Facilitating his/her adaptation to the new environment and avoiding premature failure
It is a well-known fact that the first days and weeks in a new company can largely determine the degree of adaptation of that new employee, his/her satisfaction with the position and with the company, and may even condition his/her performance and development within the Organization in the medium term.
There is only one opportunity to make a good first impression on newcomers, and their correct and rapid integration into the new environment and its challenges will depend to a great extent in its successful achievement. The not infrequent cases in which a new employee fails in his first months in the company, are usually due, not so much to a poor selection, but to a chaotic and poorly managed onboarding process that, frequently, prevents the successful adaptation of the new employee, who is, thus, sometimes condemned to failure from the onset.
Planning carefully the employee´s this first contact with the Company may be the best way to approach it. The Human Resources department is in charge of designing the reception plan that will include the procedure and activities prior to incorporation, as well as those scheduled for the following days.
These tips will help you put in place a great reception program that fulfils the double objective of orienting and motivating the new collaborator, thus facilitating his/her successful integration in the new professional environment:
- Avoid burdening the first day with excessive paperwork and explanations. There is nothing worse for a first day than loading the new employee with a multitude of forms to fill out, explanations, presentations, reading the employee manual … Many of these steps can be planned to be carried out before the day of incorporation. One possibility, which is increasingly used by companies, is to facilitate that the employee manual can be available online or by email, so that the worker can see it calmly before the first day and from home. In this sense, one option is to use the presentation videos on your intranet, being a quick and easy way for the new employee to become familiar with your company. A simple virtual tour of the office, its facilities, basic information, greetings from management and other employees will help the new employee become familiarized with the company.
- Have everything ready for the new hire´s first day. It is important to make sure his/her desk is ready before the first day. Make sure he will have everything he will needed including a work kit, email address, phone, voicemail, and stationery. If the phone and / or computer are not ready, it will not only nullify the welcome experience, but it will also be a waste of time for both you and your new employee.
- First days of induction. Introduce little by little the functions and tasks to be carried out. In these early days, it is important to pay attention to the newcomer and clear our week of meetings and functions a bit. If we are too busy or lost in meetings, the new employee will feel abandoned and bewildered.
- Monitoring program. During the first six months of your new employee in the company, establish a follow-up program, combining both more or less formal meetings, and informal contacts (a coffee or a meal together), with the aim of knowing better and accompanying your new collaborator in the process of adaptation to the new functions and values of the environment. This will help confirm the adequate understanding by the new hire of the expectations placed on his/her contribution, identifying and correcting in time any deviation or misunderstanding that may occur. Furthermore, you will be transmitting a powerful cultural message of support and trust, that will reinforce his/her motivation and facilitate the identification with the values of the company.
- Assign a tutor. To make the reception experience even better, consider assigning a tutor to your new employee. The tutor, with a similar or, perhaps, a little higher status within the organization, assumes the role of a companion who accompanies him in the day-to-day life of his first steps in the company. This colleague must be available to the new hire for the first 90 days. The mentor can help the new hire fully assimilate the new position and company culture. Learning from a colleague will help the new hire get up to speed quickly.
In short, the induction program, if it is well organized and planned in advance, will help both parties (company and new employee) achieve the mutual objective of facilitating the successful incorporation to the new professional project, avoiding the frustration and the waste of time, money and energy that often happens when someone, who could have succeeded as a new employee in the organization if properly managed, is just “dropped” into a chaotic, unchartered territory, in hopes he will know how to swim (or sink!).
Article written by Carlos Camara, CFR Global Executive Search Spain
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