“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
When you hear this saying, you may envision a nervous job seeker, compulsively straightening his suit and repeating his 30-second “personal sales pitch” before an interview. But quite honestly, the saying is just as relevant for the hiring company. Why?
When you mainstream and orient a new hire, you set the tone for his work experience with your organization. The more positive that initial experience, the more welcome and prepared the individual will feel in his new position. This will, in turn, give him the confidence and resources to quickly begin making a positive impact within your company (which is why you hired this person in the first place, right?).
So make a commitment to create a great first impression on your new hire by implementing a thorough and effective onboarding process. Use these tips to make him feel welcomed, valued and prepared to hit the ground running:
- Welcome a new employee with a letter. Before the individual’s first day, send a friendly and informative letter to welcome him and review his first day’s schedule, helpful tips for parking, to whom he should report, etc. Alternately, you can post new employee schedules, materials, benefits forms and a FAQ on your company Intranet, and make it accessible from a link in a welcome e-mail.
- Prepare a corporate “family tree.” Familiarize new hires with your company’s “who’s who.” You can make photos, names and job titles available on your company’s Intranet, or maintain a simple bulletin board with the same info to facilitate the getting-to-know-you process.
- Pre-orient existing staff members. Provide employees with your new employee’s résumé and job description before he starts. Advise each team member to conduct a meeting with the new hire in which he shares a description of his own position, reviews the ways their roles interact and covers how they might work together in the future.
- Approach the process from the employee’s point of view. The onboarding process can be complex and overwhelming for your new hire. To keep your new team member feeling valued, try to create orientation procedures that make the process fun, interesting and as painless as possible.
- Provide and review a written plan of employee objectives and responsibilities. This step will eliminate confusion about job functions and will open the floor to discuss concerns or new opportunities.
- Give the new employee your undivided attention. Be careful not to let e-mails, phone calls, or other employees distract you during orientation sessions, because this sends the unintended message that the new hire is not worth your time – a real morale-killer.
- Make day one personal. Prioritize interpersonal relationships with key colleagues as soon as your new employee starts. Make sure you welcome the whole person – not just a set of job functions – from the outset, and you’ll be sure to make a great first impression.
Wood Personnel works to make new employee transitions as successful and simple as possible. Our stringent screening process ensures that the candidates we refer (whether temporary or direct) have the skills, experience and traits necessary to integrate seamlessly with your existing workforce. Contact us today to learn more about our staffing solutions for Middle Tennessee employers.