Could Your Onboarding of New Hires Be More Like Steve Ballmer?

Kris Dunn Communication, Culture, Uncategorized

Onboarding of new hires is a tricky thing. Your company is running fast, and if you do anything to announce someone’s arrival at your company, you’re likely to do one (if you’re above average) or more (if you’re really purposeful about it) of the following things to make new hires feel welcome:

1–You send out an email announcing the new hire during their first week. You send it out when they are on the job, so people will stop by and welcome them, and so people have an idea about their background, etc.

2–You make it more purposeful and have some type of gathering to welcome new hires in a given month. You say a few things to welcome them, then do the “let’s have the new hires say a few words” and the awkwardness begins.

3–You assign them a mentor to guide them through the ramp up process. If you’re a great place to work, you call it a “Sherpa”, because that sounds freaking cool and bleeding edge. At least it did until all those people started lining up on Mt. Everest and perishing, at which point you started calling them “mentors” again and pretended you never called them Sherpas. I see you!

What’s missing from that menu of items? Probably a little bit of enthusiasm and leadership vision. Enter Steve Ballmer, former Sales Leader at Microsoft, now retired from that job, worth billions and relatively new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA.

Ballmer’s known for being “pumped up”. He recently signed two top 15 players league-wide in the 2019 Free Agency period in the NBA, and here’s a video of how his comments went down as he welcomed two new employees (Kawhi Leonard and Paul George) to the organization:

(Email Subscribers – click through on the title of the post if you don’t see the video below – you won’t want to miss this)

So that’s a lot of enthusiasm, right? Too much for you? Sure, I get that.

But I’d leave you with the following thought. You’re probably not Steve Ballmer, but if you’re not excited about a new hire you make and aren’t willing to tell you company about how cool it is, you miss out on two very important things:

A–You don’t take advantage of the opportunity to further tie the new hire to your team and company by specifically stating why you’re excited about the hire in question. Emotional Ties 101.

B–You fail to put a bit of implied pressure on the new hire to do great things. If you say you have big expectations and you found the person to fulfill them, you’re goal setting for them before they even have an account in your performance management system. The Sherpa can show them that thing. You’re leading by setting expectations in front of others on day one.

You’re not Steve Ballmer – I get it. Watch the video again, because the truth is you need to be somewhere between Ballmer and where you are to get the most out of your new hire.

Get pumped up about a new hire, but be specific about why it’s great and what the person in front of your team will accomplish.