Can you remember, possibly many years ago, your first few days in a new job? How did you feel at that time? Did your staff induction period leave you feeling good or bad about your new employer?
Were you brimming full of new ideas and wondering why things were the way they were in the firm you’d just joined?
First impressions count
First impressions are key. From the “elevator speech” to marketing your business, the impact of the first 10 seconds taken by someone reading your LinkedIn profile; the power of the beginning of a training session; the influence of that first meeting with a new client; to the sway of that initial contact between panel and interviewee in an interview room.
How do you use the first impressions of a new employee when they join your firm? Could you be getting more from the staff induction period?
Employing new staff
Employing a new team member is an interesting challenge for you, the employer, particularly if you have a small operational team. You’ve chosen the new recruit carefully to fit in with your existing staff and quickly become part of the “family”. You’ve offered them the job because of what they will bring to your firm: personal qualities, a specific talent, an all-round expertise, and here they at the start of their staff induction/probationary period.
New staff induction: A different view
Jon normally talks about the importance of new staff induction and them using your processes (did you read “Leadership tips from the toilet“). But look at it from a different angle, what might you get from your new employee?
Now they’re on board, you want to ensure that the investment in searching for them will pay off. So take a moment.
Consider what they may be seeing, thinking and assimilating for the first few days, weeks, even months of their employment. They are seeing your firm with fresh eyes and this is an opportunity for you which is very different from the one you’d get if you’d decided to bring in a consultant to re-vamp your business. But initial impressions fade fast, so how do you make the best of them?
Start by revisiting your interview notes. Remind yourself why you offered them the job, for when you have your first 1:1 meetings. You want to make sure your new employee feels settled, and understands what you expect, and they will be a great resource for you too: they will have observations, information and ideas, which you’d benefit from drawing out. Think of it as your personal special offer: available for a limited period only.
You might have some pre-prepared questions for specific areas that you’re interested in. Equally valuable will be the organic observations and discussions which will just pop up.
Depending on how candid your new team member is, there may be some uncomfortable truths to face, alongside the positive comments. It’s your chance to make best use of these “freshly-baked” impressions for the benefit of your business. But you don’t have long, before they cool down. Get ‘em while they’re hot!
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What’s the best thing you’ve ever learnt from new staff in your firm?