Archive for the ‘Employee Engagement’ Category

DEVELOPING HIGHLY ENGAGED EMPLOYEES STARTS WITH GOOD HIRING, but not every STAR interviews well, a little help for them – PART IV










Don’t forget to collect business cards so that you have correct job titles and accurate email addresses for your Thank You Notes. 

REMINDER:  Your Thank You Note will be an important tool for reminding the interviewers about your interview performance (hopefully that’s a good thing) and jog their memories about your qualifications and what you could do for the company and a department.


At the close of the interview be sure to get answers to the following:

  • What will next steps be?
  • When do you expect to make a decision?
  • How will I be notified?





The unfortunate truth is that going into a recession and coming out of one skews compensation levels.   Compensation structures that existed before the recession probably won’t hold during recession – hiring is a supply vs. demand activity – just like any other market and these two factors determine price/salary.   Conversely, the compensation being offered can climb rapidly in a fast moving recovery.  The most recent recovery was excruciating slow, but now as we rapidly approach full employment we are seeing the impact of that on salaries being offered for desirable skills and experience.  Regardless of where we are in an Economic Cycle, it is important to be aware of the demand in the local job market for your skills and experience and monitor salaries being offered.

If you accepted your current job during the last recession or worked through the recession at the same company, you may find your current salary is below market today.  It is important for you to have that perspective and awareness.  If you were “about average” before the recession and managed to hold at that level in a recession job change, a move now should allow for a nice bump in pay – know the local market for your skills and experience.    Part III of this series – Asking Questions  provides suggestions for getting information to help you to evaluate the company and the job vs. your professional needs and goals

As we begin 2018, we have moved away from an employers’ market and the economy is doing well.   The job market has tilted in favor of the employee. with some “skills” already very difficult for employers to find.






Next To Last Thought – Connect the dots for them!


That means, YOU make the link between your skills and experience and the requirements of the job.   BECOME the square peg that fits the square hole or a close facsimile

Success and Failure Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

Don’t expect or wait for the people doing the search to figure out how you are a potential fit for a job’s requirements and can be successful in that job.  They won’t, they’ll move on to another candidate who’s easier to figure out, so carefully connect the dots for them. 

Keep this uppermost in your mind, people seeking to fill positions are pressed for time with the demands of their own jobs combined with the need to review multiple resumes, and then carryon interviews (many of them).  It is very important for a candidate to *connect the dots for recruiters, HR, and managers.  You cannot wait for the people who are hiring to do it.  They are going to go after the candidate who is easy to figure out – the square peg who appears to fill the square whole.

Further, focus on industries, departments or job functions or activities where you have a track record and a story you can tell that will resonate with those involved in the hiring process.  Read job specs carefully to see if you can glean from them where they are hurting.

*Get more info about the company’s & a department’s needs or some specific skills and experience they are focused on in filling the position.  A recruiter should be tuned in to this.  The listing might give you a clue as well.    NOW – when you talk to someone involved in the recruiting process or write a cover letter – you connect the dots for them.  

Create the links amongst your past job titles or individual responsibilities, job successes, and skills.  BECOME the square peg that fits the square hole or a close facsimile – close enough to get to the next step.

You will not always be successful – that’s part of the process, just keep these concepts in mind when you are connecting with people.  Also, remember, your search and being placed in a job may be among the most important things you are currently involved in.  The same sense of urgency does not exist for your cause by the people who are conducting the search.   You need to make it easy for them to decide they want to contact you.


Last thought:  Career change is always difficult.   Ask yourself, is this the correct time (in your life – in the current job market) to do a career change!

Many of those in a difficult job search – meaning they are not “landing” – decide the problem is their career path.  That may not be the problem.  The problem may be the way they interview and their failure to “connect the dots” for the interviewer.   Changing career paths and the jobs for which you interview is certainly not going to fix those kinds of issues.  Maybe it’s time to have someone review your resume and get some interview coaching.   


If career change is something you really want to do, but are out of work and really need to find a job – expend 75% of your effort focused on finding a job in your current career path and the rest on making that career change including doing seminars and coursework toward that goal – for the future.

In pursuing your career change do try to link aspects of your past work experience with the new job options you are exploring when talking to a recruiter or hiring managers,  reference the previous section “Connect the dots for them.”

When the job market tightens, making that career change will become less challenging…….as companies struggle to fill open positions.

……..assuming you’ve set yourself up to be viewed as a viable candidate with some training, relevant course work, maybe an internship, and a difficult to dismiss “Can do Attitude.”

Good luck – next step for you, becoming an ENGAGED, CONTENT, HIGHLY VALUED & PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYEE

Next step for me, back to providing managers and companies with insight and tools to promote employee engagement!

PART I – Preparing for the ‪Interview‬‬‬‬‬‬.

PART II – Now On To The Interview.

PART III, You Ask Questions Now & Get the Info You Need.



Engagement in words

  • Fact 1 – Multiple studies point to a significant relationship between employee engagement and the financial performance of a company.

  • Fact 2 – Management’s policies & approach impact the level of employee engagement.



Feedback essential


The effectiveness of the programs you develop and utilize with new employees to promote engagement will determine

    • The trajectory of those new hires’ success in your organization,
    • The value they deliver to the organization, and
    • How soon they deliver that value

However, one cannot know, with confidence, if these efforts are adequate and accomplish their purpose unless feedback is solicited? It’s as simple as that.


The previous post, of this two part series, provides links to information that is relevant and foundational to this post New Employee Engagement Initiative, Day 1 – Part 1



Create a Questionnaire or online survey, if that capability is an option, with sections devoted to each of the processes mentioned below,

          • Orientation,
          • Onboarding, and
          • Training

These are the critical ones for monitoring and improving the way your company brings new people into the organization for optimal results, i.e. producing engaged productive employees in the shortest possible time frame.

Pay special attention to the goals described for the On-boarding Process.

Reminder:  Make it clear in the survey introduction, that completing the survey is a service that is valued by the organization.  

You might state something like this, “understanding what we are doing well and not so well in bring people into the organization is considered critical to the ongoing success of the organization and critical in identifying improvements to new employee programs.”

In addition to the important goal of learning about the effectiveness of your new employee programs, this process is also establishing, with new employees, your cultural norm of soliciting and receiving feedback from employees about various aspects of the organization’s operations.



This is the employee’s first experience with their new employer. How you deliver the information they need to know will send a message that will start to create an impression – how they see the organization and their relationship with it.


