On the First Day of Work, My Company Gave to Me...

Posted by Rebecca Dannenfelser on Mon, Dec 02, 2013

cc improve employee engagement 001 resized 600In honor of the holiday spirit, I got to thinking about what employees or even future employees want from employers. And, I started thinking about it in terms of a gift. What gifts do your employees want from you as an employer? Certainly, we know that people want to feel empowered, trusted and valued. But, when they first start working for a company, what do they really want on day one?

Research tells us that almost 40% of new hires fail and those statistics seem to bear out whether the employee was promoted from within or hired from the outside. Couple this dismal news with the latest "engagement" scores of 70% or more employees are not engaged or are actively disengaged, and the stage for new ways of looking at the employee-employer relationship bears merit. 

I can still remember my first day of work. I was hired out of college some thirty years ago and started out as a retail executive. I was asked to report to a training program and on my first day I met with my fellow trainees. About 25 of us to began to learn about the company and what we could do to grow in our careers. This was no one-day training session. I was to be in this program for over 2 months and then be placed in a store for my first department manager role.

During the two month program, I met several of the leaders of the company. They came in throughout the two month training, giving us their stories of what it took to be successful and sharing valuable lessons of their insights into the world of retailing. I was mesmerized. We rotated into different store assignments for on-the-job training. And, on that final day, we learned what store we were assigned to for our first managment role. While an elaborate training like this one seems to be a thing of the past, it is still possible and I would argue that this type of training is necessary to make people feel special and appreciated today.cc improve employee engagement 003 resized 600

So over the next 12 blogposts, we will share what we believe people want from their employers. To keep things fresh, we will create a 12 Days of Work Wish List.

On the first day of work, employees want to know they are valued!

As an employer, consider what signals you give your new hires or those you promote to a new role. Making someone feel valued and appreciated takes thoughtfulness. Create a checklist that includes:

  • A smooth onboarding. Are the necessary forms easy to complete or even already part of a pre-boarding plan? Do they have access to a computer and a password that works? Do they have a security pass to get in and out of the building easily?
  • A formal introduction of the employee to the organization. Have they been formally introduced to the organization? Has someone greeted them? Does their team know?
  • A schedule of their first few weeks. Do they have a schedule of their first week or even their first day?
  • A list of who they need to connect with in order of priority. Do they know who they should connect with and get to know in the first few weeks/month?
  • A company organizational chart. Do they have an organizational chart so they can gain understanding of who people are and how they are connected?
  • A training plan. Have they been informed about what training they will need? Is the training already scheduled?
All too often, in our work with leaders inside organizations, we hear how so few companies understand the need to make their people feel valued. So is it any wonder that engagement scores are lagging and leaders are failing in new roles?
Share with us what your company does or did to make you feel welcome on day one. And, if you have been with the company for awhile, share with us what they do to make you feel valued in your role today. 
Improve employee engagement and retention with action planning

Topics: building trust, improve workplace relationships, employee engagement

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