Abstract I-cubed is a software applications company that is experiencing challenges surrounding employee turnover and the integration of new employees successfully into the company culture, which are likely due to their recent, rapid growth. Team Sigma, an MBA team from NCSC, determined that creating an nonbinding framework would be a solution to begin remedying these challenges. This research paper takes a deeper look at the ways in which the key aspects of an nonbinding program could benefit I-cubed.
Research was conducted in the form of interviews, a Value Innovation Quotient survey, and a review of primary and secondary sources on the abject of employee productivity and company culture adoption. Recommendations for a 90-day integration of a best-fit nonbinding program are outlined in this research paper. I-cubed, a software applications company experiencing rapid growth, faces challenges with employee turnover. Additionally, new employees are having trouble adapting to the unique company culture, which may be a contributing factor in decreased retention.
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A survey of more than 2,000 HER and training executives performed by Boston-based consulting firm Innovations Group revealed that one third f employers experience first-year turnover rates close to 50 % (Amble, 2007). Additional research has found that new employees who went through a structured nonbinding program were 58 % more likely to remain with the organization after three years (The Hunters Group, 2007). We recommend that I-cubed create an nonbinding program that follows a phased plan.
A successful nonbinding program first recruits employees with the best company fit, then provides them with an orientation that reinforces continuous learning and addresses key company details such as history, key personnel, administrative details, company language, and recesses. Following this, methods such as cross-training, employee networks, and internships should be utilized during an ongoing period of time dedicated to cultural assimilation.
According to the research presented within this paper, this process is best established through a structured integration plan. I-cubed Challenges and Nonbinding as a Solution Founded in 1984, I-cubed is a solutions and services provider in the areas of Product Lifestyle Management, Business Process Integration, and Data Migration. Due to their rapid growth, the client faces an issue regarding the training and retention of new and seasoned employees.
It has been suggested that some of this turnover has to do with the unique culture of I-cubed and the fact that there is not a significant period of formalized cultural assimilation. I-cubed would like to enhance overall productivity and increase the adoption of the company culture while reducing voluntary turnover of the employee base as a whole. To address these desired outcomes, we recommend that I-cubed enact an nonbinding program with characteristics specific to their needs.
We set out to understand the current culture of I-cubed by working with their HER manager, Jeanine Bradley, as well as researching bust nonbinding program. The recommended framework is measurable, adaptable, and built around the key skills and characteristics with which the organization can promote the healthy development of a high performance workplace. The deliverables agreed upon by I-cubed and Team Sigma include a paper, a presentation, a take-away nonbinding model, and a timeline with accompanying ideas and strategies for implementation.
Research Methods Research began with a review of available peer-reviewed literature regarding nonbinding and how it relates to Job performance and voluntary turnover. Several aspects on what affects an employee’s decision to remain at the company as well as their consideration on what level of production were identified and considered as the team compared the research to the practices currently in use at I-cubed. An evaluation of exemplary models for nonbinding was also considered, such as an analysis of the nonbinding process at the library of North Carolina State University (NCSC).
To discover and document how I-cubed is presently integrating new employees into their existing workforce, the team interviewed several employees at the company including the HER manager and key company executives. In addition, a Value Innovation Questionnaire Assessment (VIC) was performed on the company evaluating how well I-cubed fares at nine cultural factors that are proven indicators of innovative organizations. The VIC was provided through the Center for Innovation Management Services (SIMS) and created by Dry.
Lynda Atman-Smith with NCSC. Some dimensions of innovation measured in the survey, such as empowerment and learning, are important aspects off good nonbinding program. This assessment helped to identify areas in which I-cubed can improve and gave a baseline for imprison on the effectiveness of new nonbinding strategies. Nonbinding Nonbinding is the mechanism to reinforce the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors for corporate citizenship to new employees.
This mechanism occurs whether the employer has an nonbinding process defined or not, and contributes to the productivity, retention, and integration of new employees as will be described in this paper. Nonbinding is the complete process of integrating new employees into the organization, which includes their hiring, orientation, networking, and preliminary job training. New employees who go through a comprehensive, structured nonbinding process reach higher levels of productivity more quickly than those who do not (Bozo Allen Hamilton, 2008).
Therefore, the implementation of a strong nonbinding program serves a critical role in retaining new hires and increasing Job performance and satisfaction. A key explanation for what drives employees to be high performers and involved in their work is summed up by the concept of “Job embeddings” (Lee, Mitchell, Sibilants, Burton, & Holt, 2004). Lee and associates describe Job embeddings as a sort of social web, with three major mentions that are applicable both on and off the Job.
