You’re Here…Now What?
You’re the “newbie”. Who among us doesn’t remember starting a new job with a new company? Some of us have had a great welcoming experience but, many of us have not.
Think back. You leave home a little nervous but mostly excited. You didn’t want to be late so you arrived a few minutes early. Did you know where to park? What door to go in? No? You’ve just gotten a little anxious. You parked somewhere and found the door. Was it unlocked and someone there to greet you? Another no – anxiety is increasing. Finally, you are in the lobby. Success! But, wait….and wait…. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or 20 minutes for HR to come meet you? Perhaps a fleeting thought has crossed your mind that you may have made a mistake.
Whew! You’ve made it into the office. Next up: a mound of HR paperwork and policies to review. After a couple of hours you’re shown to your desk. Along the way you pass new coworkers. Some say hello, some look up, give you a quick smile and go back to work. Still others are busy and don’t bother. You’re at your desk. What now?
Your new Supervisor stops by to say hello. He/she has a meeting to go to so they tell you to look at some catalogs to get familiar with products or check out the company website. He/she will be gone for the balance of the day. As you look around you’re wondering where the office supplies are, how do you work the phone, where are the restrooms? Who should I ask?
Lunchtime approaches. Coworkers are heading out or to the lunchroom. Are you on your own? Can you find the lunchroom? As you’re eating you are wondering what you will be doing this afternoon – more of the same?
At long last the day comes to an end. Do people say goodnight, see you tomorrow or just rush out? As you leave, you have serious doubts about your decision to come work for the company and are starting to plan your next career move.
The scenario above is an extreme example but it happens. Many of us have experienced one or more of those elements. Did you know that according to SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), only 4% of newly hired people are sure at the end of the first day they will stay with an organization? A bad impression the first day sets the stage. There’s an opportunity to change that. SHRM has also found that a good orientation program for new employees increases the likelihood someone will stay with an organization by 69%.
At RG Group we recognized the importance of helping someone get off on the right foot. We are continually looking for ways to improve the experience for our new associates as they join our existing team. So how are we doing that?
- The onboarding process begins before the first day on the job. Once someone has decided to join RG Group, the hiring Manager will check in periodically with the new associate before they start. Direct members of the team the new associate will be joining are encouraged to reach out as well.
- Having a plan. The hiring, training and HR Manager develop a training plan for the new associate. This plan is shared with the new associate before they are on board and then again when they arrive. Most people like to know what to expect and where they are going.
- Welcome them warmly. Notes on the white board of their work area to welcome them. A meet and greet with everyone in the office gives us and them an opportunity to share a little bit of information about each other.
- A bag full of goodies complete with their favorite snacks or sweets.
- Make sure their work area is equipped with notepads, pens, is tidy and ready to go.
- Welcome lunch with their Manager and other associates. There is dedicated time with their Manager to review training plans, departmental goals and layout the groundwork for the road ahead.
- Conduct departmental overviews and rotations. Sure, the position the new associate is taking may never work directly with a department but all the departments intertwine to make RG Group function successfully. We believe it’s important that everyone knows how it all fits together.
- Involving a variety of associates in the onboarding and training plans. Who wants to hear the same person over and over?
- Touch base follow-up and solicit feedback. We want to make sure the new associate is getting what they need. Who better to help us improve our process than the people who have gone through it?
When someone joins RG Group, we want it to be more than a job. We want it to be a career. We would love to get suggestions from you to help us continually improve our onboarding program. There’s only one chance to make a good first impression with a new associate. Let’s make sure RG Group’s is a good one!