Williams F1 knows the value of onboarding new talent

Williams F1 knows the value of onboarding new talent
Steve Shepherd, Group Director, Randstad

As the 2014 Grand Prix season edges closer, there are some important lessons to learn, particularly from this year’s new Williams F1 racing team.

As Williams welcomes Brazilian F1 racing champion Felipe Massa, they are focused on ensuring their new talent and his transition to the team is a highly successful one. Massa, (formerly with Ferrari) is being welcomed, inducted, onboarded, engaged and performing at his peak in a highly compressed timeframe, and racing alongside team mate Valtteri Bottas for the Williams team.

Think of F1, and you think of speed, skill, precision, high performance and success. Anything less than that is likely to equal poor results.

Businesses should pay attention to this. And business leaders should take note and focus on inspiring, engaging, developing and motivating their people to perform at their best. Everyone wants to part of a winning team, and success breeds success. The challenge is to get new talent onboard quickly to perform at their best and continue motivating employees to drive strong results. Yes this is a challenge, but it’s critical for success.

Imagine if every new employee was treated with the same high level of commitment and time investment to ensure they feel valued and have a positive onboarding experience - not just for the first day or their first week, but to maintain it for the first 4-12 weeks (depending on their role). Don’t you think you’d get better results in terms of their engagement with the role and the company and their productivity and performance levels which will result in a positive contribution to the business? It’s about giving every new staff member, the best possible chance of succeeding and becoming a high performing employee as quickly as possible – no matter what level they are in the organisation.

Just as F1 champions demonstrate unwavering discipline and focus; determination to push the limits; courage to take risks; and a burning desire and strong ambition to not just succeed, but win – it is the same goal of virtually every business leader.

And every business leader strives to have a workforce of high performing individuals, but they are often very difficult to find. Once onboard, you need a strong retention program in place. Employers who want to build a ‘winning’ team need to find ways to consistently and successfully engage, retain and attract high performing talent.

Before looking at potential new hires, do your research and plan for the talent you need in the short and long term. Determine what attributes your employees require to best achieve your team and company goals. Ensure you have a strong employer brand and can effectively ‘sell’ your employee value proposition to current and potential employees. You want to build a strong connection with people who are suited to your organisation.

We call it having the right job, boss and company fit. Knowing exactly what you’re looking for in each role, Randstad’s methodology guides employers to making the best possible hiring choice - choosing employees who not only have the right skills, expertise and knowledge for the job, but who have the right attitude, values and goals which are aligned with the boss, team and organisation.

Onboarding is critical for success

Once selected, recruiting, inducting and successfully onboarding these valuable new resources is critical. Business leaders have a pivotal role to play here. The success of this process is fundamental to producing high performers and retaining top talent for the future. A good onboarding process is not a one-size fits all approach for all levels of employees. It’s a program that needs care and attention, to ensure all the necessary information is shared, the right questions are asked and all relevant support is offered so they can adjust, learn, and perform at their best in the shortest possible timeframes.

The nature and length of induction is dependent on both the complexity of the job, the type of organisation, and the background of the new employee. However, the first few weeks in a job are vital for creating a good impression and cementing strong relationships which will lead to better retention. This is your chance to shine as an employer and leader in the industry and to gain the trust and respect which will work to your benefit in the future. A positive experience during the first few weeks of employment confirms the employee has made the right choice. Similarly, a negative experience could mean losing a new recruit within the first six months, with an average cost to the business of 150% of their salary when you take into account all the financial and non-financial costs.

Strong leadership is key

Knowing how to effectively drive high performers to success is key – and it requires strong leadership. Good leadership will not only drive people to perform at their best, it will also transform high performing individuals into a high performance team.

Strong leaders will work hard to know what drives their talent to succeed; they will reward and recognise high performance and encourage their passion for success to flow throughout the organisation. Successful leaders will celebrate individual high performance in line with living the company values to instil a culture of success through collaboration with team, business and company performance. The focus is on inspiring and motivating high performers to consistently be high achievers.

Be agile and adaptive

We know the only constant is change, and we all have to adjust to changing environments, changing markets, changing consumer demands, and changing legislation – Formula One understands this more than anyone with new regulations introduced in 2014. It’s about knowing change is inevitable and being ready to adjust, to adapt faster than your competitors, to stand out and stay ahead of the market. Business leaders need to be agile and lead the way in driving change so they drive a culture of trust, belief and engagement and people get onboard with the ‘new way’ as quickly as possible.

Accelerating the growth and development of your business, particularly in the current and ever changing environment, means leading from the front, with the focus and determination to win, by surrounding yourself with high performing talent that are driven through a personal and collective desire to succeed.
Posted: Saturday, 12 July 2014 - 4:35 PM