Here is a sampling of questions for Orientation, add others that are appropriate for your organization:

1.  Were the company’s personnel policies and procedures reviewed and explained to you?

– Pay process and procedures
– Vacation, sick leave, other time off
– Legal compliance and the organization’s responsibilities
– Legal compliance and your responsibilities
– Performance Management, goal setting, and the review process, timing etc

2.  Were you shown where to access policies and other information you would need during your employment?

3.  Were the benefits programs clearly explained to you?

4.  On a scale of 1 – 10, with 10 being the highest score, how would you grade the Orientation you received?

5.  What additional information would you have wanted to receive during Orientation?

6.  How can we improve the process?



The Onboarding process that I developed and used was designed to meet what I recognized as the requirements of today’s knowledge organizations with departments “linked” and dependent on one-another to achieve goals, in addition to meeting the needs, wants,  and characteristics of the people who are staffing them today.  See diagram below, Model of a Culture of High Employee Engagement.

The Goals of the On-boarding Process

–  Build work relationships that facilitate cooperation and teamwork

–  Provide the big picture of the organization’s success

–  Provide a picture and explanation of departmental inter-dependencies & interactions

–  Link employees’ jobs to departmental success & organizational success.


Slide1 2

Building Work Relationship

Cooperation and good communications are corporate cultural characteristics that are key factors in creating success for any organization. These characteristics are built on solid work relationships. The inter-dependence of departments on one another is a given in today’s linked business environment. Building good relationships within an organization facilitates the cooperation and communications that keep things moving vs. creating bottlenecks.

Providing new employees with a picture of how the organization defines, achieves, and measures its success.

Understanding the work of one’s organization and how each of the departments and employees fit into the big picture is another building block in developing Engaged Employees – it’s about wrapping meaning and value around what employees do each day.


In following up with new employees, the Onboarding process outlined above was graded as the most beneficial and effective part of the new employee process.   It was credited with creating a feeling of belonging to something important and putting their work into a context that demonstrated its value.


Here is a sampling of questions for evaluating Onboarding: 

1.  Were you provided with an organization chart?

2.  Was the goal of the On-boarding process explained to you?

3.  Were you provided with an overview of the departments within the company and their primary objectives.

4.  Were departmental relationship, dependencies, and interactions reviewed as well?

5.  Were meetings arranged with Supervisors and Managers of other departments?

6.  Which Departments?

7.  Did these meetings occur?

8.  Were introductions made to managers and staff in these departments especially those with whom you will  interact regularly?

9.  Were you able to spend at least 45 min. with each department you visited?

  • Did you learn about the work of the department?
  • Their challenges?
  • Recent successes?
  • Potential interactions with you and your department?
  • Were you introduced to staff, especially those with whom you would be interacting.
  • Did these staff member review their responsibilities and potential interactions with your work?

10.  Did you On-boarding experience achieve the goals as explained to you?

11.  Was the On-boarding process of value to you?

  • How and why?

12.  On a scale of 1 – 10, with 10 being the highest score, how would you grade the On-boarding process?

13.  How might we improve the On-boarding process?



Employees who do not feel competent to do their jobs well, will never become engaged employees

Train & Leave


Here is a sampling of questions for evaluating Training:

1.  How much of your training have you completed?

2.  Was the training you received adequate in preparing you to do all of the functions of your job effectively within the time frame that your manager seemed to expect?

3.  Were you provided with details about the various activities or functions you needed to learn in order to do the job satisfactorily with time frames for meeting learning expectations?

4.  Did the training seem to be a one size fits all approach or more oriented toward your needs, i.e. taking into account your specific knowledge and experience?

5.  Were you given adequate opportunity to ask questions and receive explanations?

6.  Was your training monitored for progress?

7.  Did you receive feedback on your progress and level of achievement?

8.  Was the training orderly, sequential relative to the way the work would be done OR were explanations about sequence and potential “steps” clearly described?

(Oftentimes work cycles are long and training begins somewhere along the continuum of a project’s time line.   When this occurs, you want to be sure the employee understands what came before, i.e. where they are in the process as they receive their training)

9.  On a scale of 1 – 10, with 10 being the highest score, how would you grade the Training you received?

10.  Your suggestions for improving the Training process:


Once surveys are returned, I believe there is great value in conducting a meeting (a video conference if necessary) with those recent hires to review the survey responses and promote a dialogue that can take the organization to the next level in how new employees are brought into the organization.

Such a meeting typically involves employees from several functional areas – another plus.


Beyond the benefits and goals already mentioned for the New Employee Feedback Program , there are additional benefits to be derived in adopting a MEETING FORMAT to review the feedback, they are:

Check markFacilitation of development of a mind set that encourages  building work relationships which tend to create open communication, cooperation, and fosters trust (a basic building block for Engagement),

Check markAttaching value and importance to what employees do (another building block for Engagement,

Check markDefining the behaviors the organization values with action not just words on Mission, Vision, and Values statements,

Check markDeveloping a bond between organization and employees that translates to commitment, i.e. Engagement,

Check markDeveloping employees who think about how work is done and how to do it better, a hallmark of the Engaged Employee.


A TRUE STORY about the outcome of a meeting with new employees to hear their Feedback:

We were discussing new employee experiences with training at our Biotech Company. One of our new techs volunteered that her training had not been very effective and went on to describe why – “the why” she figured out after about 4 months on the job.   The complex process in which she had been training had a 3 – month completion term from start to finish.   She had come in somewhere in the middle of the process and this is where her training had begun.  

No one had attempted to explain this to her and since she had no idea about the process from start to finish, she had no idea about what if anything she needed to know about what had come before her starting point and its impact on the place where her training had begun.  

It wasn’t until she had completed one cycle and was beginning another that she realized there was a serious fault in how the training had been delivered. Her training would have been fully meaningful and better understood had she been given a foundation on which to build her understanding as training progressed.   She suggested at the Feedback Meeting that a flow chart be created to describe all the processes that went into creating the product from start to finish and that each new employee be provided with an overview of the production process as they begin their training and then shown where their training will begin on the flow chart.

This plan was adopted not only in one department, but also in other departments. It resulted in better training outcomes in which new employees reached full proficiency sooner and with fewer errors.  Employee productivity, especially output quality, improved.

There had been an ongoing discussion about how long it was taking new employees in some departments to reach full proficiency, and costly errors were a concern.   Failure to meet deadlines was blamed on under-staffing and staffing was increased with minimal improvement in outputs. Managers were charged with looking into the situation to determine potential solutions, but no one solicited any feedback from new employees about their training – the attitude from managers was – it is what it is.  


