“If we want a feeling of meaning in life, I don't think we have a choice but to live a good story -- that is, to propel ourselves into some noble adventure, enduring difficult conflict for a cause greater than ourselves so we can see a tension resolve for the betterment of the people around us, for our families and our friends and for strangers less fortunate, thus setting a moral compass for everybody watching our stories, giving them the inspiration to lead a better life themselves.”

Donald Miller

Some of our clients are literally on-boarding new employees daily.  Others do it on at least a routine enough basis where it is a regular part of their monthly routine.  For example,  a business with 60 employees and a 20% turnover ratio is on-boarding a new employee about once a month on average. 

For us and many of our more typical clients, bringing someone else onto the team is quite a bit less frequent.  Turns out, the smaller you are, the more crucial “getting it right” becomes.  If you have 50 employees and you hire someone, they immediately represent 2% of your employee base.  A new hire for a team of 4 represents 20% of their new employee base.

We coach a lot of principles around good hiring:

  • Slow to hire
  • Personality testing
  • Layers of interviews
  • Values, purpose, culture alignment
  • Check every reference
  • Etc.

We need to add to our team.  It doesn’t happen very often.  Given what we coach our clients, we set the bar pretty high for us as well.  We exhausted every tool, step, and process we knew to determine the right fit.  We even asked one of the most powerful questions we learned from a restaurant in Seattle:

“How will working here help you become more of the person you want to become?”

Once we found the perfect next member to our team, we were faced with a simple challenge:  How do we welcome them aboard the first day?

We frequently refer to the concept that you don’t really know someone until you know their story. You can’t fully know who is standing in front of you until you have the context of the trail someone has walked from the first day to the last. And when you read all the great writers on group dynamics and the needs of individuals, they use words like… 

belonging, known, heard, seen, understood, appreciated

So after a lot of thought, prayer, and consideration, we scrapped all our other plans and met for several hours over a long breakfast at a nice hotel to start her first day.  

We all told the story of the vocational journey we took to get to SummitTrek, how much we loved what we did, how aligned it was with our unique gifting and calling, and how working there was helping us become the people we want to become.  And then we had her share her version of the same.

What could be more powerful or precious than a person’s story?

Every day of her first week was a firehose of information.  There is so much to learn.  But in terms of learning the things that matter most, it almost feels like she has always been here.

  • Do you hire well?
  • Do you know the things that matter most about the people you work with?
  • How do you onboard new employees?
  • Do you have an articulated process for hiring?