Setting New Employees Up for Success From the Start
As your business grows, you’re bound to eventually reach one inescapable conclusion: you have to hire more people. Unfortunately, as we all know, this can be a lengthy process. And by the time your new hire is finally through your front doors, all you want to do is run through the basic skills and orientation and let them get to work. Sound about right? If this resembles your hiring process, it should come as no surprise that your newest employee, who passed through your interviewing process with flying colors, suddenly couldn’t care less about your company. In fact, studies show that most new hires typically make the decision to stick around or stick it to’em within the first six months on the job. And it’s all based on first impressions. So, how can you and your business turn those first few months into a long and lasting relationship?
You can start by connecting with your new hire early on. It can be as simple as a congratulatory “Welcome” card from the other employees or as complex as an in-office scavenger hunt that is intended to introduce your newest addition to their future co-workers. The goal here is to make your new hire feel accepted. The less they feel like a “newbie,” the less likely they are to split a few weeks down the road. Consider developing an employee questionnaire – once your new hire is finished filling out their favorite color and number of pets, post it to your company website or at least email it around the office so that the other employees can start to connect as a team.
Anyone who has ever had a job before knows about the doldrums of orientation day (or week, depending on how long your employee handbook is). During this time, you’re likely to go over company policies and dress codes, but have you ever taken the time to discuss your business’s culture, history, or values? If you answered, “No,” or, “Kind of…,” then it’s time to add some organization to your orientation! Every new hire should know that miniskirts and cleavage-baring tops are inappropriate for the office, but they might not know what your expectations are for them as the newest team member. Taking the time to discuss your company’s vision, mission, and values could be the key to locking your new hire into their new position.
Finally, new hires, just like all of your existing employees, desire nothing more than to be treated as equals. With this in mind, skip over the probationary period and assimilate those employees into the business immediately. The longer you associate them with the word “new,” the longer it will take them to feel comfortable within your office’s walls…and the faster they’ll decide they don’t really belong. Remember: a good first impression could lead to higher employee retention rates, shorter learning curves, and a stronger sense of commitment to your company. So whatever you do, just make sure that your welcome is more of a “Welcome Home.”