These aspects are “(1) the extent to which people have links to other people or activities, (2) the extent to which their Jobs and communities fit other aspects in their “life spaces,” and (3) the ease with which links could be broken – what they would give up if they left their present settings” (Lee et al. , 2004, p. 712). Therefore, organizing methods to increase Job embeddings provides a valuable step that the client should undertake to increase approached as a accompanied nonbinding initiative aimed at quickly integrating and sustaining the benefits increased Job embeddings provides an organization.
While this initiative, when fully implemented, applies to both newcomers and established employees, the following discussion will be limited to inboards application to new hires. Recruitment One goal of the nonbinding process should be to increase the value an employee receives from the on-the-Job and off-the-Job links and fit, and increases the perceived sacrifices associated with leaving the organization. The research done by Gallo (2010) lists three steps to nonbinding that correspond well to the model of Job embeddings advanced by Lee et al. (2004).
The first step in Gallon’s research is to “start as early as possible in the process [of hiring] to expose your new hire to the organization’s or unit’s culture and to explain how work gets done” (2010). This is a self-selection of both organizational and cultural fit, exposing to potential new employees what is expected of them and how the organization operates. It is better for the candidate to remove himself from the applicant pool before Joining the company and avoid committing resources to employees that were not going to stay or perform at a high level.
This step should be considered when generating Job descriptions, and thought should be given toward what the organization is looking for on a cultural level in an employee. We recommend that I-cubed strongly consider impressing upon potential hires the type of culture at I-cubed in order for them to self-select out of the applicant pool before an offer is made. Orientation & Employee Development The orientation process focuses on the beginning portion of Job task specific training.
Generally, orientation is described as the first set of experiences a new hire has with the company in preparation for their future career path. The first step in this process is mainly administrative and involves developing department, or Job, specific training documents, establishing a housing location for these documents, creating a clear checklist of objectives to accomplish, and setting the criteria for which these objectives have been completed (Starches, 1996; Ballard & Blessing, 2006).
Through our contact with I-cubed, we understand there is a need for more of the administrative practices to move from paper-based to electronics-based. Research has shown that nonbinding processes which are partially or fully automated tend to eave significantly higher new employee retention rates, new employee engagement, year-over-year decrease in time-to-productivity for new employees, and a year-over- year decrease in cost per employee of nonbinding than organizations with paper- based nonbinding processes (Martin & Lombardi, 2009) There are many ways to undertake automation of some orientation processes.
For example, the agency can provide new employees with links to required information and forms through the organization’s web site and forms can then be printed out and completed before the first day of work (Bozo Allen Hamilton, 2008). Forms can then be printed out and completed before the first day of work or submitted electronically, reducing the need for physical paperwork. An important benchmark for automation will be the development of a standard online location for training information and documentation (Ballard & Blessing, 2006). Organization through a structured training program. Good nonbinding practices include learning and performance management by providing a formal new-hire training program (Martin & Lombardi, 2009). A formal learning program that maps to specific competency requirements or development plans, as well as managers who define and communicate individual employee goals and expectations within or before the first week of employee’s start date, will contribute to increased time-to-productivity and strong growth (Martin & Lombardi, 2009).
All of an employee’s requirements should be clearly identified and documented before they walk through the door. Currently, I-cubeb’s documentation could be enhanced by adding links to internally saved documents (Ballard & Blessing, 2006). As the training programs become more refined, we recommend that these communal files be transitioned over to a Learning Management System (ALMS). Educating the managers, mentors, and trainers about the nonbinding process is just as important as the new employees themselves.
Through nonbinding, organizations set a baseline and a common understanding about the expectations the organization has for employees. Having the managers, mentors, and trainers continually educated reinforces the purpose of nonbinding, the particulars of the orientation process, and the responsibilities of each individual during the process (Starches, 1996). Following this step provides a clear set of objectives and tasks for managers, human resources, mentors, and trainers.
Cultural Assimilation Whenever a new individual is introduced into an organization, they require a certain level of colonization and normalization to become fully functioning members. This organizational colonization refers to the process by which newcomers make the transition from being organizational outsiders to being insiders (Bauer, Bodied, Reardon, Trujillo, & Tucker, 2007). Fitting into a culture and finding a place among a network of colleagues is essential for a successful new hire process.
Newcomers that feel like they have established an emotional connection to not Just heir Job, but also to the overall organization, are more likely to feel they have made the right decision in Joining the company. According to Tim Vague (2007), a Innovations Consultant, “not developing a sense of belonging ranked among one of the reasons for failed hiring. ” Connections to a variety of resources in the industry and organization help guarantee success at work because new employees knowing where to turn for quick answers and resources (Amble, 2007).
Nonbinding programs that help newcomers reduce anxiety through coping mechanisms, such as feeling included , lead to a faster transition from new hire to reductive employee (Latch, 1984). Activities such as planning a lunch for new hires, providing nutmeats, and instituting introduction ice-breakers are all ways to create a welcoming environment that will make nonbinding a transition success. Easing new hire anxiety directly relates to fostering a productive learning environment that allows them to get up to speed with training at a faster rate (Kennedy & Berger, 1994).
