actually is a helping, caring type individual. If you’re perceived as a threat, no matter how capable you are, it’s not going to be effective. The difference is, when you’re dealing with executives, at the executive level, they typically are going to be leery of individuals who are internal coaches, and sometimes it’s complicated. When I’m working with a CEO, for instance, or a president, who’s going to coach them on the inside? Everybody reports up to them, so they’re not going to take the risk that is required that an external coach worth their salt would. So there’s that type of phenomenon, but essentially internal coaches, especially at mid-levels and lower levels, can be very effective and very important contributors. We know about half of all managers don’t want to manage. That hasn’t changed again over the years, so having coaches now is another alternate way of going. It supports the managers who are essentially task managers, administrators in some cases, with people who are really going to help improve the performance and reduce the risk of lost employees. 37:22 Tom Floyd And can you share any examples of kind of how you’ve seen when coaching was integrated into the process, of where you’ve really seen a true network? 37:33 Michael Sure, as part of the management system you identify … a manager comes in and O’Connor identifies, okay, here’s the performance of the individual and what level of performance that he’s at, whether it’s a beginning or whether that person is below average, or is average, or above average, or outstanding, for each of the different job requirements as well as for the company values requirements, if they have identified those, and if they have goals in each of these areas, and then it identifies what that performer needs to work on. Then the coach comes into play as the resource to help you develop action plans and to execute those and frees up the manager. And so that’s seen as an asset by the manager who is typically overworked, and also seen as an asset by the performer because they now have the safe relationship with a person who wants them to succeed, who isn’t evaluating them. 38:33 Tom Floyd Got it. Sue, anything that you would add? 18 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 18 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 38:36 Sue Schaefer Well, one thing that I would say is a little more of an intrinsic thing, is a lot of times when people are coming into a position, they’ve obviously replaced somebody else, and I think there’s a lot of garbage that has been kind of laying around from that last person. So often that can create a different set of expectations, and so I think really working on those behaviors and perceptions in that first 90 days is very critical. So when the coach comes in and works with the person, engaging the stakeholders of this person I think is very, very critical, especially when you’re coming into an environment where someone has been toxic to that place. So this can take months to rebuild from that kind of an experience. 39:19 Tom Floyd So in kind of that role as the coach sitting down and kind of asking of a new hire, in this case, what are some of the things that you’re sensing as you step into this role might be going on, and let’s talk about that. To try to “air out” what that garbage is? 39:35 Sue Schaefer Well actually I go in – what I do is I actually go in up front, before the person even starts, and I talk to all the stakeholders of this person. 39:43 Tom Floyd Ah. 39:44 Sue Schaefer The boss, the peers and the employees of that person, and ask, “What are your expectations that this person does? And what advice would you have given what’s happened?” And you kind of get a whole lay of the land that way, so that the person can assimilate that and then say, “Okay, what are my priorities going to be?” 40:01 Tom Floyd And are you typically assigned to a person when you start? Do they select you from a pool of resources they have available? On the show we’ve heard both types of approaches, this situation being a little different though, because they’re new to the organization, new to everything, they might not necessarily know what type of coach might be right for them in that situation, so are you finding that you’re assigned typically, or that they choose you? 19 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 19 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 40:28 Sue Schaefer Actually I’m finding that they choose me for that particular one, but just because there’s different specialties, but it’s something that can be built within the organization itself as well. There’s some real standard things that can be done, it’s just as Joanne and Michael were talking about, people are so time constrained and resource constrained that a lot of times they don’t take time up front to even identify the expectations of the person that they’re hiring, at a detailed level to say, this is what I need from you in 90 days, in six months, in a year. This is what success looks like. 41:01 Tom Floyd Okay, well playing the devil’s advocate a little bit and, Joanne, I want to turn to you with this one. We just talked a little bit about how the coach can help complement the manager or even for those managers who might not have the best interpersonal skills, or who are more task focused, in terms of fostering a relationship with the new hire, is there a danger that the new hire forms a better relationship with their coach than they do with their manager? 41:31 Joanne Dustin That’s a great question, and I would say hopefully not. But I think it depends a lot on the manager. And I would like to think the manager has his or her own coach that’s helping them work on building the relationship, because the responsibility for building a relationship is really with the manager. And they set the stage for that in the very first interactions. Typically they’ve interviewed the person. 