You are being watched, compared and judged. Your team is being evaluated.
It’s your new hire’s first day, first week, first month. This is an extremely impressionable time.
While they are looking to impress and fit in, they are also trying to get a read on the unwritten rules of your workplace. They are evaluating whether they made the right choice for their next chapter in life. They are creating the filter through which they will see, hear and experience your organization – and thus determine their relationship and dedication to it.
As a newbie, anything is possible – hence, the initial filter of rose-colored glasses.
Naturally, with time, those rose-colored glasses will come off and be replaced with their defined reality. The question is, HOW will they come off? With the ease of integration and understanding? Or the pain of disappointment and regret?
Here’s a short list of questions to help determine how those glasses will come off:
- How do you welcome a new member to your team? How does your team welcome them? Does the head honcho say hello and share the origin story/mission of the organization? Will anyone invite them to lunch?
- Do you thoughtfully prepare and have ready their work tools and work space?
- Who’s their dedicated orientation mentor?
- How extensive and effective is your training? How quickly are new hires able to start meaningfully contributing to accomplishing the work?
- Are expectations of the new hire’s performance–along with timeframes and milestones–clear?
- How are your values reflected in the first month of their experience? In your meetings, customer service, co-worker exchanges and e-mail communications?
Then, keep expanding that first impression into a consistent workplace experience:
“Work at the same time on sky, water, branches, ground, keeping everything going on an equal basis… Don’t be afraid of putting on colour… Paint generously and unhesitatingly, for it is best not to lose the first impression.” French Painter Camille Pissarro