New employees. Handle with care!

It’s not unusual for a new staff member to think they’ve made a mistake by the end of the first day of a new job. Some statistics say that close to 50% of new employees start thinking about their next job before they’ve finished their first day in their new one. For an employer spending time and money to recruit the right people, the effect can disastrous.

The first 3 months of employment represents a perfect opportunity for any business to reassure your shiny new employee that they’ve made the right decision by joining your organisation.

It’s important to have a robust and structured plan in place to ensure that you get off to the best start with your new employees, to harness their enthusiasm and banish any thoughts that they may have “made a mistake”.

First Impressions Count

Invest time in a good Induction Programme – It’s tempting to rush your new employees through induction and straight on the job, but keep day 1 light. Spending the time to properly orient them to your company and their job can have a strong effect on morale and tenure with your business. Have a plan for the entire day, make proper introductions and prepare your team.

If there are things you need to organise such as email addresses, company cars, business cards or laptops etc make sure they’re ready for your new recruit starting with your organisation.

If a new employee feels like an afterthought, the next thought will be “Is it too late to ditch this?”

Manic Mondays

What’s the worst day of the week to start new employees? That’s right – it’s a Monday. And what day of the week do most companies start new recruits? That’s right – Monday!

Mondays can be a bad day to start new recruits for a number of reasons, so it might be wise to start your new recruits on a Tuesday, or some other day of the week, but avoid Monday like the plague.

Put Yourself in their Shoes

Most new recruits will be eager to impress from day 1, but remember, they might also be feeling somewhat nervous or apprehensive about starting a new job, meeting their new colleagues and finding out how things work in your organisation.

Retain, Engage and Develop

Rather than whipping the newbie around the floor so quickly they’ll barely manage a handshake, spend time on inductions and make some connections from the start. Proudly give a little background about your new star guy and how they’ll work with your team… you’ve made him or her feel valuable from the day one and they’ve had some real first contact with the team.

You might also want to consider partnering your new starter with another team member for any extra initial support, someone that you are confident knows your systems and culture and can ease the pressure of the first couple of weeks.

Meeting Personal Goals and Objectives

During the interview process, you will have shared with your new recruit what’s expected in their role, however, it’s important to meet with your new recruit on day 1 to confirm and clarify these responsibilities to be sure they fully understand what is required of them.

Set targets that are meaningful, motivating and challenging. Having realistic goals, tied to larger organisational goals can keep an employee motivated, but it’s a fine line. Goals which seem unachievable and overwhelming can also sap motivation and dampen morale.

Mind the Gap!

It’s not unusual for those changing jobs to bring with them perceptions and practices which might have fit perfectly well in their previous company, but are wholly inappropriate in their new one.

This being the case, you should set aside time for regular formal and informal communication, meetings and reviews in order to give feedback about behaviours and perceptions you may need them to change.

You put a lot of effort into the hiring process, don’t forget to invest in the key process that influences whether your new employee will go on to be successful.

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