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Longboarding in the Age of Covid

Thursday, April 23, 2020
What is longboarding, and what role does it play in the post-Covid landscape of talent acquisition? At a time when many businesses are dealing with short-term goals, Leeatt Rothschild writes in HR Morning, that this long-term goal is more important than ever. Simply put, longboarding means going beyond onboarding to keep top talent motivated for the long term.
Citing the statistic that replacing a top employee can cost as much as twice their yearly salary, Rothschild writes, “HR leaders need to continue to affirm employees long after the onboarding period to keep them excited about their work.” Longboarding is a long-term strategy that addresses the needs of your top employees and is particularly important in the new normal of an all-remote staff.
In her article, Rothschild provides three tips for longboarding that may mean the difference between losing your star employee or not.
First, she explains that you should communicate often. As we have said on this blog before, open communication is key in the hiring process, especially when done virtually; but this is especially true in longboarding where Rothschild suggests having regular check-ins. “Longboarding is all about regular, constructive communication…. Top performers want to know that their opinion matters….ask for your employees’ honest feedback about how things are going,”  writes Rothschild, “Make sure they know their concerns have an outlet, and that they can have an active role in shaping their experience and workflow.”
Second, she writes that you should be offering development opportunities. Even without a huge budget, companies have options for developing their employees. Whether it be something as simple as peer coaching and digital courses, or technical workshops and leadership mentoring, employee development nurtures dedicated, informed leaders.
Third, Rothschild encourages frequent recognition. “When employees know the work they’re doing is valued, they’re more inclined to stay and grow within your company,” she writes. Rothschild goes on to say that during onboarding, you prepare the employee “to do good work.” In longboarding, you need to praise that job well done. Rothschild also lists a few key events that should lead to recognition, including milestones, anniversaries, and hardships (especially important right now). And this recognition can be simple, like a handwritten note or time off.
In the end, Rothschild is a proponent of more longboarding, less onboarding. While complementing one another, she concludes that through longboarding “you improve retention, you can save the energy and resources you’d need to onboard the next new hire and invest it in the incredible talent you already have.”
You can read Rothschild’s full article here for in-depth tips on how to successfully longboard your employees, even remotely. Orion is here for you, as well. If you need some help in developing these strategies, give us a call and let us get you on the right track.