“Find your faith and your fears will starve to death” (Ona Brown)
A new-born antelope, once released from the womb of its mother, struggles at first to get to its feet. The mother nudges her offspring with her nose, forcing the youngster to start moving. There are a few wobbly moments, a few falls, a few stutters, but after a relatively short period of time, the new-born gains more confidence and starts walking and then prancing around. Not yet sure of its ability, it still makes mistakes, but quickly gets up again and strengthens daily. This is a particularly important process as the antelope has to be nimble and agile to avoid predators. The baby initially stays close to its mother, not only to feed, but also for protection and to allow its senses to sharpen – smell, sight, instinct. After a few weeks, however, the herd has already taught the young member appropriate herd behaviours and the need to stay close together. The youngster has found its feet in its new role.
Appropriate care given in one’s formative years sets one up for success. The faith in one’s parents, in God, in teachers and other early relationships gives one a foundation or security platform out of which one can explore one’s own giftedness and abilities without fear. As one begins to understand these talents and strengths, they become part of one’s reality and identity. Self-confidence kicks in and progress is made.
Similarly in the workplace, effective induction enables new employees to find their feet swiftly. The focus of this induction should be nurturing faith in the following areas:
- A robust and meaningful culture – new employees need to sense behavioural expectations that are aligned to a set of values that carry great weight in the organisation. Leaders and employees alike need to exemplify these values in decision-making processes and respectful relationships.
- A profound sense of the big picture – connecting new employees to the organisation’s vision, dreams and goals is critical if energy from new recruits is to be applied appropriately.
- A sharp understanding of the team’s responsibility – knowledge of exact outcome expectations and the value that the new recruit’s role will play.
- A level of insight into the operational relationship with the boss – accessibility, communication and reporting expectations, levels of feedback required, etc.
- A clear understanding of policies and procedures – the way we do things around here, conditions of employment, etc.
- An appreciative understanding of the brand value – belief in the brand and what the brand offers in terms of value for customers.
- Insight into how well (or not) the company is doing – where are we excelling, where do we need to improve, how constrained are we, etc.?
New employees need to establish faith early on in their tenure with a company so that they can find their feet swiftly. High performance is a product of this faith – once faith is established, confidence grows and focus and energy are applied appropriately. Effective induction is essential to establish faith.