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A Feeling of Home


With society barreling into the New Normal, there are “norms” of human behavior that transcend change and continue to influence our approach to leading others.

One example is a person’s desire to feel that they belong, a revered sense of place grounded in an authentic, emotional connection to a shared identity or purpose. A feeling of home.

My question is: How do you create a feeling of “home” for your new talent?

Time-frames, training facilities, curriculum platforms, and delivery techniques will vary greatly among businesses, occupations and between industries. In the New Normal many Day Ones will be a virtual experience, utilizing any number of available platforms.

Regardless of size, location, or method deployed, your individual program is designed to enable new talent to perform. It may even generate a healthy sense of empowerment.

Is it enough to inspire new talent to engage? Perhaps, if there is enough attention paid to the details that appeal to a person’s desire to belong, to discover their sense of place. It is a delicate balance and everyone’s journey will be unique.

In the Spirit of Small Gestures

Consider what you do to attract new clients, customers, or become a preferred choice over your competition. Then consider what steps you take to retain loyalty once a choice has been made.

This spirit should carry over into efforts to On-Board your new talent. Creating a sense of place doesn’t have to cost much, it just has to show how much you care.

For example, we utilized an exercise wherein new talent introduce themselves and identify their favorite snack or candy bar. Later, when the group returned from lunch, they found their favorite snack or candy bar at their seat.

When we asked the group, “How did this make you feel?”, one of the new team members burst into tears, “No one has ever cared this much” was all she could say.

If your On-Boarding is facilitated virtually, over-night delivery is a great option to communicate the same message: “I was listening, heard your preferences, care about you, and thought you might enjoy (this)”.

A Whole New World

If a facility tour is part of your itinerary, consider moving it forward. There is science to support numerous options, but I prefer to manage this process through the eyes of new talent.

After surveying several months of On-Boarding participants, it was discovered that for an overwhelming majority, one of the first things they wanted to do on their first day was see the property.

We were asking “Are you proud to be here?” and realistically, the new talent was responding “I don’t even know where I am”.

Once we moved the facility tour earlier, we could incorporate knowledge connections throughout the cultural, brand, and service values portions of the presentations. Learning retention improved . . . visual evidence helped to make sense of the brand elements and their practical applications.

Share Stories from the Road

Storytelling opportunities work well from a location where the storyteller feels most comfortable and may even be incorporated into your facility tour if practical.

This worked in our favor at a large luxury resort that featured numerous restaurant outlets, outdoor vegetable gardens, Golf Club, and a Spa. Those individual operational leaders, while extremely confident in their areas, did not carry the same confidence to a presentation in a classroom setting.

So, we took the show on the road. Food & Beverage Director in a restaurant, Chef in the garden, Director of Golf on the practice tee, and Spa Director in the Spa. Each professional was in their zone and delivered relative background and stories with a natural confidence.

If a tour is not part of program itinerary, or if you are On-Boarding virtually, commit to having Senior Leaders share their personal stories. You will be amazed at the impact a career path can have on someone just starting out.

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