As a new employee myself, I have had many opportunities to examine how the company I now lead welcomes new teammates. And after seven weeks...I am still waiting. It is safe to say that this is something that I need to fix. And consistent with my charge to put people issues front and center, it is definitely on my "get right on it list!"
I can only imagine how difficult it must be for teammates to join the company that I now lead. Whereas I have received briefings from each division and branch and have had opportunities to examine up close the missions that we perform, the customers and stakeholders that we work with, and the areas in which we have responsibility, I know that this introduction is not available for the rank and file. Instead it likely goes something like this: Here is your desk. Here are your keys. Here is your first project. Now get to work!
This is clearly one of those investments in people that has long term returns. Employees that are warmly welcomed, who understand where they fit in the organization, who see the big picture, and who have the important issues (parking, pay, vacation, benefits, health care, etc.) addressed early are more likely to remember that reception - and stick around.
Among other topics, new employee orientation should include discussions of the following:
- Organizational structure.
- Team values and vision.
- HR issues (pay, vacation, holiday schedule, benefits)
- Leader development opportunities, i.e. how to advance in the company.
- Briefings from key leaders in the organization.
I think it is critical that I personally be a part of these sessions. If I want my new teammates to understand my leadership philosophy, to embrace my vision, and to be as passionate about our future as I am, then who better to hear it from...than me?
So I have cleared my calendar for the next new employee orientation session, coming up in a few weeks. I haven't quite figured out how I will brief myself as the "new employee"...but I'm sure it will be good!
So how about you? What do you do to bring new teammates into the fold? New Employee Orientation is...Leader Business. Hooah!
P.S. If you are like me and need some good ideas to drive your new employee orientation program, check out John Edmond's 15 Steps to How to Welcome Your New Employee.