Onboarding. HUGE topic right? Plays into performance issues, recruiting, retention... I was reminded during a recent chat about onboarding of one of my favorite books, Making the Corps by Thomas Ricks.
I hear what you're saying - that's the Marine Corps, we're a company that sells X but the Marines make a powerful choice with their onboarding. The USMC focuses their boot camp experience (from what I've read and have been told - I've never had the honor to serve) on what it "means" to be a Marine; skills, while important, come later. No one leaves boot without knowing in their heart of hearts that they now belong to something larger than themselves and what that organization's central beliefs are.
This got me thinking. Can we do the same? Could we differentiate ourselves from our competitors clearly and sharply in a cultural sense? Could you answer the question - what does it mean to belong to your organization versus a competitor?
If asked, could you clearly talk about the central tenets of your organziation's culture and more importantly, could you point to ways in which both your organzation demonstrated how it values those points and how individuals act on those values in their daily work lives?
So here is the challenge - without talking about pay - tell me the cultural touchstones that make your organization special - differentiate it from others on the basis of values. If we can't do that, how important do you think that it is to focus on surfacing those values?