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Watch Brightwing President and Management Consultant George Opitz talk about the power of exit interviews and onboarding while building your employee engagement strategy.


What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made while building employee engagement?


GEORGE: We didn’t always have it right. You grow into this. I said this before. It’s not like: “We’re going to have an initiative for a quarter or for a year to create employee engagement.” It really is a commitment.


We interviewed this young lady to come into our organization as a recruiter. We loved her when we interviewed her. Everybody did. We brought her on board… and she quit. In her exit interview, which is also important –because when you want to learn and build engagement, you need to exit interview your employees so you understand where the missteps were. If we hadn’t heard this, we never would have gone in the direction we went in.


And what happened was even though everybody liked her, everybody was very tight. She had trouble breaking in. She had trouble making connections once she was here because everybody else was already so connected. And we didn’t have a process to help with that. And that’s where we came up with what evolved into our onboarding program.


And part of our onboarding program is that everybody who comes into our organization has a mentor that they get assigned to. And that mentorship has nothing to do with their particular job. It has to do with helping them connect with the organization and who the organization is.


We would never have figured that out without the exit interview. And I feel real bad that that’s what happened to this individual, but as good as we thought we were already in our assessment of bringing people on board, we had missed something. We had built a great, connected organization. We hadn’t figured out how to bring new people into it. And that’s what we learned out of that.


Looking to build your team? At Brightwing, our talent acquisition approach is one-part relationships, one-part insight, and one-part results. We know it’s a recipe that can work for you.

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