Top 7 Ways to Build Commitment on a New Employee's First Day
By Nelson Scott
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Most of us remember our first day on the job. Everything was new. We didn’t know what to expect. We quickly formed impressions of our new employer, our new co-workers, and most importantly, our new boss. Through what happens on Day One, organizations plant the seeds of staff retention or resignation. By the end of their first day, newcomers are already contemplating their futures. Some will commit to their new employers, while others will commit to a new job search. As a manager, you can influence how new employees feel when they leave at the end of their first day.
- Begin Early – The task of making a job offer should never be delegated. The job offer should come from someone that the newcomer will perceive as significant within the organization such as you, her soon-to-be supervisor. Others may contact the new employee, as well. Imagine the impact when one of the first calls a new employee receives comes from the CEO, or some other senior executive, just to welcome her to the organization!
- Be Prepared – To avoid scrambling at the last minute, plan for the new employee’s arrival. Ensure that what she needs will be available on Day One: business cards, a name badge, computer access, and her name on internal directories. Post a sign where she will see it when she arrives, welcoming her to the organization.
- Involve Others – Let current staff know someone will be joining them. Provide background information on the newcomer – her name, her training and experience, her start date, and why you believe she will be an asset to the organization. Invite someone to serve as her mentor, clueing her in to those important little things that never seem to be part of the official orientation. Arrange for everyone to gather for coffee and muffins on Day One. Ask a few staff members to take her for lunch. Have everyone sign a card welcoming her on board.
- Share the Good News – Do you know some good things about the new employee? You sure do, based on what you learned about her during the interview that led to your decision to offer her the job. Let her know why she was hired. What information from her resume impressed you? What did you hear during the interview that convinced you that she was the one? How will the organization benefit from having her on staff? And don’t stop there. Look for behaviours on Day One for which you can recognize her. Keep the good news flowing!
- Spread Out the Orientation – Be selective about what and how much you tell new employees. Resist the temptation to tell new staff everything they will ever need to know on Day One. There is a limit to how much anyone can absorb at one time. Discuss the organization’s culture, and the beliefs and values that guide people’s actions. Provide enough information about specific aspects of the job to enable new employees to begin to contribute. Schedule additional training and orientation sessions over the next few weeks.
- Allow Newcomers to Contribute – Your new employees believe they were hired due to their skills and knowledge. They are eager to get started, to demonstrate what they can do. Too much time spent completing forms, studying procedure manuals, and memorizing policies and guidelines can soon diminish the enthusiasm of even the most energetic newcomers. Create opportunities for them to contribute somehow, even if it is in a small way.
- Ask, “How was your day?” – As important as it is that you, the supervisor, are there to greet the new employee at the beginning of the day, it is equally important that you spend time with her near the end of the day. Discuss the day. Ask questions: “How was your day? What did you learn today? How were you able to contribute? What questions do you have about our company?” This is also a good time to provide specific, positive feedback on something you saw the newcomer do well.
Nelson Scott has spent more than 15 years working with organizations and managers who are committed to hiring, engaging and retaining the right people. He speaks at conventions and conferences, and trains managers and supervisors how to conduct interviews and provide meaningful recognition. He is the author of Thanks! GREAT Job! Learn more at http://www.GREATstaffrecognition.com.
Article Submitted On: October 22, 2012