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7 ways to improve the new hire experience

Make Your New Hire’s Day: 7 Ways to Improve the New Hire Experience

by | Jan 16, 2018 | By Karin Hurt, Communication, Human Resources, Winning Well |

How to Ensure Your New Hire is Glad They Came

Your new hire is driving home from her very first day. What’s she feeling? What’s she going to tell her kids about mommy’s new job? When she wakes up at 3 am anticipating Day 2, what’s on her mind?

The statistics are astounding. There’s no question that the first day, and the 89 days that follow, have a huge impact on retention, engagement, and productivity. You can’t undo that first impression. Here are seven ways to make your new-hire orientation more memorable and meaningful.

7 Easy and Innovative Ways to Make Your New Hire’s Day

I’m going to assume you’ve got the basics down–who needs to sign what, security and confidentiality, and the shortest way the bathroom. Consider weaving a few of these ideas into your new hire’s first day.

1. Make it a Celebration

It doesn’t take much to create a little ruckus for your new hire.

A few balloons, a cupcake or a little bling can go a long way. Even a big poster board on their cube with a “We’re so glad you’re here” signed by the team sets a tone of celebration. If all that feels too crazy for your culture, how about a sincere card with a few sentences about why you chose them?  The important part is to make it sincere and personal. The first day in a new job is a big deal to them. Show them that they are important to you, too.

2. Connect Through Stories

Tell some stories about what it’s really like to work here. Be strategic in your messaging to reinforce key values–you want to inspire, but even more importantly you want to connect.  Sharing “How I learned this the hard way” stories or “Whatever you do, don’t make this crazy mistake” funny stories are a great way to make a human connection with your new hire.

3. Create a Family Welcome Kit

Take your new hire to lunch and find out a bit more about them and the other important people in their lives. Then before they leave at the end of the day, pull together a gift bag with some branded bling for their significant others, and a nice card from you: Logo lollipops for the kids, a branded coffee mug for their spouse, or even a branded Frisbee to play catch with their friends. Of course, this requires a bit of pre-planning to build your stash, but once you have it, it’s easy to pull together some personalized fun that shows you’re paying attention and care about the people in their lives beyond work.

4. Let Them Do Something Productive

So many companies spend the first day giving new hires a fire hose of information–it can be a lot to retain. Try mixing up the orientation with a bit of real work that lets them add value immediately and get a taste of the role. It will build confidence and help punctuate the learning with some doing.

5. Visualize the MIT (Most Important Thing)

Find fun ways to visualize and reinforce your MIT priorities. If their job is to expand in global markets, give them a dollar store globe squishy ball.  If recruiting and retaining talent is #1, give them a magnet. Visuals are a fun conversation starter about what’s most important and why.

6. Make it Really Easy to Ask Questions

When I would go talk to the new hire classes at Verizon, I learned if I just asked for questions, I got all the politically correct ones. But if I passed out index cards and encouraged people to ask me anything on their minds, that’s when the real conversation started. If you’re just hiring one person at a time, assign them one of the most approachable peers as a buddy and encourage them to ask anything they want. They may be embarrassed to ask you or HR. Do everything you can to shorten their learning curve and reduce anxiety.

7. Help Them Build a Plan

Make it easy for your new hire to make connections and learn the business. Identify a few key people (not just in your department) that can help accelerate their learning curve and make some introductions and set some follow-up appointments for the first few weeks.

You may also want to introduce them to the Let’s Grow Leader’s EOY Planning Letter (FREE TOOL) — and instructions. They won’t know enough the first day to complete it, but it’s a great assignment to tee up on day one and getting them to visual an amazing year. Have them write this letter to you as if

2021 Update: Ask Great Questions to Learn Best Practices

When it comes to new hire orientation, most companies focus on clarity.  “This is how we roll, welcome to the team,” with an emphasis on values, vision, and “how we do things around here” policies. And if they’re really on it, maybe they’ll even throw in a little compliance training, a turkey avocado wrap, and a company tee-shirt. Which is all good, but not sufficient.

See are article on how to encourage best practice sharing in New hire orientation

Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results- Without Losing Your SoulOf course, a copy of Winning Well also makes a nice welcome gift for a new manager 😉

Your turn.

We would love to hear your creative ideas for ensuring your new hire has an amazing first day.

 

 

Want more human-centered leaders in the workplace? Share this today!

Want more human-centered leaders in the workplace? Share this today?

2 Comments

  1. Evan

    I’m beginning a new job it’s a Sales Management role. It’s unusual in that it’s a virtual. That company and team or scattered throughout the country.
    It’s a small company and I’m wondering how I’m going to be able to really get to know people and build alliances without actually meeting them.
    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Reply

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Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders find clarity in uncertainty, drive innovation, and achieve breakthrough results.  She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Workplace Conflict, and hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

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