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The first day at a new job is nerve-wracking. Even if you’ve hired the most competent, experienced applicant you could find, they’ll experience at least some butterflies. Luckily, these nerves typically fade as they arrive and get settled. At least, that’s what should happen if you, as boss, approach those first day feelings with the right attitude.
Sadly, many managers are either too busy or too unaware to take the necessary steps to create the best ‘first-day’ experience. As simple as that, they miss the window to close those nerves and could see new employees more stressed than necessary, or even questioning whether that role is right for them.
That’s not good, especially considering the time, effort, and budget you’ve spent bringing them onboard a strong workforce in the first place. And, it’s an issue you can avoid by simply making sure to avoid the following mistakes.
Proper paperwork is fundamental when onboarding new employees, and it’s something you should always arrange to have ready when new employees arrive. By this, we mean both the legal stuff, and additions such as employee handbooks, etc. This way, you not only give new employees a chance to orient themselves as they read through, but you also ensure they have documents for assistance if there’s no one around. That can be invaluable, and, in the case of things like fair work information statements, it can also keep you on the right side of the law.
A failure to assign a buddy
If you don’t pair new employees with a buddy, you’re as good as setting them up for failure. After all, even individuals who already have experience in the field are sure to appreciate this opportunity to let them know how you do things in your office, as well as automatically helping them to create relationships. That’s guaranteed to go down better than a first day where they sit at their desks without talking to anyone, especially if you select a buddy you’re sure they’ll get along with.
It’s also a mistake to expect too much from an employee on their first day, even if they do already know how to use your systems. The simple fact is that nerves, distraction, and the need to take time getting to know your clients are all going to prevent newbies from creating anything outstanding. In fact, if you pile on a high-pressure task straight away, you’re setting them up for failure. Instead, keep the actual work to a minimum as much as you can, and think of this as a ‘getting to know you’ day. Then, let the real work begin once things have settled down a little.
First days are tough, and not only for those new employees. As a manager, you also need to walk a thin line. Remember, after all, that new employees assess your workplace as much as you watch them. Make a bad initial impression, and there’s no way you’ll find a working relationship that lasts.