If all of the efforts toward improving Engagement are to have the desired positive impact, what is learned cannot end up in a report in the bottom drawer of an HR department cabinet.

The knowledge and information collected  must be shared with other management, followed by back and forth communications on the meaning and value of the information and how it should and will be used.

SPECIFIC ACTION PLANS and timelines for implementation need to be created to address deficiencies and the monitoring and feedback process with new employees as well as other staff needs to be ongoing.

The success of the organization depends on it.

HR departments operating at a high level, are ideally suited to looking at and understanding the organization as a whole, then gathering information on various operational pieces with initiatives such as this New Employee Feedback Forum, and sharing these findings with other management and working with them to identify and facilitate improvement strategies to the various parts that will benefit the whole.   An HR department that is not up to this task, needs to be upgraded with professionals who are.





“…………over 80% of the global workforce is actively disengaged”






Before we move on to New Employee Engagement Initiative Day 1 & New Employee Feedback, a look back to THE HIRING PIECE  

The selection process has to be executed with Employee Engagement in mind, see post Hiring for high levels of Employee Engagement. If the organization has been successful in training managers to identify candidates who are most likely to become engaged employees, you will be well positioned for the next step, actually creating that engaged employee and monitoring engagement and management practices in your workforce through employee feedback.

Why “Management Practices?”  We know employee engagement and management practices are linked, see post Management Practices Impact Engagement.





  • It starts with the programs you create for bringing new employees into the organization, and
  • Continues with monitoring and surveying those new employees about those processes (Feedback), and
  • Monitoring and surveying all employees about their work environment across a range of factors.

Bullet #2 is the primary focus of this post.   However, reviewing some basics will set the stage for the importance of both engagement and early feedback from new employees.

Employee engagement is important because it’s about the value employees deliver and it affects the bottom line. Please see previous post Engagement =s Commitment.

Fact: organizations that collect data on workforce behavior and create reports on engagement have concluded that over 80% of the global workforce is actively disengaged, i.e. unmotivated.

This represents a cost to employers.   The organization is paying a salary for an expected output and outcomes and not getting full value back.

You can extrapolate further and calculate the impact on:

  • product and/or service quality,

  • customer satisfaction,

  • waste & injuries due to errors, and

  • employee dissatisfaction resulting in turnover.

burning money

Understanding the importance of Employee Engagement vs. the fact that today’s organizations are dealing with an Engagement crisis should raise your concern about Engagement levels in your organization and encourage the implementation of initiatives to promote it starting on Day 1 of employment;

  • Develop new hire programs and measure their effectiveness, also
  • measure the engagement of existing staff followed by implementation of remedial programs to improve it.




>>>> Getting feedback on the effectiveness of these programs, also essential <<<<


The effectiveness of the programs you develop and utilize with new employees to promote engagement will determine

  • The trajectory of those new hires’ success and productivity in your organization,
  • The value they deliver to the organization, and
  • How soon they deliver that value

Slide1 2

You can’t know, with confidence, if your efforts are adequate and accomplish their purpose unless you ask for feedback? It’s as simple as that.

If feedback from employees of any sort is avoided in your organization, it is worth asking why this is the case.   I can assure you, the answer to that question will, of itself, be enlightening.


Here are some of the responses I have heard when asking companies why feedback is not solicited from employees.

    •    Employees will expect us to do something with the feed-back  – FAIL
    •    We already know everything we need to know – FAIL
    •    Everything is just fine – FAIL
    •    I’m in charge – FAIL

Is your organization “Feedback Phobic?” What’s the rationale behind it?

There are several very important reasons for soliciting new employee feedback impacting both Employee and Organization Development.   Here’s just one that deserves some attention. It is more focused on the Organization Development side than Employee Development.

Do you often wish there was a way of getting fresh eyes on the efficiency and effectiveness of operations at your organization without having to bring in an expensive consultant?

An excellent source, at the very least a place to start, and more often than not – ignored, is getting feedback about your operations from recent hires.  

These folks are not yet immersed in and married to departmental or organization routines – the way work in done, the processes that are in place. They are seeing things through fresh eyes. The way you wish other employees and managers were able to see things.

These new employees also present an opportunity to learn about the “best practices” which may have been used in the other organizations with which they have been associated – however, new employees are not likely to volunteer such information without some indication that it is wanted. The new employee feedback process I will outline provides the opportunity for communicating that sharing best practices as well as new ideas for improving how work is done is valued and wanted.

You might find long term employees resent the idea that a new employee might have something of value to contribute or especially that management may want to hear what it is.   This is especially true in organizations where the status quo is something to be guarded at all cost, new ideas and ways of working are few and far between and are only entertained from those in managerial roles and with longevity in the organization.   (Sounds pretty awful when it’s written out in plain English doesn’t it?)


Back to the new employee, those first few months on the job, and gathering information about the execution & effectiveness of new employee programs

Those early weeks are the building blocks for what will come later in the way of performance from your new employees, so companies need to know about the effectiveness of the programs they have put into place.

I like to survey employees who have been with the organization for 3 – 6 month and have completed a good part of their training and are “doing the job.”

The “doing the job” piece is critical, since it allows the new employee to evaluate how effective the training has been.

Make it clear in the survey introduction, that completing the survey is a service that is valued by the organization.  State that understanding what we are doing well and not so well in bring people into the organization is considered critical to the ongoing success of the organization and critical in identifying improvements to new employee programs.

Further, I like to include words in the introduction that describe the value of their “new eyes,” their insights into the quality and effectiveness of how work is being done gained during training and their early weeks on the job.   Insights that can be invaluable in reviewing work processes to make improvements.

Once surveys are returned, I believe there is great value in conducting a meeting (a video conference if necessary) with those recent hires to review the survey responses and promote a dialogue that can take the organization to the next level in how new employees are brought into the organization.  Such a meeting typically involves employees from several functional areas – another plus.

Beyond the reasons stated above, there are additional benefits in adopting a regular process for soliciting this type of new employee feedback in a MEETING FORMAT, they are:

Check markFacilitation of development of a mind set that encourages  building work relationships which tend to create open communication, cooperation, and fosters trust (a basic building block for Engagement),


Check markAttaching value and importance to what employees do (another building block for Engagement,


Check markDefining the behaviors the organization values with action not just words on Mission, Vision, and Values statements,


Check markDeveloping a bond between organization and employees that translates to commitment, i.e. Engagement,


Check markDeveloping employees who think about how work is done and how to do it better, a hallmark of the Engaged Employee.