Reducing employee anxiety can be as simple as making sure they are aware of personnel they can turn to for questions should the need arise. When the INCISE libraries developed their nonbinding process, following extensive research, they involved key library staff across a spectrum of departments during staff up with established staff members to act as a mentor (Ballard & Blessing, 2006). By putting the entire staff through nonbinding at the same time and including both old and new hires, they immediately created a bond amongst the collective unit.
Presenting a new employee with an organized nonbinding framework provides a clear Job responsibility guideline, as well as a chance to adjust to the company’s ultra and build working relationships. This creates a “sense of physical and emotional security by fostering relatedness and role orientation that researchers and theorists have tied to Job satisfaction” (Ballard & Blessing, 2006, p. 246). We recommend several methods for culture adoption to I-cubed, such as cross-training, employee networking groups, and mentoring.
All of these are excellent methods to facilitate a new hire’s acclimation process, some of which are already practiced by departments within I-cubed, and support a deep and permanent integration into a company culture. Cross Training Cross-functional collaboration is an integral part of a new hire’s full assimilation into an organization, especially those with a flattened or matrixes organization (Derive, 2008). Though I-cubed has a structured hierarchy, they encourage the behavior of a flattened organization model, with employees guided to report concerns directly to top management.
Cross-training is a great way for managers to strengthen a new hire’s skills and knowledge across the company, but also helps them develop key relationships with their colleagues. “Establishing positive peer relationships early on builds a foundation that is critically important, as a future inflicts over competing priorities and resources are inevitable” (Derive, 2008, p. 50). A strong nonbinding program should identify key internal relationships that are vital to getting work done proficiently, and train employees on factors that influence work relationships.
Employee Networks People tend to feel a stronger sense of community when involved with a group of people that they share a common interests shared. In a growing company, such as l- Cubed, it can become increasingly difficult to find a common ground over merely having the same employer alone. Employee networks, also known as affinity groups r employee resource groups, are a great way to mitigate the disconnected feeling employees can experience during the new hire process, and serves as a reminder to tenured employees of how they fit into the company as well (Arnold, 2006).
Citreous, a great corporate example, that introduces new employees to employee networks such as Hispanic Pride and Working Parent’s as a way to instantly connect them to like-minded individuals in the company (Derive, 2008). Ford, Hewlett- Packard, and Eli Lilly also all have well established affinity groups that play a valuable role in their nonbinding processes (Arnold, 2006). Inclusion in a group signifies to many a strong membership within an organization. Not only do employee network groups provide an opportunity for relationship building to employees, but also the employer can benefit tremendously.
These types of groups allow employers to gain a deeper insight into what motivates their employees leading to better management and overall higher productivity. Additionally, the construct of employee networks can serve as an attractive recruitment tool to potential employees. Texas Instruments experienced this phenomenon first hand when trying to persuade a Job candidate he help of representatives from the Indian Diversity Initiative employee network, her fears were assuaged and she later reported the common interest group to be the key factor in her decision to work at TTL (Arnold, 2006).
For nonbinding success, encouraging the formation of employee groups is an easy win. According to the SHIRR report, “employee networks are critical for any company pursuing reduced costs associate with turnover, absenteeism, and low productively’ (Arnold, 2006, p. 145). Mentors Mentors are conduits for new employees to build strong internal networks (Dixon, Sonata & Pave, 2012). A robust nonbinding process places emphasis on supporting new hires to become connected with internal networks and includes a structured mentoring component (Dixon, Sonata & Pave, 2012).
The curriculum of nonbinding mentors includes topics such as information about the local community, company history, corporate culture, organizational policies, workflow, and project-specific information (Rousseau, 2008). Another method, suggested by Gallo, is to “ensure that the new hire understand how important the informal or ‘shadow organization is in getting things done” and to “get them working” ND involved with things that are critical to the organization. (2010).
Tying directly into the “links” dimension of Job embeddings, this step increases the links that a new employee forms with the organization. We propose that mentoring activities focused on increasing the number and quality of organizational links will also increase Job embeddings. As an added suggestion, pairing mentors not only based on Job tasks, but also on a generation learning curve would aid in the cultural differences spawned by a substantial generation gab at I-cubed.
Measuring Nonbinding Program Success In order to minimize the possibility of institutionalized colonization becoming overbearing, constant refinements should be made to the nonbinding process (Starches, 1996). Surveys developed and distributed to new employees following training completion would identify weaknesses and strengths within the current program, and allow for program innovations and developments (Starches 1996; Ballard & Blessing, 2006).
