Do you remember your first day on the job? The weeks and days of anticipation, building of what the first day would be like. Will my supervisor and co-workers like me? Will I do a good job? What will my office look like? How will my name look on my business cards? Relax, it’s just the first day.
You’re hoping that the first day goes something like this: Your new supervisor greets you with a pleasant smile and takes you to your office. The smell of new office furniture welcomes you as you sit down at your new desk with a comfortable chair. You turn on your computer and there’s a screen saver of the office team holding a banner that reads "Welcome, We Are Happy You've Joined Us".
Instead . . .
Your first day went a little something like this: You meet wit the Human Resources Manager who informs you that you will meet with another manager today because your actual manager isn't available. The manager you meet doesn't know that you’re starting but she politely greets you. She takes you to your office where there's no computer and materials from the previous worker are piled on your desk. Then she leaves you to get situated.
"What did I get myself into?"
As you imagine how this situation would make you feel, keep in mind what your employee maybe feeling and experiencing on the first day. Do you have an onboarding system in place that makes employees feel welcomed. Not surprising, employees look for the positives of a job on their first day. Therefore, don't give a new employee any reason to think he or she made a bad decision to work for you.
Studies has shown that employers lose up to almost twenty-percent of their new employees within the first 45 days of employment. Even more troubling, studies show employees who have an unpleasant experience on the first day, start looking for another job within the first few weeks of employment or become disengaged employees. Ultimately, costing the employer thousands of dollars a year in recruitment and retention activities. Additionally, costs associated with loss in productivity which can be up to 33% of the employee's salary.
Simple things to have in place before your employee starts that goes a long way:
Proper Greeting & Acknowledgement: New employees want to feel welcomed and invited into the new work culture. Remember this will be a place where the new employee will be spending a lot of time. In addition, this space is where innovation and provocative thinking occurs for the benefit of the company. Employees need to know upfront can they trust this place to release those ideas.
Work Area Assigned and Ready: Some employees are ready to hit the ground running on their first day. Do them a favor and have everything they need available to do their job. This sends the message that we are ready for you to work and here is what you will need. Remember a first impression is a lasting one.
Designate a Person to Answer the Employee’s Questions: Nothing like being new in the work environment and there’s no one to answer questions you may have about your job. Remember it's the first day so the new employee doesn't know everything about the work culture, policies and procedure, or the job at hand. Therefore, provide employees with support from a manager or mentor who are available and can answer questions. This will give employees the confidence he or she needs to do their best on the job.
The first day on the job is the most important day that sets the tone for future success of your new employee and company. What are some simple things you do to make sure the first day is a success for your new employee? Comment and share below.