In the next post (Part II), I will provide a step-by-step process that I have used very *effectively to collect feedback (and a TRUE STORY from the process):

*When I say effectively I mean having feedback meetings that have contributed to positive change and created measurable improvement to existing departmental  processes and to orientation, on- boarding and training programs.

See Part 2 of this post:     New Employee Engagement Initiative Starting Day 1 – PART 2





TRUST is basic component of cultures where employee engagement exists at a high level.   More on Trust next time.

The following practices, which are essentially management deficiencies, are the other factors that are noted as playing a significant role in the level of employee engagement.  In companies or departments within company where engagement is low you will find some or all of these deficiencies.


Placing the wrong people in the wrong jobs; It takes more than direct experience and the right degree to be the right person for a job.  It takes enthusiasm and interest in the work.  Train interviewers to identify interest and enthusiasm.  If interest and enthusiasm are there, even the most reserved candidate will display these for the job you are attempting to fill as you describe it to them or when they describe their past accomplishments in a similar position.


As to both content and time frame for completion, and the lack of an on-boarding program will leave employees feeling frustrated and unattached to the job and the company. (On-boarding is not orientation)


With little opportunity for learning and growth a motivated employee is transformed into a bored employee.


They feel their jobs are meaningless. A better model for Performance Management is needed: One that illustrates alignment of employee efforts with departmental and organizational goals.



Often it will be high turnover rates that start to attract attention followed by work quality issues and absenteeism.   However, in the economic conditions of the last few years, people have remained in their jobs out of the lack of options, so management deficiencies may go un-noticed while dis-engaged employees negatively impact productivity.  
Once the labor market improves, low engagement can become high turnover with the additional problem of difficulty in finding the replacement talent you need.

I strongly recommend Employee Perception Surveys done every other year to learn about how well you are doing in promoting employee engagement.   

An Employment Perception Survey is like taking a temperature.   Low scores will tell you something is wrong, but you will need to dig deeper to pinpoint the extent of issues and potential solutions.

Also, remember, “perception is reality,” your survey responses will lead you to correct real issue and correct erroneous perceptions – both are a problem.

These are some of the areas where an EPS would provide information about the efficacy of management practices and whether or not they promote employee engagement.

  • Perception of jobs and the work
  • Work environment
  • Attitudes toward quality and quality efforts
  • Commitment to the customer and customer relationships
  • Management support
  • Career advancement/opportunities
  • Opportunities for training and development
  • Ability to improve work/Feedback
  • Overall understanding of the organization’s goals/priorities





Once you’ve “hired for engagement” what happens next, and how well it’s done, in the areas of On-boarding and training, will determine the trajectory of a new employee’s success in that organization, the value they deliver, and also positively or negatively impact the productivity of those working with them and around them.


In earlier posts I talked about the benefits of the Employee Perception Survey (EPS) and follow-up fact finding initiatives.   In one post in particular “Find out what you don’t know,” I presented some examples of what one might learn in analyzing employees’ responses.  This type of information is invaluable in determining the effectiveness of processes and programs that impact productivity, retention, and customer satisfaction and can act as a roadmap for areas that should be targeted for improvement as well the ultimate goal of an improvement strategy.


 “It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.”     Charles Darwin

A business reality as well – Is your company responsive to the need to change?

The programs that I’ve implemented for On-boarding and Training of new employees were direct outcomes of Employee Perceptions Surveys and the information gathered from follow-up interviews with employees across all functions.  They represented completely new approaches to the process of bringing new employees into the company.

In survey followup, employees specifically called out poorly orchestrated and delivered training as an issue in our company that needed to be addressed.  From past experience in working with other organizations, I am very comfortable in stating that this is likely an issue in many organizations.

Poor communications and cooperation between and amongst work groups and departments was also cited and connected to frustration with waste in time, effort, and money.  These issues are all traceable to the way new hires are introduced to their new jobs in their new company.

If you do not currently conduct a new employee feedback program (3 to 6 months after hire) on the effectiveness of your Orientation, On-boarding and Training Programs, I would strongly suggest doing so.   You are missing an opportunity to fix what’s not working in those critical first few months of employment.  Some suggestions for effectively obtaining this type of feedback will follow in a future Post.

Getting feedback on Steps I and II is about protecting and enhancing the “Return” on the investment the company has made in hiring a new employee.

On-boarding is NOT orientation…….

which might include a summary of benefits, a review of the employee handbook, etc.  On-boarding is about “getting down to business.”

Regardless of a new employee’s level in the organization, a new job in a new company is stressful.  Even at the highest levels, failure in the job typically occurs within 18 – 24 months and is most often linked to the failure to build the relationships needed to function successfully and failure to achieve goals and objectives because these were poorly communicated and understood.

When exploring EPS findings relative to poor communications and cooperation between and amongst work groups and departments and waste in time, money and effort, what was learned was quite startling.

  • Employees could not articulate the current objectives of their department or the top 4 – 5 objectives of the organization nor did they have a copy of these to reference*.
  • Employees were not sure about their current objectives and how they would be evaluated*.

 *Employee’s had worked on their Objectives with their managers before the beginning of the year and had received an electronic  and hard copy of the Corporate, their Departmental, and their own Objectives, which they had signed.

  • Employees did not understand how their work impacted others in other work groups and departments.
  • Employees did not understand their role or their department’s role in the bigger picture of the company’s success.
  • They had not developed good working relationships with co-workers outside of their own groups.
  • Employees in such functions as R&D, Quality Control, and Manufacturing had never been exposed to the impact of product failures and release delays on customers since they had little to no interaction with Sales or Technical support.   This lack of connection applied amongst other functions as well.
  • Clearly Silos were a huge problem.


These issues are inconsistent with a corporate culture that promotes an “engaged” workforce. 


How would employees in your organization do in the areas mentioned above?

On-Boarding – The 1st Step in building Employee Engagement

On-boarding – at least my version of what On-boarding should be – – is the first step in building employee engagement, the first step in connecting people to their jobs and starting to foster a commitment to the company and co-workers.

On-boarding is also ideally suited to the new generations in the workforce, Gen X & Y, since it feeds into their desire for empowerment, the need to learn, grow, and understand, as well as their desire to develop and build relationships.

