New Year . . .

With less than one month until we close out the year and start fresh, there is a renewed sense of enthusiasm about being organized and productive.  Starting a new year brings the same sort of renewed feelings that new hires bring to their new job, no matter what day of the year it happens to be.

There’s only one problem with the enthusiasm most people bring to a new beginning . . . They make too big of a promise to themselves without the structures in place to support the changes they vow to make.

The obvious example is the gym membership.  You vow to get in shape this year and join the gym.  For the first few weeks of the new year you are able to make it every other day, but soon life happens and because you don’t have structures in place to keep the momentum going, it’s easy to skip your workout.

This year, I started my new year’s resolution to get healthy in November.  I hired a personal trainer and signed up for a cooking class.  Before the rest of the world crowds the gym, I set up sessions with my trainer twice each week for the entire first quarter.  To some, I appear organized, but the reason I set up the schedule is because I know I will need the support to fulfill on the promise I made to myself to get fit.

New hires, and your veterans, make big promises to themselves about what they will be able to accomplish, but rarely set up the structures to support themselves during the process.

Onboarding a new hire is an important time when you can take advantage of the enthusiasm the new hire has for their new opportunity.  Your job, as the employer, is to make sure the support structures are in place to tap into that enthusiasm and keep it going.

In January, I will launch “A Moment with Merit” e-zine.  Each month I will share one small thing you can do during the month to improve on your current Onboarding systems.  As you would expect in any good fitness plan, you don’t eat healthy or workout on Monday and then consider yourself done.  The same is true in Onboarding.  You can’t spend one week with your new hire and then consider the job done.  A little support over a longer period of time will keep people motivated to continue and that’s when you see the result of your continual effort.