When you were growing up, did you ever move and have to start at a new school? I did a lot. I actually went to 12 different schools growing up.
People ask me why that was the case in my family, but it’s a little bit of a mystery. My parents were adventurers. I say that my parents were like “hippies” even though they aren’t old enough to be hippies. We just moved a lot and did a lot of things together. We were never very rooted in one place.
Moving meant starting at new schools frequently. Sometimes this change happened at the beginning of the year, but often it happened that we moved in the middle of the school year. There were numerous times that I came into a new school not knowing anyone, usually in a completely different city and location.
If any of you have had this experience before, you may have encountered what I like to think of as the school ambassador: the student in the school who becomes the ambassador and greets incoming students into the school environment.
In my situation growing up, the school ambassador was a wonderful light who was always warm and welcoming. This student was informative and helpful. This student gave you everything you needed to know about your new school and new surroundings.
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When you go into unknown situations, there are a few things you ask yourself.
You need to know even primal instincts:
- Am I safe?
- Is this a safe environment for me?
- Are these my people?
- Do I belong here?
- How do I fit in here?
Growing up, these are the feelings I often experienced coming into a new school.
But now fast forward to the present in the environment of onboarding new hires into your organization.
Here at Learn to Flourish, we create new hire onboarding training programs for organizations often. Looking back at my school years, I can see that there are many things that are similar to starting at a new school in the middle of the year, and starting in a new work or volunteer situation.
Whether you are a non-profit and you bring in volunteers, or you’re bringing in employees to work for your company or organization, these people have a similar need to what I did as a student coming into a new school.
New hires are asking themselves these same questions:
- Am I safe in my new organization?
- Are these my people? Do I belong here?
- What do I need to do now to feel a part of the team?
- What are the next steps for me to do my job well?
In a new hire onboarding, it’s really important that you have the “ambassador” ready to go.
The ambassador in the workplace is very similar to my friend, the student ambassador. There are people who are your organization’s ambassadors. Today we have amazing technology to expand the role of the ambassador within a company.
The research shows that new employees absolutely love a blended approach to their onboarding, which is the process of welcoming them into a new organization.
A blended approach means a combination of offline methods and online methods.
Offline methods include one-on-one coaching from experts, mentoring from others who work within your organization, and traditional classroom training and reading.
Online methods are a fantastic way to onboard your new hire rapidly by using engaging methods like video and interactive eLearning.
I like to think that this entire onboarding approach is the ambassador for your new hires, volunteers, and employees.
For your own new hire onboarding, consider using a blended approach. This means including offline methods like one-on-one and online methods like video. Give comprehensive educational solutions that include company values, cultural elements, right fit, as well as technical components on how to do the job. Set them up for success from day one!
Let your “ambassador” play the role of welcoming your new hires into the fold. Let the ambassador be the encouragement and support they need to do well.
By creating an effective onboarding process and encouraging a team atmosphere, you can rest assured that you’ll be watching key talent grow loyal to your organization for the long run.
We have created a free tool for you to use to help you get started in creating your own Onboarding Ambassador! Grab the Ultimate Onboarding Ambassador Guide here.
How can you make sure that your organization’s “ambassador” is effectively welcoming new hires into your organization? If you are using video in your new hire program, here are a few exciting ways to incorporate online learning into your ambassador program. Review the basics and how new hires feel about the importance of onboarding programs in this resource, too. Plus you can use demonstration videos to quickly and effectively share how-to processes in your onboarding ambassador program.
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