 On-boarding, as I have designed it, is aimed at planting the seeds for developing an engaged employee by accomplishing the following:

  •  Teach new employees about the company’s business
      • Its successes and challenges,
      • Its competitors
  • Educate new employees about the work of the functional areas and how they interact and depend on one-another.
  • Accelerate new employee development by giving them a leg up in building the relationships that will contribute to their success in the job and promote good cooperation and communications throughout the organization.
  • Create a model of corporate, departmental and individual objectives that demonstrates the link amongst these and demonstrates Organizational Alignment.  (The employee’s specific objectives will be addressed in the Post on Training.)
      • An image of their efforts as being valued and a part of the bigger picture – their department and company success.
  • Create a sense of belonging and eventually pride in being part of something worthwhile

Using the goals above as a guide, the approach to an On-boarding Program should be scaled and designed to effectively work within an organization’s structure.




 I like to begin the On-boarding Meeting process after the new employee’s 2nd or 3rd week on the job.   This will allow them to first develop a basic understanding of their own department’s operations.

Meetings are arranged for the new employee with functional departmental management.  With large departments, I like to rotate the manger that will host a new employee.  A good time frame for the meetings is 1 – 2 hours.  Longer meetings with the goal of a more in depth understanding of the various jobs within the host department might be worthwhile – let specific circumstances be the guide.

These one on one meetings are the foundation of an effective On-boarding program.  I would not consider a PowerPoint presentation entitled, “about our company” to be an effective substitute for the process I am proposing.

 I encourage the new employee’s manager to escort the new employee to each meeting and to make the introduction to the host department’s manager.

 Ideally, managers, who will host meetings, have been briefed on how to conduct a good On-boarding meeting with a new employee.  For example, I ask managers to include the following:

  • The specific role of the department, also its
      • current objectives,
      • recent successes, and
      • challenges.
  • How the department may interact with the new employees department, areas of dependence, potential conflicts.
  • Nature of interactions and interdependence with various other departments.
  • I ask managers to make introductions to other members of the host department and have each of these employees take some time to explain their duties and goals.   When applicable, interactions that are likely to take place with the new employee and their department should be defined.
      • Managers should provide guidance to their direct reports about the goals of On-boarding and suggest approaches to their On-boarding briefings.

 Mangers have universally found these meetings professionally satisfying and have told me that they feel it does promote better cooperation and certainly a better understanding of the business and higher levels of employee engagement.  I wouldn’t under estimate the value of the sense of pride a host manager feels toward their department and employees as they go through an On-boarding experience with a new employee.


UPCOMING POSTS:  Training & Getting Feedback From Employees On Their Experiences As New Hires.







Whether you’ve hired the square peg to fit the square hole or opted for hiring someone for whom the job will be lateral move requiring time to acclimate to a new environment or the next step in a career, training, * support systems, and on-boarding are crucial components to the new employee’s first few months on the job.  This applies regardless of  level within the organization.

The effectiveness of these three processes will determine the trajectory of that new hire’s career with your company, the value they will deliver, and how soon they will begin delivering it.

* Support systems might include:  Mentors, Go To People, well written job SOPs, supportive team environment.

As stated in the previous post on On-boarding (Post on “On-boarding” )   failure to achieve goals and objectives is a major factor causing failure in the job within 18 -24 months; Poorly planned and delivered On-boarding and Job Training is a major contributing factor in these failures.

QUESTION:  The productivity of how many others is impacted by a new hire’s lack of proficiency due to poor training and onboarding?   How long does this situation typically last?  Most important, what is the COST?

Failure to provide effective training results in a cost


….. an often unnoticed yet pervasive expense that seems to fly under the radar in many companies.  Nevertheless, it is an unnecessary “cost” just like excessive errors & low productivity, spoiled inventory, over staffing, or excessive machine down time.   Interestingly, these kinds of costs are all of great concern, but how often is the connection made to poor training follow by an initiative to effectively address the problem.


So what constitutes effective job training?

Effective job training is built upon correct content delivered in an orderly sequence to create full proficiency in the shortest possible time and includes support systems that reinforce training and provide assistance when necessary.

AND…a shared responsibility between the employee and the manager for achieving the objectives of the training.


Appropriate and focused content


 Delivered in an orderly sequence


 With defined “milestones” within a time line


 Resulting in full proficiency in the shortest possible time.


Making sure training is being done well

Job Training is typically left to departmental managers and supervisors. While HR cannot do departmental training, a true HR professionals should have the skill set to evaluate the effectiveness of a training process.

HR should have an understanding of the work of departments, as well as having some understanding of the jobs within them to be able to ask the right questions to evaluate the effectiveness of training programs.  HR needs to provide guidance on training and HR does need to ask questions about how training is being done, the content, sequence, how it is being monitored and the timing to reach proficiency.

Detail on the training an employee has received should be part of each employee’s file.  This is as important as maintaining records of employees’ performance reviews.

New Employee Feedback, mentioned in a previous post, is another critical piece in determining how effective employee training is – and don’t hesitate to ask for suggestions to improve it.  Suggestions for a process to obtain new employee feedback will appear in a future post.


Lets look at the facts – the impact – of poor job training  


Training is so basic to productivity……..


It progressively increases the value a new employee delivers over a shorter time frame.  Well-planned and executed training reduces the time to reach proficient thereby reducing the time it takes to execute tasks.   Training is critical to creating an engaged employee.   Feeling incompetent and unsure of oneself will never create engagement.  Competence, proficiency, and productivity and the resulting “quality” of output are basic to delivering customer value.   It is astounding that training is so often done so poorly, with little planning, order, and monitoring of effectiveness.

Examples of what employees have told me about their experience as a new hire

In talking to new employees after 4 – 9 months on the job these are examples of what I heard at several companies during new employee feedback meetings.

  • I’m leaving because after 9 months, I’m still stumbling around and not comfortable that I will ever get the training I need to do this job well.   Training is just not important here and that’s a threat to my success.
  • There really wasn’t any formal training, no plan.  I didn’t know what I would be tackling from one day to another or how things fit together.
  • It was difficult to gain an understanding of what I needed to learn to do the job effectively and where I should be at any given time relative to learning the job, no road map so to speak.
  • I know that I am a capable person, but the quality of the training I’ve had for this job has me feel anything but competent.
  • I seemed to be getting training out of sequence with the order in which many processes should done because of where we were in the process, so I was really confused.  I made a suggestion to remedy this but I don’t know if it will be used.
  • After training was completed, there were no resources to use as a reference when I got stuck doing a complex process that I didn’t do regularly.  My own notes were only somewhat helpful.
  • People seemed to be doing the same tasks differently, so asking someone for help made things more confusing and I’m seeing that this creates another set of problems.


