Picture this (or maybe you’ve experienced this already).
You show up to your first day on the job. You already know your schedule, the salary you will make and most likely, the benefits available to you as well (we hope). You are pretty confident about what you will be doing and even a job title. But you’ve not been informed of any reporting structure yet, and not even sure where your desk or work station is. You don’t know when or where to go when its time for a lunch break. You have no idea where the restrooms are because nobody has greeted you or showed you around the office or workplace. You haven’t even been introduced to those you will be interfacing with on the job.
Companies can make or break their employer brand and reputation in those first few days by ignoring some key factors of employee engagement and satisfaction. Some of those factors include a feeling of safety, of feeling valued as a team member, warmly welcomed and communication expectations when it comes to things like grievances, job coaching, even mentoring.
So you hope that the company is evolved enough or committed enough to their employees to provide a solid onboarding experience; one that will help integrate you into the organization as well as the specific function/division you will be working in. A great onboarding program certainly helps with retention of new hires. As we’ve learned through our own experience that when someone quits a new job within their first days or weeks – it is likely because they were left out to dry! Without a clue, with little direction or attention. But, I digress – as employee onboarding and employee retention are a part of the services we focus on.
Now back to your first day on the job. Maybe you will be meeting with an HR rep or an assigned Buddy when you arrive. Always be ready with pen/paper in hand for note taking and material gathering. So whomever you encounter in those first hours or days, consider the following 5 things:
- Get a copy of the job description (usually not handed out during interviews because they are proprietary. But at least you get a snapshot of what is expected, in general – in this job.
- Ask for permission to have a copy of a blank performance review form (if they have one) so that you can seek right away – what you will be monitored for and judged upon.
- This is also a good time to ask when to expect a performance review. Are they annual or more often (that would be nice). You may even inquire about the formality of the process, and other details.
- This may not be a good time to ask about the prospect of transferring or promotions – as today, you should be focused on what you were hired for. Chances are, you will learn the ropes in due time – of transfer requirements.
- And what about the tools for the job? Is your desk or workstation readied with applicable equipment, technology – even a chair? Believe me, I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes and heard about it even more — where an employee starts on the job and a colleague is scrambling to get a desk and all relevant materials that same day. One of the things you might want to have on hand right away – is also a company directory — and a who’s who of what and where.
Actually, this list could go on yet at the same time, doing proper homework during the application and interview process should have helped to prepare you for a first day on the new job. We want you to be a success, and we hope your new employer wants the same. By equipping you, by assimilating you and by making you feel part of the team and company goals from Day 1 – may spread success all the way around