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The First 100 Days: How Good Was it For You?

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The First 100 Days: How Good Was it For You?

Feb 05, 2015  

by Rooven Pakkiri - Consultant and Author, Decision Sourcing

Try to remember your first few months at the company you now work for or for a company where you worked for a period of time. Like most of us, you would probably have had to endure a series of standardised induction programmes, the content of which you would seldom re-visit and quickly forget. Nothing or very little in those induction courses would have equipped you for the reality of making your way in the company and getting to know the people you really needed or wanted to know.

The truth is that for most of us, our personal progress in a company is an arduous one. And the bigger the company the more arduous it is. In fact until recently it has been something of a long winded and often frustrating process of trial and error. I often joke with clients that during the 7 years that I worked for a large Corporate Bank in the city of London (UK),  I wasted large chunks of my life and energy ‘doing lunch’ with the wrong people (who promised me much but delivered little).

Let’s look at this situation from the point of view of senior management. If our most ambitious employees are wasting hours of their (and possibly our) time trying to make the right connections in the company to get things done better and to advance themselves; then the company is losing out here. Not just in terms of worker productivity but also in terms of worker motivation and buy-in.

In the 1980’s studies of office workers in large companies found that cigarette smokers had the best internal networks. They knew precisely who to talk to get things done. This was because they would congregate with fellow smokers from other departments on a daily basis in designated smoking areas. And so as a result they quickly learned all the really important aspects of the company and its people; vital information that would never be included in an induction programme.  More importantly, they acquired this knowledge from trusted sources.
Today, with the advent of Social Business technology (which largely mirrors the experience people are having in their private lives with Social Networks) it is possible to create those smokers enclaves if you will but at scale and in a 24/7, location independent, secure environment without any of the social stigma or health issues.

Back to the Future: now rewind the clock and imagine your first 100 days at your company playing out like this. Before you physically begin working for your company you are provided with a web address, user name and password to a company community called ‘100 days’. This community is a friendly but structured place where all employees can log into during their first 100 days at the company. The community managers for this community are made up of representatives from across the company, HR, Legal, Transport, IT , the department where you are starting works (say Sales) but also the department where you might hope one day to work (say Marketing).  The members of this community are all the employees of the company during their first 100 days.

After their specific 100 days, they leave this community BUT any of their thoughts, interactions and comments remain in the community. In addition so does their profile. Now this is powerful stuff, because you are now able (from the comfort of your own home) to quickly begin to create a map and plan of action for yourself before you first set step inside the company doors. You can see who the players are what their specific skills are and you can view the content they have created. So for example, you can see a presentation from a fellow salesperson that has been liked and downloaded by many people working in your area of the business. And from their comments you can begin to develop a more sophisticated approach in terms of who to make an effort to get to know. Better still, because you have had a chance to evaluate some of their work before you interact with them, you will be better placed to make a good first impression.

On the practical side of things, housekeeping if you will, from the 100 days community you will be able to see how others got themselves on the payroll, or sorted out company pension options, or maternity leave etc. You do not need to waste your and company time chasing people for answers to these questions. In many cases someone who joined before you has asked the very question you had in mind and someone in authority has answered it. And if there is a gap in the collaboration knowledge, then of course you are free to ask the question yourself and the community is obliged to provide an answer.

Let us not forget that the biggest winners in terms of Social Business are not the employees (although this is a win-win proposition) it is in fact senior management. The faster they can on-board staff in a meaningful way: defined as speed to optimum productivity the more successful the company will be. And the faster they can spot talent (which is what this technology if properly deployed and adopted delivers) the faster the company will grow.

 

 


About the author:
A veteran of the dot.com era, Rooven is a digital evangelist who focuses on the way technology changes organisational communication and collaboration. He is an author and regular speaker on the subject of Social Business and how it is transforming the corporate rule book.  Rooven is also the co - founder of a regular thought leadership event in London where independent thinkers discuss issues of user adoption and cultural transformation.

As a Social Business consultant, Rooven is responsible for developing client specific adoption strategies and immersion programs. As part of this process Rooven employs a number of adapted techniques from scenario modelling, content seeding, champion identification and community development.

Take a look at Rooven’s title Decision Sourcing

 

 

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