In the marine industry, employee satisfaction is not merely a goal but the cornerstone of a thriving business. At the forefront of cultivating this satisfaction is the onboarding process—a critical phase that can set the course for a new hire’s journey. Liz Keener, the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) certification manager, presents a compelling narrative on the importance of onboarding
The onboarding process in the marine industry is the maiden voyage for new hires; it is their first taste of the company culture and an early indicator of their future within the company. Keener emphasizes, “The first impression you leave on a new employee is key to them starting off on the right foot.” This is not just a statement of fact; it is a guiding principle for marine industry leaders to ensure their onboarding processes are as meticulously crafted as the vessels they build.
The First Wave: Making a Splash with Onboarding:
A new hire’s first day is the first wave they ride with the company. It should be exhilarating, not overwhelming. Keener advises, “You want them to be excited about working for you and eager to deliver big results for your team as soon as possible.” In the marine industry, where precision and attention to detail are paramount, the onboarding process should reflect these values. It’s about more than just a warm welcome; it’s about integrating new hires into the very fabric of the company’s mission and values.
Navigating the Currents: Building a Cohesive Crew:
Belonging is the compass that guides employee satisfaction. Keener queries, “How do you make your new employees feel welcome from their first minute in the door?” The answer is in creating a sense of community. Introducing new hires to the team, sharing meals, and providing a clear schedule can make a vast difference. Keener points out the importance of workplace friendships, backed by research, which suggests that camaraderie at work is key to transforming a job into a fulfilling career.
The Psychological Anchor: Mentorship and Communication:
Mentorship is the anchor that keeps the ship steady in rough waters. Keener highlights the need for mentorship, especially for younger generations like Gen Z, who “thrive in an in-person work environment.” In the marine industry, where the transfer of knowledge is crucial, mentorship ensures that the legacy of craftsmanship and expertise continues. Communication, too, is a lifeline. Keener stresses the need for transparency, “Gen Z and Millennials… want to know what’s going on in the business so they can help.”
Equipped for the Voyage: Providing the Right Tools:
The right tools can make the difference between a smooth voyage and getting lost at sea. Keener shares a personal story to underline this point, “My friend who didn’t have a computer on her first few days…”. In the marine industry, where technology and equipment are integral, ensuring that employees have what they need is a sign of respect and a predictor of their success.
Setting Sail for Success:
Onboarding is the first leg of the journey in the marine industry. Keener concludes with a powerful call to action, “Make that effort, take that time. Onboarding is crucial to an employee’s satisfaction with their work.” A well-executed onboarding process is a beacon that guides new hires to a fulfilling career, ensuring they are not just aboard the ship but are also ready to navigate the challenging yet rewarding waters of the marine industry.
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