42:00 Tom Floyd Right. 42:01 Joanne Dustin Before the fact, so it begins there and then continues on into that first day that we spoke about earlier. 42:09 Tom Floyd So really making developing a relationship with the new hire a priority from a major perspective. 42:15 Joanne Dustin Yes. 20 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 20 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 42:17 Tom Floyd Okay. Well, I hear the music for our last break. Let’s go ahead and go on pause. 44:38 Tom Floyd Let me come back to one point. I believe, Michael, you had mentioned – and Sue, you hinted at this as well – and that was the role or importance of the development plans, or creating development plans in the onboarding process. Is that something typically that all of you are seeing that is really critical to insuring success during those first 90 days so either the employee comes to the coach with that development plan already created or the coach kind of facilitates, they’re in an environment perhaps where that isn’t necessarily there already, the facilitation of creating that plan, that lists some of the goals and things like that for the person to focus on? Sue, let’s start with you. 45:28 Sue Schaefer The one caveat, I would say yes, and the one caveat is I haven’t heard it called development, I mean people are very wary of the term ‘development plan’ because- 45:36 Tom Floyd So it could be an action plan or … 45:38 Sue Schaefer But yeah, looking at this is my first 90 day plan, if you look at the book for the first 90 days and all of that, they show you how you can actually develop the plan for yourself of what you’re going to do, how you’re going to manage your own career in that first 90 days to make the right kind of impressions and deliver the right kind of results. This just formalizes that, and I have seen companies begin to do that, and it’s interesting because I haven’t seen them necessarily incorporate it into the performance management system the way that I’m hearing Michael’s experience. So it would be interesting, Michael, are you seeing them incorporate that? 21 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 21 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 46:14 Michael In all of our clients, it’s a formal part of the process. O’Connor It starts with cascading down from business strategy to business goals and then what pieces of that does an individual own, and as it relates to their position. And so we have constantly these written expectations always at the start, whether it’s the ones I mentioned capitalizing on a person’s talents and areas they need to improve or it’s related to their specific job responsibilities. And so we do a review, an ongoing review of that, and with consequences. It’s a significant portion of those that are in most of the organizations I work at performance improvement pay for performance type, so performance improvement is a key piece of one’s income. 47:09 Tom Floyd And in terms of how the plans are organized, are they organized around competency skills, for example, or does that kind of vary? 47:19 Michael It’s interesting, even in the area, I do a lot in the area of sales management, and O’Connor most of the individuals that – whether they’re sales people or whether they’re top directors of sales, managers of sales – most of the short suits are in the area of their motivations, that get in the way of being effective. Because of these motivations, they don’t develop some of the competencies like we were talking earlier about collaborative problem solving. 47:43 Tom Floyd Right. 47:44 Michael And decision making, and that’s often because of their drive for personal control that O’Connor gets in the way of that. So that’s an example of the two. They mix together, you can’t separate out a human being’s motivational capabilities, one typically affects the other and they need to both be brought under control in terms of written plans. 22 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 22 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 48:04 Tom Floyd Well, and one of the things that our company says too, when we talk about performance in a role, is we say that there are six factors that impact someone’s ability to perform. It’s 1. do they understand the scope, 2. and 3. do they have the knowledge and skills needed to perform the role, 4. do they have the resources they need to perform the role, and the last two, one is motivation and then one is alignment. And so, if they’re not motivated to want to do their job or to succeed in the first 90 days in this case, then their performance is really going to be impacted by that. Well, another question I wanted to ask, and this has come up earlier in the show as well, is around culture, in terms of really integrating into the way things are done in an organization is important. And all three of you definitely highlighted that loud and clear. How could a coach help a new hire adapt more quickly to a company’s culture or environment? What are some of the things a coach would help to facilitate or introduce in that case? Joanne, let’s start with you. 49:10 Joanne Dustin I think helping them to become better observers. I think when they initially go into the organization, their senses are heightened and they are in observation mode, so they gather a lot of information. But they may not know how to effectively process that information, and I think that can be the beginning of that conversation, to help them sort out what they’re seeing and hearing and feeling. 