Details on the components and process of developing

excellent training programs – next post

Develop Training That Clearly Communicates – Productivity & Excellence Are Our Goals.






What you don’t know will hurt you!

The 1st half of this Post will re-cap the topics in previous posts.   The 2nd half will suggest a means of “Finding Out What You Don’t Know” about the state of employee engagement at your organization.

Summary of Previous posts on


(please go to these posts for full details)

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT  must be management priority #1

  • Fact 1 – Multiple studies point to a significant relationship between employee engagement and the financial performance of a company.


  • Commitment reveals itself in the investment of time and energy (emotional, mental and sometimes physical) that an employee gives to the company.
  • Pro-active work behaviors – self initiated “extra” contributions,


  • The operational, cultural characteristics that promote employee engagement, also promote success ——-Even if you’ve never heard the term engagement


  • These practices are nothing less than management deficiencies that are not consistent with successful business operations.
  • Model of a Culture of High Employee Engagement


Are fixable cultural and operational factors driving declining quality and productivity and creating high turnover?

Hopefully, this information will provide direction where it is already accepted that cultural and operational change is needed, and encouragement to others to take the hard look at their organizations.

I have had very good results in implementing change initiatives using the information in this and previous posts both in development efforts with individual managers and in corporate culture change initiatives.


I encourage the use of an Employee Perception Surveys (EPS), done every other year with results communicated to all.   This is not the same as an Employee Satisfaction Survey.   An EPS is the best way to gather information and gain wide support for improvement strategies to “fix” the areas that are sub-optimal and score poorly.


From a previous post, these are some of the areas where an EPS would provide insights into the efficiency of operations and the effectiveness of management practices.

  • Perceptions of jobs and the work
  • Work environment
  • Attitudes toward quality and quality efforts
  • Commitment to the customer and customer relationships
  • Management support
  • Career advancement/opportunities
  • Opportunities for training and development
  • Ability to improve work/Feedback
  • Level  of overall understanding of the organization’s goals/priorities


Doing an EPS is like taking a temperature.   It can tell you something is wrong and provide some direction.  Follow-up initiatives to dig deeper are the appropriate first steps following analysis of survey results, let’s call them fact-finding initiatives.  They should involve people at all levels and from all functions.  This group will help refine the specific areas for improvement and the best method to achieve results. I am always amazed at how much dysfunction and inefficiency people will work with.  They become used to things being done a certain way or don’t have the time or the support to create improvement (this is an engagement killer).    These fact-finding initiatives seem to provide that time, and with the crafting of improvement strategies, these efforts are themselves engagement builders – they directly link employee efforts with outcomes that produce value for the organization.

I have used the Employee Perceptions Survey to alert management that issues existed that were holding the company back and then used the follow-up initiatives to identify specifics and create and implement improvement strategies, For Example:  Identifying operational deficiencies, mis-communications, lack of communications and cooperation between department resulting in late product releases, production issues and errors, poor handling of customer account issues and on and on.


In my experience, I have found that it is key to assign accountability and responsibility for specific outcomes.    Milestones should be identified  and be put into time lines with progress updates provided by those responsible.   If and when appropriate, specific accountabilities for implementing approved changes in procedures or processes should be pushed down through the organization’s workforce by departmental management.


Most of the information that has been presented in the posts to date have also been part of management training and awareness programs that followed EPS and the follow-up initiatives.  Because these programs were based on the organization’s realities rather than generic issues, the program’s content always hit home with managers and seemed to provide almost a welcome relief, a clear direction forward with achievable change objectives that could be implemented to improve everything from the way employees are hired, trained, and managed, to objectives setting to communications with employees about performance.


They enjoy limited to no bureaucracy that can completely impede the process, delay implementation, or slow down the pace of a change initiative.   A change process that moves slowly drifts into inertia and will not survive to completion.


If an organization has engagement & retention issues…… this recovering Economy  the time is now to push for change.  Once the job market turns the corner to showing consistent job growth, turnover will grow from a concern to a critical issue that can impede the ability to maintain productivity and compete successfully.   I would suggest management consider these three factors to determine risk.

  • Are your training and onboarding programs effective across the organization?
  • Are you dealing with too many errors, quality issues, declining productivity, and high absenteeism?
  • Has high turnover in general or turnover in critical areas been an issue in the past – before the economic downturn?
  • Do you have difficulty filling jobs requiring specialized or high level skills?
  • Do you suspect low engagement but you have not been seeing high turnover in the past 2 – 3 years during this recession.

Next Post:    “TRUST”  The underlying support for sustained high levels of employee engagement and retention.

 TRUST = COMMITMENT = ENGAGEMENT (Pro Active work behaviors, Creativity, Innovation) = RETENTION = IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY 



DEVELOPING HIGHLY ENGAGED EMPLOYEES STARTS WITH GOOD HIRING, but not every potential STAR interviews well, a little help for them – PART III






In addition to providing information during an interviewing, you also need to get good information about the job, the department, the company.  

Asking questions has a far more important impact than you might think.  It isn’t just about you getting information.   In asking questions, you are also making an impression.

Asking questions and the questions you ask convey your level of interest in the company and the job.  They can also communicate your understanding of the concept of  “deliverables” or “objectives”  for which you will be responsible.   Your questions will also convey your level of business acumen.  



You’ve done your research about the company, what do you need to know about the company and the position?

  • Definitely the future prospects of the company, its challenges, growth opportunities for the business.
  • How are they investing in their future success?
  • What is employee turnover like – HR should have that number.   If it’s high, you’ll want to figure out why.   9 – 12% is the average turnover range, but there are industry standards and that number is obviously the more important one to know relatively to the company with which you are interviewing.
  •  Why is the position open?  If it’s a new position, you want to learn if their is clarity about the job’s responsibilities and objectives, the qualifications and experience required?   The questions below will help you learn the answers to these important questions.

Questions that are critical for you to ask

In asking these questions and receiving answers, be aware of opportunities to link your experience and skills with a stated need or challenge.

