You know the drill: Make sure new hires’ workstations are ready, and don’t let them wait in the lobby for hours before anyone knows they’re there. But there are other, more common mistakes a lot of managers make on a new hire’s first day.
It’s a matter of making a good first impression. The way managers introduce new hires to the company has a lot to do with how successful they’ll be — and how long they’ll last.
Here are some reasons employees might have second thoughts after their first day of work:
- They skipped the small — but important — stuff. With all the things a new person needs to be told about the company, some employers neglect to mention the little things people fret over, like where the bathrooms are and how to get supplies.
- Their mentor or manager was too busy. A good way to bring people on board is to pair them with a current employee, or have them spend the day with their new boss. But if those folks are up against major deadlines or just too busy to show the new person anything useful, they should find someone else who can do it.
- They got stuck with a jerk. Even if a new hire’s buddy has time for the task, that doesn’t mean he or she will be a joy to spend the day with. A mentor shouldn’t be just anyone with spare time — make sure it’s someone who makes a good impression.
- The rules came first. Getting new hires to sign off on the handbook as soon as they walk in the door seems convenient. But telling people all the ways they can get fired might not be the best way to introduce them to the company.
- No one talked about the job. One goal of orientation should be getting the employee ready to work as soon as possible. The first day should include some kind of basic training, or at least some talk about what they’ll be doing.
- No one fed them. One thing no one wants to do on the first day is eat lunch alone. Supervisors should take new folks out to eat, along with a handful of co-workers.
- Too much was thrown at them. Most people are already anxious about starting a new job. The last thing a manager wants to do is make it worse with an overwhelming introduction. Even just trying to sit them down with all the key people in one day can be too much. Spread things out as much as possible.
What’s the best way to make sure your first day program gets the job done? Ask people who went through it.
Find out from current employees what they would’ve liked to know but weren’t told, and what would’ve made them more comfortable on the first day.