Much has been said about the importance of first impressions. When your company hires a new employee, their first impression of your business often sets the stage for their degree of success in supporting your business objectives. Your company’s new employee orientation program provides that first impression. Does it create opportunities for career success for your new employees? Is your program welcoming and informative? Starting off on the proverbial right foot is important in any employer/employee relationship.
While there are countless articles regarding best practices for new employee orientation programs, let’s consider the “worst practices” to avoid at all costs. It will be easier to evaluate the effectiveness of your new employee orientation program by making sure it doesn’t include these characteristics:
- Indifference. No matter how busy you and your top management team may be, take time to properly and warmly welcome a new employee. Just a few minutes of your time can convey the message that your employees are valued thereby reinforcing the new employee’s decision to join the company.
- Self-importance. Yes, you are the boss. But your first interaction with a new hire should be all about them, not you. A quick scan of their resume can reveal a few conversation starters. Note a particular success in their previous position that you find impressive or discuss mutual colleagues. Display your best social graces. The new employee has made a life-changing decision to align their career path with your company. Welcome them sincerely.
- Assumption. Don’t assume anything or take any knowledge for granted. What you and your colleagues deem routine and ordinary may be foreign to the newest team member. Be sure and address any and all questions and appoint a colleague as the go-to person for any questions the new employee may encounter. Have a scheduled follow-up process for any questions that may arise during the first few weeks or months in their new role.
- Complacency. Obviously your business is successful. After all, you’re hiring new employees. But don’t fail to recognize that the rookie team members may bring important knowledge that can better your business. A fresh pair of eyes can see where improvements can be made and notice opportunities that others may overlook. It’s human nature to become comfortable in our environment and lapse into a “but we’ve always done it this way” mindset.
The best way to create a great first impression for your new employees is to:
- Develop a killer employee orientation program and review and refine it regularly;
- Invite key employees and executives to participate in and evaluate the program; and
- Talk with recent new hires regarding their new employee orientation experience to solicit any suggestions that they may offer regarding improvements.
Make sure your new employee orientation program welcomes, informs and nurtures the newest members of your company’s best asset—your employees.
While keeping tabs on employee performance is one aspect of a manager’s job, you shouldn’t need to babysit employees. Your role is to hire employees who can do the job without ongoing supervision. Whether it’s lack of skill, poor behavior or some combination thereof, constantly meeting with workers to address performance issues takes up hours that would otherwise be devoted to running your business. (A definite business solution is needed.)
- Falling sales. Although you may be inclined to blame the economy, when it comes to declining sales you could be pointing a finger in the wrong direction. Employees who lack enthusiasm and know-how aren’t going to be convincing when it comes to selling your product. If your sales professionals aren’t knowledgeable about your product or motivated to sell it, how are they going to influence consumers to buy? The only way to find the right sales people is to hire the right sales people. (A major recruitment strategy is required.)
There is a fine art to recruiting. Maintaining an effective recruitment strategy is a painstaking process that requires true diligence — something many business owners don’t have time for. Recognizing how vital recruiting qualified employees is to their business’s bottom line and future success, more and more business owners have discovered the perfect recruitment solution for their companies: outsourcing their recruitment responsibilities to a professional employer organization like Insperity, one of the leading PEOs in corporate America today.
Let us show you how our comprehensive offering of professional business and recruitment solutions can help your company be more efficient and successful.