Unwelcome the Welcome Mat: Unlocking Growth with New Talent

May 29, 2024

We've all experienced the warmth of Midwestern hospitality – the welcoming embrace extended to new neighbors. But in the business world, the "welcome mat" mentality can unwittingly hinder growth. Traditional onboarding processes often focus on assimilation, aiming to teach new hires "the way things are done here."

This approach, while well-intentioned, fails to capitalize on the fresh perspectives new talent brings to the table. Instead of passively welcoming newcomers, let's explore how we can "unwelcome the welcome mat" and unlock the door to next-level growth by actively engaging their unique insights.

The Power of New Perspectives: A Fresh Set of Keys

New hires arrive brimming with unique experiences and innovative ideas. This "outsider's view" can serve as a powerful catalyst for innovation. However, this shift requires a move away from one-way information dumps and towards a collaborative problem-solving approach. Imagine instead of handing over the keys to a pre-built structure, we collaborate with new talent to design a more innovative and adaptable space together.

Unlocking the Door: Three Key Questions

To truly engage new talent and unlock their potential, let's pose these crucial questions:

1. What customer experiences are under-leveraged? This question compels us to look beyond what we're already doing and identify areas where we can enhance the customer journey through innovation.

2. What employee experiences are stuck? Inefficient or frustrating employee experiences can stifle innovation. Identifying these roadblocks and addressing them can unlock the full potential of both new and existing talent.

3. What do we need most to take our organization to the next level? This question encourages us to think strategically about the organization's goals and how new talent can contribute to achieving them.

These key questions encourage us to look beyond existing practices and open doors to areas ripe for improvement.

Embracing New Talent: Unlocking Growth at Three Levels

Now, let's delve deeper and explore actionable strategies for unlocking growth through these key questions at three crucial levels: Organizational, Talent, and Customer.

Door 1: The Organization - Shining a Light on Customer Needs

· Strategy 1: Rethinking Onboarding - Unlocking Collaboration: Move beyond rote presentations and information sessions. Instead, create interactive workshops where diverse teams, including new hires, map customer journeys. This fosters collaboration, leverages new perspectives, and unlocks a deeper understanding of the customer experience.

· Strategy 2: Investing in Customer Data - Unlocking Insights: Allocate resources to gather and analyze customer data. This data will serve as the key to unlocking valuable insights, ensuring everyone understands the customer's perspective, and informing problem-solving efforts.

· Strategy 3: Modernizing Metrics - Unlocking Impact: Update success metrics to not only measure outcomes but also consider the "freshness" and inclusivity of the customer data used. Track the insights gleaned from this data to measure its impact on customer journeys, ensuring a data-driven approach to improvement.

This shift equips the organization with the right tools and understanding to unlock the door to customer-centric growth.

Door 2: Talent - Unlocking Potential and Innovation

· Strategy 1: Refocusing Expectations - Unlocking Innovation: Recognize that "stuck" employee experiences can hinder innovation. Identify and address roadblocks that prevent teams from developing new solutions for customers. This opens doors for new ideas and fosters an environment where creativity can flourish.

· Strategy 2: Rewarding Collaboration - Unlocking Teamwork: Implement rewards that incentivize all employees, including new talent, to contribute to new workstreams for customer benefit. This fosters teamwork, encourages knowledge sharing, and unlocks the collective potential of the workforce.

· Strategy 3: Aligning Metrics and Rewards - Unlocking Contribution: Track the time talent spends creating new customer-centric processes. Reward and recognize employees who actively contribute to these efforts, sending a clear message that innovation and customer focus are valued.

By empowering and rewarding collaboration, we unlock the door to unleashing the full potential of our talent and driving innovation.

Door 3: The Customer - Putting Customers at the Center

· Strategy 1: Understanding Customer Needs - Unlocking the Core: Focus on truly understanding what your customers need most to reach the next level. Conduct in-depth customer interviews and surveys to gather insights that unlock the core of their desires and challenges.

· Strategy 2: Embracing "Modes" - Unlocking Behavior: Stone Mantel, an Experience Strategy Company, offers up the concept of modes encouraging us to utilize the concept of customer "modes" (mindsets and behaviors) to understand how customers approach their needs. This deeper understanding will inform product and service development, ensuring we're creating solutions that truly resonate with their needs.

by Juli Okal

Juli Okal is the founder of The Shift Matters and EPIC Sabbaticals, both endeavors that were developed to guide organizations and their employees successfully through ongoing, ever-varying organizational change, in the end delivering programs and people who are readied for the future of work. Beginning with The Shift Matters, Juli compounded her experience working in a Fortune 100 company with her leadership coaching, process, and systems background to help organizations build enterprise-wide talent management strategies that produce next-level customer and employee experiences.
Share this: