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The Hardest Day of your Career – the First Day of a New Job!

Newspapers are filled with bad things happening in the world. It put a smile on my face and warmed my heart to read a story last week about The University of Texas at Arlington.

James D. Spaniolo, President of the University, was wearing gray slacks and a navy polo shirt and was outside in the Texas heat while he welcomed new and returning students to campus. I am sure he was there with a big smile on his face as he said hello, shook hands and passed out blue-and-white bracelets that read “Be a Maverick” (the University slogan) to anyone who would take one.

Mr. Spaniolo wanted to show his appreciation and stated “The University wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for these students.”

Most employees dislike their first day of work on a new job. They have NO familiarity and a lot of companies these days aren’t that organized with new employees. If you ask new employees, they can’t wait to start month 2 or 3. I truly believe that if you start new employees off on the right foot, it will pay huge dividends in the long run by decreasing employee turnover.

My cousin Alan just started a new job with Monster Worldwide. I spoke to him last week and asked him how his first week was. He was beaming like a Christmas tree around the holidays! He said the training program was incredible and the execution was flawless and perfect. He wouldn’t have changed a thing. In fact he went on and on for my entire trip home which lasted over ten minutes.

It got me to think about what we do for our new staff.

  • Do we do enough at M/A/R/C?
  • Do people feel comfortable?
  • How long are they a fish out of water?

Here are ten things we do on day 1 for all new employees:

  1. Make sure they meet with Human Resources within the first two hours to fill out all of their paperwork
  2. Have their business cards not only ordered but ready for them to start handing them out
  3. Make sure their work area is cleaned and filled with office supplies
  4. Make sure they are added to our email system and able to receive emails
  5. Have a computer—don’t laugh but a friend of mine didn’t have a computer for his first five weeks on the job
  6. Make sure their supervisor introduces them around the office
  7. Make sure their supervisor discusses their first two weeks of training and sets expectations
  8. Schedule a few people to take the new employee out to lunch
  9. Make sure they understand how to use our electronic timecard system
  10. They are informed that after 100 days they will be asked to fill out a new employee survey. This is very important to our senior management team and is used as a springboard for additional strategy and also to refine the program.

Some of these things are very basic—in fact very, very basic. But you would be surprised as to how many companies don’t do much at all.

Do we do enough? I will let our staff be the judge of that.

What do you do?

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