- Can all employees be inducted into a company the same way?
- What about the person who is being hired away from a competitor?
- What about a rehire?
- What about that brand-new employee?
To be frank, many of those questions can be answered only in the context of your business. In general, though, I think the process of introduction into your company falls under four steps.
- Handling the initial interview
- Providing the employee with information about the company
- Providing the employee with information about the work
- Assisting the employee to adjust to the new co-workers
Those 4 items are interrelated and should be considered in sequence.
Let’s look briefly at each.
1. Handling the Initial Interview
As you know, your first approach to the new hire will have a tremendous influence on the person’s attitude toward both you and the company. Therefore, ensure you are making succinct statements that can not be misunderstood or misinterpreted.
Right from the start, you must establish credibility and rapport with the new employee. We recommend that you ask each employee to complete CRG’s Personal Style Indicator as part of the hiring process. Why? You as the supervisor will have a better understanding of how the new person interacts with people, time, tasks, and situations.
Here are some other steps you can take.
- Consider what you know about her. Try to picture how you would feel in her shoes. She wants to know that you, her boss, while remaining impartial, will at least be empathetic to situations that may arise on the job.
- Meet the new employee in an area that allows for privacy—not sitting out on the shop floor or in a busy office area where other people can interrupt or listen to your conversation.
- Discover her interests, without seeming intrusive. Ask questions of a general nature. For example, How was your weekend? What do you think about our hockey team?
- Above all, leave the new hire with the feeling and understanding that she can return at any time to discuss what is on her mind.
2. Provide the Employee with Information about the Company
Although today’s jobseekers can search the Internet for information about your company, not everything they need to know can be found on your Website. What I am talking about here is ensuring the new employee has accurate information about your company and its policies.
- If your company has been in the news of late, or it services an industry that some people don’t fully understand, I recommend you set the record straight at once.
- As for policy, I don’t intend that you both sit down with the policy manual and proceed through it, page by page. Simply review the key policies of the company—the ones the newbie needs to know right now and that will not cause overload.
The instruction will help ensure that
- she feels proud about the company she is working for, and
- she forms an appreciation of the policies and what they mean to her.
I used to work for a trucking company that had 3 non-negotiables. They told you about them before you were hired. Once you became a staff member, the policies were explained more fully. They helped created an incredible work environment.
- No foul or obscene language
(Remember: That was a teamster trucking company.)
- No smoking on company property
(That included the trucks. That policy was in place long before antismoking laws.)
- No alcohol at any company event
(No alcohol to be purchased for lunch or dinner meetings, either.)
When I left that company, I took on a senior role with another trucking company that did not have the same policies. The second company had serious issues that could easily have been avoided if they implemented similar non-negotiables.
3. Providing the Employee with Information about the Work
In a past article, I wrote about how to give the employee instructions for doing the actual work successfully. That’s not what I mean here. This is more about helping the hire adjust to the new situation and providing background information.
If the person is new to the company, some terminology may need to be clarified and explained. This is where you can field questions about the work. Most new employees want to make a good impression and are concerned about not catching-on right away. This step provides a forum for the newbie to ask questions.
4. Assisting the Employee to Adjust to Co-workers
Most individuals new to an organization are concerned about how they will be accepted by their fellow workers. Although getting off to a good start greatly depends on the employee, as the boss it is your role to ensure proper introductions are made. In fact, if the new employee feels comfortable with the idea, you may wish to share some interesting fact about the new hire with the others, such as he recently completed his 100th parachute jump.
Consider the specific location where the person will be working. If possible, have the individual work near people who will accept him quickly.
Helping an employee adjust to a new work environment is usually not done in a single act; it will involve many follow-ups over a long period of time.
There is a right way of ensuring your new hire has the best chance of success. The question is Are you ready and willing to take the steps necessary to ensure it?
At CRG, we strive to provide you with the resources to enable you to excel in your work. It is critical that you have a solid understanding of the people joining your team—and about who you are, too.
No, we aren’t all the same.
That’s the premise of Ken’s great new book, Why Aren’t You More Like Me? Third Edition.
I recommend you get a copy for yourself and for that new hire.
Discover how to build your winning team!