 From the hiring manager:*

  • What are the most significant challenges the person coming into this job will encounter?
  • What skills and characteristics are you most focused on in hiring for this position?
  • What will you expect the person coming into this job to accomplish in their first 6 months, first year?   OR
  • When evaluating the success of the person hired, what will be the three most important accomplishments considered or the accomplishment having the most weight?   At what intervals will they be formally evaluated, 6 months, 1 year?
  • Can you describe the Objective setting and Performance Management process?
  • How will the person hired be brought up to speed on what they need to know, who they need to know?  What is the *onboarding and training process going to look like etc.?

* Onboarding is not Orientation!  (See Post After You’ve Made That Great Hire

Some companies or departments have abysmal training and on-boarding programs.  Lack of such programs can threaten your ability to get up to speed quickly and can derail your ability to succeed and derive satisfaction from your job – it’s important to know how organized such activities are before you decide to accept the job and before you walk in the door so that, if necessary, you are prepared to find your own way on day 1.

  • What are the biggest challenges facing the department?
  • The Company?
  • How would you describe the culture here?

At the close of the interview

  • What will next steps be?
  • When do you expect to make a decision?
  • How will I be notified?


From other members of the hiring department:

  • What are the most significant challenges the person coming into this job will encounter?
  • What skills or characteristics will be most helpful to the person coming into this job?
  • How is training typically carried out?


From Interviewers outside of the hiring department:

(These are likely to be people who will work closely with the person hired)

  • What are the biggest challenges facing the _______ department?
  • The person coming into this job?
  • The Company?
  • How would you describe the culture here?
  • What types of interactions occur between the ________department and your department? OR How are the two departments dependent upon one-another?  OR go more specific …How does the holder of the job for which I am interviewing interact with your department?   (helps the candidate to get a picture of how things work at the company and develop questions to get more information about day to day operations)

It is valuable to see if people outside the hiring department & other members of the department, hold the same opinions and views as those within the hiring department and the hiring manager.





Please keep in mind the following facts related to why people fail in their jobs within the first 12 – 18 months:

  1. Failure to obtain a clear understanding of the job’s deliverables and the time frame for accomplishing these (both during the interview and the first weeks on the job).
  2. Failure to develop the relationships that facilitate learning, communications and cooperation with other employees and departments.
  3. Applying exactly the same actions and processes in your new job that helped you to be successful in your previous job without first understanding and evaluating the needs of your new company or department, understanding the company’s culture, the department’s objectives, and the outcomes expected of your performance.

Next Post on Interviewing:




Previous Posts on Interviewing:






DEVELOPING HIGHLY ENGAGED EMPLOYEES STARTS WITH GOOD HIRING, but not every potential STAR interviews well, a little help for them – PART II





 Smiling African American businessman

These posts will follow

Part III – You ask the questions

Part IV – Finishing up

Quick reminders:


Of course, you’ll be taking notes during your interview so that you can write a relevant, focused thank you note to the interviewers.

Your Thank You Note will be an important tool for reminding the interviewers about your interview performance (hopefully that’s a good thing) and jog their memories about your qualifications and what you could do for the company and a department.

Some companies ask interviewers to complete a candidate evaluation form immediately following interviews.  This is followed by a meeting in which all interviewers will come together to discuss and evaluate the merits of each candidate – excellent practices – unfortunately these practices are not universal, SO… your thank you note may be the only avenue for reinforcing and reminding interviewers what you offer the company.

Don’t forget to collect business cards so that you have correct job titles and accurate email addresses.

A  CAUTION on the thank you note:  Be careful about offering solutions to problems solely based on a brief interview discussion.  Do review your experience and qualifications relative to the job description and the needs mentioned by the interviewers.  Broadly touch on issues faced by the company that may have come up in the interview and simply mention your experience in similar situations.


If you are interviewing for a specific job, have a good understanding of the job responsibilities before your interview so that you are properly focused in presenting your qualifications.   You can ask for the job description when your interview is scheduled and for the interview schedule and interviewer’s names and titles.   You can get an idea of interviewers’ backgrounds and interests from sites like LinkedIn.  As stated previously, get as much information as possible about the company and the department you will be working in.  More often than not, interviewers will ask what you know about the company to determine your level of interest in being part of their organization and also your level of diligence in handling important activities.

If the interview is more general, the company is interested in you, but have not defined a specific role, give an overview of your experience, but do get in questions about the company’s structure/reporting relationships, recent successes, challenges, and plans and similar information about the department(s) that you may be interested in.  This information will help you to make links between your background and the company’s needs.

The following interview suggestions will assume that you are dealing with practiced interviewers who are asking good behavioral interview questions and allowing you to detail your skills and experience to do the job for which you are being interviewed.  I’ve included a technique*, below, to use in the event that this is not the case.

If you are dealing with a poor interviewer, * you will have to drive the interview by interjecting, at opportune times, your accomplishments specific to the job for which you are being interviewed.

Look for these signs of a poor interviewer.

A poor interviewer will….

 >  do most of the talking,

>  be a poor listener,

>  ask few, if any questions that link your skills and experience to the job requirements, or the company’s broader needs.

Preparing For & Responding To Questions

Remember the STAR model described previously.  Whenever you respond to a question or relate an accomplishment, be sure to include the components of the STAR model.   See Part I, Preparing for the Interview

Understand the Focus of each Interviewer

You will likely interview with people who have different focus in interviewing you, for example:

  • Some will be very focused on your qualification to do a specific job, your work and collaborative style.  These will be people with whom you will work closely, the hiring manager and the like and people from other departments who will be dependent on the quality of your work.
  • Some interviewers are talking with you to support the decision of the hiring manager – to pickup on any glaring gaps in capability or mismatches with the company’s culture.

It is important for you to pick up on the interviewer’s focus and what they want to know and how much they want to know rather than just rambling on about something they aren’t interested in.  Listen carefully for cues in the type of questions they ask and notice when they loose interest in the detail you are giving them, i.e. provide focused answers – give them what they want. You can also ask “would you like to hear about…..OR would you like to hear more about………these questions help you provide the information they want.

Practice giving concise and clear responses and then asking –

  • Shall I give you more detail about that?
  • Would you like me to explain further?

Don’t be afraid of silence between the question and your answer.   It is important to think about how you would like to answer a question.  If silence feels uncomfortable to you and you usually feel as though you must jump in with an answer, simply say, “Let me think about that.”   It’s calming and these words will actually help you to focus.

Keep in mind these important objectives of any job interview

1)    Present your credentials to successfully do the job for which the company is recruiting and be sure your interest in the company and the job is apparent.

