Lessons from John Deere
On boarding is done differently in John Deere, the tractor manufacturer. We would think perhaps that a farm equipment manufacturer would be less sophisticated, but don’t be fooled by the “aw shucks” image.
New employees are welcomed in a very special way that connects them to the culture. Somebody emails the new employee the day before they start, greets them upon arrival and provides a guided tour on the way to their desk.
On the screensaver of their computer is a picture of a John Deere tractor working in a beautiful field. Under the tractor is a caption “You are doing the most important work of your life here at John Deere”.
The first email comes from the president of the company with the video greeting where he discusses the mission of the company and provides a warm welcome.
They have a banner over their desk so that others know it’s their first day and will stop by and say hello.
I’m sure you can imagine the wonderful sense of connection that a new employee might have. Creating these first day experiences integrates new people in a way that connects them to the purpose mission and vision of the business, and helps them find meaning in their work.
This gives us all an example to reflect on as we consider better ways to connect new employees to their work and the company.