May the Fourth be with you! Happy Star Wars Day, readers. I have a treat for you: a Star Wars-themed blog!
I know what you’re thinking: “What does Star Wars have to do with anything you write about, Alexis?”
Well, it has to do with onboarding. If you haven’t gotten the chance to learn what onboarding is and why you need it, check out our NEO post.
In The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn trained a young Anakin Skywalker and told him, “Your focus determines your reality.” What does that mean? What does that have to do with onboarding? The reality is that your employees won’t develop a strong connection with your company unless you have focused on an incredible onboarding plan. Onboarding helps new employees focus and connect with their new employer.
“But what does this have to do with Star Wars? They didn’t onboard their employees.” You make an excellent point, but you can learn important lessons from the franchise that will help you create a strong onboarding plan.
First lesson: create and develop a strong culture that your employees believe in. Take the Sith, for example. They have a culture based on defending their own interests at all costs. They backstab others to get what they want, and they do it all for self-interest. While this sounds terrible (and it is), the Sith have a toolkit of sorts on how to approach any situation. Your onboarding plan is like a toolkit for your employees. It should give them the tools they need to develop their connection to your company as well as the means to do their jobs correctly. If you’ve read Our Story, you’ll know that Chuck has built a strong culture at Crystal D, and it helps us thrive. Our culture is just as strong as the Sith culture, but it’s MUCH nicer!
Another example of this is Han Solo: intergalactic smuggler turned Rebel Alliance general. When he was flying around the galaxy as a smuggler with his trusty sidekick Chewbacca, he didn’t have a culture to believe in. He was just doing his job. The more time he spent with Luke, Leia, and the droids, the more he began to embrace their culture. He changes his ways from a smuggler to an incredible asset and ultimately a Rebel Alliance general.
The beautiful Princess Leia persuaded Han Solo, and she gave him a culture to believe in. He was all-in. Give your employees something to believe in and the tools to grow. You’ll have employees who believe in what your company is built on, and you’ll have a group of strong leaders, just like Leia and Han.
Second lesson: follow the same onboarding process for every employee. The Trade Federation and the Republic each created soldiers for the Clone Wars using the assembly line approach. They followed the same training process for every recruit. Your company can onboard every employee using the same process of training, no matter what department they’re in. This will strengthen the Force between employees and reinforce a connection to your culture.
Third lesson: continue training employees after onboarding is done. Emperor Palpatine trained Darth Maul to hunt and kill Jedi. He learned to master the lightsaber and to use the Force at a young age. So he was able to become a specialized expert. But his training never stopped. He kept developing his skills until his eventual demise. You hired your employees for their skills, but developing those skills through continued training will bring them to a Darth Maul-level of expertise and keep your company successful.
Use the Force to combine all of these tips, and your company will prosper. Your employees will be well equipped to do their jobs and will help your company rule your industry. Remember that “your focus determines your reality,” and you will do well, young padawan.