On February 21, 2023, ISYS’ Vice President of Case Management and Workplace Safety, Herbert Van Patten II, participated on The Hire Talent podcast to discuss his perspectives on what he and ISYS refer to as “The Path To Mastery” in employee onboarding and retention. Herb was interviewed by host Fletcher Wimbush about the journey that employees go through from the time they are selected to start a new position to the point where they become fully competent and high functioning in their new role.

Herb discussed how embracing the philosophies of  “The Path to Mastery” enabled ISYS to not only attract high quality candidates, but to also ensure they get the support they need during their first year of training and enculturation to the company, and to eliminate the risk of false starts, promoting longer term retention and the ability to “master” the job.

The primary phases of “The Path to Mastery” discussed in the podcast are:

  • First Threshold -The “Holy Cow!” moment: This phase is characterized by confusion and mistakes and is the phase where “false starts” are at a highest risk.  At this phase, we want employees to know during this stage that we expect there to be confusion, we expect mistakes to be made, we expect there might be some anxiety because the employee is learning new things, learning from mistakes, and applying those lessons forward.  Providing a high degree of empathy, supervisory support, and clear communications at this phase is key to crossing this first threshold.  (may take days or weeks)
  • Second Threshold – Self Realization and “Aha! Moment”:  During this phase, the employee is receiving more training and leadership support, and also gaining more experience and confidence along the way.  This comes when the new hire recognizes they are gaining competence and meeting the needs of their role and this increased confidence, despite some discomfort, encourages the employee to forge ahead because they can see and feel the positive impact they’re having and the improvements they are making.  While they may not be close to mastering, the employee is gaining confidence in their ability to learn and survive discomfort and to successfully navigate challenges.    (may take weeks or months)
  • Third Threshold – Competence and confidence established: In this phase the employee becomes more efficient and effective in the role and feels the benefits of being more productive and impactful, reinforcing their confidence.  Employee is more valuable to customers, to peers, and to the company because they’re having a positive impact and fulfilling the general expectations of their role. While complete “mastery” may still be a ways ahead, the employee is now high functioning in the role, providing value to the company and to themselves (they have less self-doubt), and now fully comfortable in their new role.   (This phase may take months or years)
  • Mastery: This phase comes from long-term experience and repetition in the role and eventual development of expertise to the point where competence becomes unconscious. This may take years but is a very rewarding phase. Mastery is where an employee discovers a heightened sense of identity in their work because of all they’ve accomplished. They are setting an example to others and might even become a mentor or leader in their role.

For more on the podcast, visit LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/path-mastery-what-expect-fletcher-wimbush

To watch the complete video podcast on youtube, please click here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=rMdfa0LZUOQ


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