Note:  A company’s primary objective during interviewing is finding a qualified person who will contribute to their success, so focus your remarks and responses accordingly.

Comments about how much the job will benefit your career – what the company will do for you – are not going to benefit your candidacy.  Once the company’s primary needs and goals are being met, they will be/should be interested in seeing that your career and other needs are met as well.

2)  Convince the interviewers that in addition to being “qualified,” you are someone who  will be successful in that jobin that company, and someone they could work with.

This piece is about establishing rapport with each interviewer (or most interviewers) – the ability to have a productive conversational exchange.  See Mirroring, below.

 Sales people learn to do something called “Mirroring” to establish rapport in order to build relationships that will lead to making sales.   In an interview you are selling your ability to do a job within a specific environment.

“Mirroring” involves adapting your communication style to the interviewer’s style.  This is also called “Flexing” your style.  This is very easy to do, once you are aware of this concept, you will start to notice the communications styles of others in interviews and other social situations.

Is the interviewer? 

  1. Concise and to the point in expressing themselves, do they speak in “clipped” sentences, are they reserved in their movements and gesturing
  2. Fast talking, but detailed and given to sweeping gestures, personable.
  3. Very precise in capturing every detail of what they want to say to you, do they talk very slowly, and are they very reserved in their movements.
  4. Somewhere in-between.

If you respond to interviewer #1 with long wordy sentences, expressing yourself in great detail and with emotion and gesturing, you will not establish rapport with this person.

If you respond to interviewer #2 by talking very slowly and behaving in a reserved manner, you will not establish rapport with this person.

       You get the idea……

When the interviewers sit down to evaluate candidates there might be comments like, “I really found it difficult to talk to this person.”

Just think about conversations you’ve had or observed where the styles are off as I’ve described. These two people will find it difficult to really communicate.   They might avoid seeking each other out for important discussions – they will likely not work well together, unless **

**Some companies invest in programs that educate employees to understand and appreciate the contributions of different personality types and styles and the accompanying differences in communication styles.  Such awareness training can improve overall communications and cooperation in an organization.   However, this type of awareness training is not universal and awareness doesn’t have the desired effect on everyone.

Another thought on the person you may perceive as a “poor interviewer” – you feel you aren’t being asked questions that allow you to present your credentials or accomplishments or you don’t feel you are being given the opportunity to give full detail. CONSIDER – that particular interviewer may be getting all THEY want or need, confirm that by asking these simple questions,

          • “Shall I give you more detail about that?”
          • “Would you like me to explain further?”
          • “Would you like to hear about……?”


Questions about your previous employer Or How did you come to be in a job search?

It is amazing how many people think it’s OK to bad-mouth their previous employer or manager.  IT NEVER IS.

Practice your answer to these types of questions with the understanding of how your response is coming across to the interviewer who probably knows very little about either your previous company or your boss, but is trying to figure out if they want to work with you.  

Keep your answer simple, for example, “following the recent acquisition of my company, my job was eliminated.”   Best to avoid elaborate explanations.

Talk about self-incrimination!

What do you consider your greatest professional weakness?

If you find this questions off-putting, you are not alone and you are probably very uncomfortable answering it.   Ignoring it isn’t really an option.

So turn it into a positive about yourself – Maybe you’ve done one of the many personality or work style evaluations and you can state this,  “I’m quite self-aware as a result of having done several personality and work style evaluations.  One area that I work on improving is………..and I have been quite successful.”   Have an example of where you have seen improvement in case the interviewer asks.   Most interviewers will move on after you have given this type of answer.

One last thing to consider regarding your interview performance 

If you were making a hire, would you choose someone who seemed qualified but showed little enthusiasm for their job related accomplishments which they’ve shared with you, or marginal interest and enthusiasm for your company and the job for which they are interviewing?  

Interest level and enthusiasm are always factors graded on the candidate evaluation forms I’ve created and used.  These aspects of a candidate’s behavior are always factors in the hiring decision.


Next Post:  




Previous Post:





DEVELOPING HIGHLY ENGAGED EMPLOYEES STARTS WITH GOOD HIRING, but not every potential STAR interviews well, a little help for them – PART I





Businesswomen at Table


Part I – Preparing for Your Interview

These posts will follow

Part II – The Interview

Part III – You ask the Questions

Part IV – Finishing up

Before you can become an engaged, productive employee – the main focus of this Blog – one needs to get hired, so here’s a little practical help for those trying to do just that!


In addition to your resume(s), you should have a document that bullet points your most important career accomplishments, WITH bullet pointed detail (the story) that will fulfill the components of the STAR MODEL.  This document we will call “Your Accomplishments List.”

Why Bullet Points?  To keep your list concise and make it easier to remember and focus on key points only.

The “Star Model” is centerpiece of the “Behavioral” Method of Interviewing.   This interviewing technique is considered the most progressive and the most effective candidate screening tool – if the interviewer has been trained effectively in using it.

Typically your resume doesn’t have the kind of detail needed to satisfy this interview model and as a result you may not have that detail at the tip of your tongue.  This can hurt your confidence during an interview when these types of questions are asked.

The STAR Model 

THINK……… Situation or Task, Action taken, Result.

Situation or Task:  What is this “story about.”  What had to be accomplished?

Action:  What did the candidate do?  Was it a team effort, what was this candidate’s actual contribution?

Result:  What was the outcome?  Failure/Success.  What, if anything, was learned either way?


Preparing For & Responding To Questions

Going over your work history, job by job, as listed on your resume is the best way to jar your memory to create your Accomplishments List.  Review your accomplishments & the detail before your interviews.  Focus on those accomplishments that will be most relevant to the upcoming interview.

Whenever you respond to a question or relate an accomplishment, be sure to use the STAR model.   A good interviewer will be using the STAR model or something similar and ask follow-up questions to make sure that they have the full picture of a candidate’s behavior, actions, and outcome in dealing with various professional/work challenges.

Creating this “Accomplishments” document is a very worthwhile exercise that will contribute to improving your interview performance.   Sometimes we forget what we’ve accomplished or the details of these efforts, what the interviewer is looking for, gets fuzzy.   This exercise will put those accomplishments and the details up front in your mind and boost your confidence level.  The Career Accomplishments document and your Resume should always be kept up to date – whether you are in a job search or not.

Your pre-interview “Due Diligence”

You will do your research on the company, (and if possible, even the department in which you might be working) its recent successes, challenges, important products, and important customers.  Networking contacts can be very helpful here and of course Internet sites and social media as well.


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