What’s the secret sauce to on-boarding?

By Phil Sallaway, Product Manager, SalesForceMaven.com
Orange County Sales & Marketing Leadership Alliance Meeting- April 2016
Presenter Jim Trunick, Principal Consultant at ALC and Former Senior Director, Commercial Leadership Development at Allergan

At first blush, one tends to think of the “On boarding Process” as being an HR function and Hiring Manger function only done. What Jim did was expand my perception of on boarding into a continuous process one that creates alignment within the organization and fosters diversity at the same time. The danger of only on boarding those the fit the cookie cutter is stagnation, groupthink or simply drinking too much of your own Kool-Aid. By only managing Hands and Feet we are not engaging their minds as a result we stifle creativity. Success is Intellectual and comes from engaging their intellect.

SMLA OC April 2016

Jim created this realization in a very practical way. He gave each of us a deck of 52 cards; each card had one word on it. Works that described our values like Family, Creativity, Justice, etc. We all started out with 52 cards, Jim said pick the 23 that best describe us, well that was easy, well not so fast. Jim says, now out of that 30 pick 15, and that was harder, then he kicks it up a notch and says pick 10, much harder. Finally, he promises this is the last cut; pick only six that best describe you. I hear groans, and there is much struggle here to narrow it down to just six. Culling the list down to just six cards was tough.

But Jim was not through with us. As a group, he wanted the group’s top six. So we worked our way through the group’s top picks and came up with: Family, Results, Passion, Integrity, Impact, Fun. A good group of words for a group of Sales & Marketing Professionals. There is a tendency to onboard people based on their Skills, Competency, and knowledge. That only gets you their hands, and feet to do the work. It harkens back to the view of employees as widgets a commodity, used for a unit of production people = ROI. In today’s complex environment, require that the head and hearts. Then comes from their Values. The shared empathy, decision-making, and judgment. It takes good interviewing skills to surface this level. It also takes continuous development – On boarding to align with the company culture.

SMLA OC April 2016 2Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast. The Six Words represent out culture. If the needs represented by our six words are not being met in our life, we will try to change the external environment to meet these needs. If we can get the environment to change, we quit caring. Employees will not tell you they have quit, they get negative Sabotage and self sabotage our projects.

We all want to work for something bigger than ourselves. Only 26% of employees are actually engaged. 89% of success is tied to motivational fit. It is less about assessing and more about alignment of existing employees.

Kent Schmitt observed that the successful companies he deals with Know their values and can express those values clearly. So the find employees with similar values. Jim said that if we can understand people’s values they will work harder for you. In a global economy diversity of thought and full engagement are competitive advantages.


1. New employees gain self-discovery of their own values.
2. Assist managers gain perspectives of the values of the members of their teams.
3. Collate and collaborate to create a corp. value statement that incorporates diversity. Diversity is People who have differing values from the typical, that is the outlying values. It is in the outliers – fringe where the buckets of growth are. Last Thoughts Work = Pay it lacks purpose Engaged Work = Pride in the shared values of what we do. XX Our homework is to take our six words and write the stories behind them.

About our Presenter
Jim is former Sr. Director, Commercial Leadership Development at Allegan Pharmaceuticals. He has 36 years of sales and marketing experience with Allergen, his only job. He started ALC (Align Leadership and Coaching) in 2013, as an executive coaching practice. He currently works with several fortune 500 groups, including Allegan, Saks Fifth Avenue, Comcast Cable, NYK global shipping, and Genentech on training design, executive coaching and team development.

About the author
Phil Sallaway| Product Manager|SalesForceMaven.com
(949) 636-5286 | psallaway1@aol.com | www.SalesForceMaven.com

Phil Sallaway is a Sales Leadership Alliance member with 20 years of business experience.  He has managed product lines as large as $50 Million.  Career highlights include: placing a product on the “This Old House” TV program and being published in many national trade publications. He has been a voting member on a joint ISA, ANSI, IEC standards committee. Phil is currently the Product Manager at SalesForceMaven.com

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