49:38 Tom Floyd So it’s almost like the coach becomes a sounding board and helps them organize all that stuff that with their observer hat on that they’re taking in. 23 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 23 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 49:46 Joanne Dustin Yes, but then also to assure that they continue that observation process, and that they have – and I’ve seen this particularly in the IT community, because many IT people are somewhat introverted, and it’s not as easy for them to be comfortable in one on one communication – so encouraging them to move more in that direction and to try to solicit feedback when they can about how things are going, and to then be able to pull that back into the conversation and process that along with the other observations. So many times initially in an organization you have an idea about what the organization is all about. Sometimes I call it ‘the hype’ that you get at the recruiting process. And then sorting that out into reality can be a somewhat difficult and sometimes painful process. 50:49 Tom Floyd I was going to say, I can imagine that’s disappointing sometimes, if there’s been hype that things are going to be a certain way, and once they’re in behind the scenes, they’re like, wait a minute, I’m behind the curtain now and I’m not seeing or observing the same things. 51:02 Joanne Dustin Yes. 51:03 Tom Floyd Got it. Sue, anything that you would add in terms of how coaching would work with a new hire to help them to adapt to a company’s overall culture? 51:10 Sue Schaefer Yeah, I think Joanne started to touch on this a little bit, I think we can teach them how to have conversations with their stakeholders, and teach them how to solicit feedback and keep that in front of people when it’s appropriate, how to ask the questions, how to ask for specifics. For instance, if a piece of feedback they’re getting is that you’re not empowering me, say, for instance, that’s a common one we always hear about at every job level, right? To be able to ask, hey, what would that look like? What something like that looks like, and then be able to again have an ongoing dialogue with their stakeholders about that, that I tried this, did you see this happen? I mean, all of that begins to help them change their behavior as well as the perceptions of the people around them. But those conversations are very key. 24 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 24 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 51:59 Tom Floyd Well, and that kind of brings me to one last point here, and it’s around definitely related to having the conversations, but it sounds like we’re also talking about helping them establish relationships too, at various levels with their stakeholders, with their managers, with their subordinates, if they have any, with peers. So from your perspective, is that one of the areas of focus you’d recommend to coaches to kind of hone in on as they’re working with someone during this first 30, 60, 90 days? 52:26 Sue Schaefer I actually think that’s one of the most critical points, and getting feedback on who those people are, because what ends up happening is I think we all just naturally gravitate to the people that think like us and that we feel comfortable with, and those may not be the best people that we need to be aligned with in the first 90 days of the business. 52:48 Tom Floyd So if you gravitate towards somebody you might not realize is cancerous, so to speak. 52:53 Sue Schaefer Right. 52:54 Tom Floyd That that cancer or toxin could spread to you and actually impact your view and performance. 52:59 Sue Schaefer Exactly. 53:00 Tom Floyd Okay. Michael, anything along those lines that you would add around the importance of focusing on developing relationships in the organization? 25 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 25 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript
    • Time Speaker Transcript 53:09 Michael Well, yes, and I want to blend both – I agree with what my colleagues have O’Connor mentioned – but one of the things I’d like to go back to is earlier we started the program talking about 50% of all individuals are thinking of leaving in the next year, and that’s a little low from the statistics I’ve seen in other research. And basically in this other book that I co-authored years back, it’s now been introduced in about 24 different countries, about the effort to do so, indicating this is not a United States problem but a global problem, that book was called “Managing by Values”. Most people are not having a winning experience in their organizations, and we found in some research just completed after three years of management training development, that basically people do not leave because of a relationship with their manager, it’s because of the relationship they’re having with the company or the organization. 54:04 Tom Floyd And it’s funny, one of the common things you hear too is that people quit managers not jobs, so what you’re saying is they actually quit the company, because of the relationship there. 54:12 Michael Yeah, they’ll hang in there if they believe that the company is going to do something, O’Connor because they figure that’ll take care of that manager, who will be replaced. 54:19 Tom Floyd Got it. 54:20 Michael But the problem … O’Connor 54:21 Tom Floyd Well, I hate to cut you off, but we are at the end of our show today. A huge thank you to the three of you for being on the show today, it’s been a pleasure, and as always, a huge thank you for your listeners for spending time with us as well. For more information about our show, look us up on the Voice America Business channel. You can look us up on our website, www.ieconsulting.biz, and don’t forget you can download the podcast version of our show in the music store and Apple iTunes as well. Thanks everyone, we’ll see you next week. 26 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 26 Coaching and New Employees: Shortening the Ramp to Productivity Transcript