The research firm Aberdeen Group has identified companies who meet high standards in nonbinding often use assessments to determine satisfaction and feedback with the nonbinding process (Martin & Lombardi, 009). The main assessment used by these companies is employee satisfaction surveys as a part of the nonbinding process (Martin & Lombardi, 2009). Additionally, many of these companies measure from both the employee and organization’s perspectives, measuring not only employee satisfaction, but also employee performance (Martin & Lombardi, 2009).
In fact, formally assessing the nonbinding process at least annually in companies has been shown to increase new employee retention by 10% or more (Martin & Lombardi, 2009). Organizations ranging from Koch Industries, Inc. , one of the largest privately held impasses in the country, to the NCSC Libraries, have found that internally focused committees are supportive of continued development and sustained performance (Koch, 2007; Ballard & Blessings, 2006). Based on this, I-cubed should consider forming a committee specifically for nonbinding.
This group would be focused on all groups and positions. Ideally the committee should be composed of both younger and older employees to provide a robust view of the program. Integration Integrating the suggested methods of nonbinding is a crucial step in enacting a successful nonbinding program. We have defined a recommended, structured timeline, broken into distinct phases; to accomplish nonbinding goals in a manner that will best suits I-cubeb’s needs. The first phase in the timeline begins before the first day.
The proposed integration strategy timeline is based on the model presented by the Partnership for Public Service and Bozo Allen Hamilton resource (2008). Pre- day one activities, suggested by the Aberdeen Group, are those which have been deemed the most valuable to make new employees feel engaged, demonstrate the organization’s preparedness for the new employee’s arrival, and show clarity and commitment to his or her personal development (Martin & Lombardi, 2009). Use this time to begin communicating with new employees, rather than waiting until the first day, to provide a smoother transition.
Other actions which may be taken prior to the first day include contacting the new employee to answer questions and to set day one expectations, having all IT needs up and running before the employee’s start date, and assigning a mentor (Martin & Lombardi, 2009). The second phase is the first day orientation and will be the first substantive encounter for a new employee with the new organization, so it is a critical part of the verbal nonbinding process and sets the tone of that employee’s first impression.
Generally, the human resources contact welcomes the new employee for orientation and ensures that orientation covers required activities. On an employee’s first day, the entities involved should personalize the experience. For example, label tent cards in the orientation room or leave small I-cubed related gifts for each new employee. This is a good time to introduce the new employee to his or her mentor, and describe the mission and vision of the organization, as well as how his or her Job is relevant ND important to that mission and vision.
At this point, senior management should be engaged by welcoming the new employee and all paperwork should be completed. Provide immediate colonization by arranging for new employees to eat together or with already established team members. This interaction is an ideal time to provide realistic information about the I-cubed and its unique culture. The next phase encompasses the remainder of a new employee’s first week.
During this time, a senior leader should formally welcome the new employee, review the organization’s structure and key staff members, and provide a list of internal epic experts for further development and answers. Additionally, managers should begin to communicate Job roles and responsibilities, start training, and assign substantive, position related, work. The first 90 days marks the final phase of integration and refers to the time between the new employee’s first week and the first three months of employment.
Throughout this period, the new employee completes their initial training and should be well on their way to adapting fully to the company’s culture. As the new hire’s workloads increase up to full production, their manager should monitor performance ND provide early and clear feedback often. This feedback allows issues to be identified and addressed early ensuring optimal development. Like the first day, this job. The entities involved in the nonbinding program should review the performance objectives and set longer-term individual development goals.
Training should be provided as needed, to help the new employee understand internal systems, general operating practices, and to obtain other information or skills required in the performance of his Job. Throughout the timeline suggested in this report, implementation of an unbarring strategy can be further refined by syntactically applying the model of the I-cubed New Hire Development Plan, which is detailed more fully in Figures 1-3. This newcomer acclimation model is based on research from the 2007 Bauer et al. Meta-analysis for newcomer acclimation, and teethed John Van Mean and Edgar H.
Scheme study on organizational colonization tactics. Combining the findings of these studies, we can use these as statistically tested and correlated guidelines to achieve specific outcomes, which can give further direction to the implementation of our suggested methods shown in Figures 4 & 5. The proposed nonbinding tools can be applied within the suggested 90-day timeshare and, when coupled with the model, can be modified to fit the specific role requirements, the type of person hired, and the desired outcomes. Together these provide a variable framework for virtually any circumstance.
Conclusion The institution of a measurable and structured nonbinding program at I-cubed should significantly decrease turnover rates while increasing both productivity and cultural adoption. The methods for nonbinding we recommend using include hiring or company fit, creating a defined set of nonbinding goals by which to train managers, instituting the use of cross-training, employee networks, and internships to promote cultural assimilation, and integrating everything into a 90-day framework. I-cubed is now armed with the tools and information necessary to create an outstanding nonbinding program.