Our February 2013 Class of New Employees
Have you ever started a new job and felt like a small fish swimming alone in a big new pond? It can be scary and frustrating, and if it continues for an extended period of time can lead you to wonder if you’ve made a huge mistake. NOT a good feeling…
Everyone knows that first impressions mean a lot, and my first weeks with Bastian Solutions were the best of any new job in my history. Here are some recommendations for successfully transitioning your new hire into a card-carrying member of the team based on my experience:
1. Lunch – everyone does it, so why not make it count?
Have a small group treat your new hire to lunch each day for their first week. Rotate departments, and pick friendly, engaging people who will put the new girl at ease and show her the ropes. It should feel like time with new friends, NOT a week-long round of post-hire interviews. This is a relatively small expense that will make a big impact.
2. Consider creating an Online Employee Directory
This one actually came in handy even before I was hired as it allowed me to get to know a little bit about the people who I would be interviewing with, and it helped me save face on many occasions in my early days. I’m admittedly less than stellar at remembering names, especially when meeting 75 new people at once. A tool that can help the new girl avoid that awkward moment of having to ask someone’s name AGAIN is priceless.
3. Group Training = Group Bonding
My second week on the job was Indoctrination Training (“Indoc”) with all of the other new hires from around the globe. We had training sessions and project site visits all day, and each was led by a different group of employees who actually perform the functions they taught. This approach was much more interesting than having a single teacher for the whole week, and also helped us get to know the team and what each person does for the company.
While training is the main focus of Indoc week, it is not why I mentioned Indoc in this article. If you gather your new team for training, and then just send them back to the hotel at 5pm you are missing a big opportunity! Provide some fun activities so they can get to know each other during the downtime. Gallup research finds that “In the best workplaces, employers recognize that people want to forge quality relationships with their coworkers, and that company allegiance can be built from such relationships….The development of trusting relationships is a significant emotional compensation for employees in today’s marketplace.”
4. Show your appreciation
Not long after I started with Bastian Solutions one of our Project Engineers reached his 20th anniversary with the company. I had never seen anything like this! When I arrived that morning there were congratulations signs in front of the office, and hilarious custom made t-shirts on our desks that everyone in the building wore to his surprise party, which included a “This Is Your Life” style presentation. I was blown away by the thought and effort that went into this celebration and it was another reminder that I worked for a really special company. Take the time to show your employees this kind of personalized, sincere appreciation for their dedication and I promise the impact will reach far beyond that one team member.
Ask the Bastian Solutions team their favorite thing about working here and one of the top answers is always THE PEOPLE. Hopefully these tips can help make your new hires quickly feel like part of the team, too.