First Days of Employment - Make Them Want To Stay!

by Carolyn B. Thompson

Carolyn B. Thompson Reprint Rights
Training Systems, Inc. 526 Words
12 Landscape Lane
Camdenton MO 65020

First Days of Employment - Make Them Want To Stay!
by: Carolyn B. Thompson

Would you invite people to your home without preparing? That's what lots of us do to our employees on their first day of employment. Put yourself in their place: it's your first day, you walk in the door, you're a little anxious, you don't know what the day will hold - other employees know what they'll be doing today because it's on their calendar - your calendar says "start new job". Other employees are greeted by the receptionist as they come in with "Good morning, John...Good morning, Barbara... How was your weekend?" - you're greeted with "Good morning, may I help you?"

How much more unwelcoming can we make their first day! You'd never invite people for dinner and once they arrived find out their names. You'd never invite people for dinner and once they arrived ask them to clean the house. You'd never invite them and once they arrive say, "Let's go to the store and pick out what you want for dinner, then we'll cook it together."

Yet that's what we do to new staff if we don't prepare! Follow these 10 easy and inexpensive steps to new employee orientation.

1. Prepare for their arrival by telling other staff, cleaning their work space, ordering supplies they'll need, making a schedule.

2. Give them an introduction to the organization. Many companies have used scavenger hunts, bingo cards and other ways to get them to learn about the organization in a more fun way than lectures or reading.

3. Introduce them to co-workers, vendors, supervisors, and other people they'll be working with.

4. Provide training on basic job duties. This is best done by a coworker. It doubles as a retention benefit to that coworker by giving them the opportunity to train others, and help other people learn.

5. Review all policies and practices. The employee handbook is a great recruitment and training tool, as long as it's current and relevant. Use the employee handbook, work process manuals, training manuals, and policy and procedure manuals for written reinforcement and as a resource manual.

6. Provide an overview of benefits and services. They can read a good amount of this, but you want to get them excited about the really great things. Then they can ask questions later.

7. Discuss career/life goals and needs and how the organization can help meet them. Find out early what motivates them so that you can provide positive reinforcement that's meaningful to them.

8. Discuss your expectations and those of the organization. Most often when employees leave sooner than you wanted them to, they say things like "I just didn't understand what was expected of me."

9. Provide a tour of all facilities where they'll be working, which includes vendors and customers, if their job causes them to be in other locations.

10. Include them in the organization's activities as soon as possible. It's those things like employee baseball games, birthday parties and baby showers that make an employee really feel a part of the group and welcome.

The first few days are their first impression, so make them want to stay - keep quality employees with new employee orientation!

Carolyn B. Thompson is the President of Training Systems, Inc., a customized training and HR consulting company that helps small and medium sized organizations enhance their ability to recruit, inspire and retain quality employees and improve performance through training. Training Systems, Inc. also provides training design and delivery services to training companies and the training departments of large companies, and professional and trade associations. Carolyn B. Thompson is an experienced trainer and consultant knowledgeable in the challenging area of employee recruitment, inspiration and retention. She is an exciting, inspirational trainer who leads people to learn. She has written articles for prominent magazines, has been interviewed for Chicago's TV Channel 26, the "You're Hired" radio show, Safety & Health, Small Business Computing, Business Week, Working Woman, Redbook and Inc. magazines, been the subject of articles in the Daily Southtown and Star newspapers, as well as written chapters in several books. Carolyn produced a two-tape audio cassette set entitled "Straight Talk for Employers" , wrote the book entitled "Creating Highly Interactive Training Quickly and Effectively" and is writing a book about on-the-job training for Crisp Publications.

(c) Training Systems, Inc. 1999


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