I am sure we have all been in a situation where we have landed that dream job after multiple rounds of interviews, only to arrive on the first day eager to make a good first impression and the receptionist doesn’t even know you are starting.
This happened to me quite a few years ago I was appointed the Vice President Sales with a good sized international organisation, I arrived, no-one had any knowledge of my appointment, I was then informed by the receptionist that the MD wasn’t expected into the office until 10am, I had no desk, computer, phone and sat around in a spare office for 2 hours intermittently staring at a blank wall and reading a basic company brochures 50 times over until he eventually arrived, even then he was too busy to spend any time with me, and I felt like I was an interrupting his busy schedule….my first day was a disaster. As you can imagine I felt very insignificant, embarrassed and disillusioned, almost to the point that I felt like walking out there and then, my gut was telling me I had made a terrible mistake starting a new career with this organisation and in hindsight I was right.
On the other hand some organisations do it very well. One organisation I started with called me weeks before my start date, gave me a choice of vehicle and delivered my new company car and fuel card to my home the weekend before I was to commence. They also organised a dinner for my wife and myself with the rest of the company’s management team and partners at a very nice restaurant the weekend prior to starting. Upon arrival on my first day the receptionist knew who I was without any introductions, I was introduced to every staff member by the MD who all knew of my appointment and seemed to all have some background knowledge of me. My office was decked out with new stationary, all of the past managers documentation had been tidied up and filed, I had a new laptop, phone, my business cards were printed and placed in a silver desk holder, my name was on the company phone list, all my logins and passwords had been preset ready to go. It was a fantastic feeling, I felt extremely important and ready to jump through hoops for this organisation. Some of the companies I deal with go a few steps further and organise a monogrammed mug, 12 month gym membership and one company actually provides a generous gift/clothing voucher at the Department store Myers. Why not! We can all do with some new clothes to look sharp in our new role.
I believe going beyond the standard orientation process can enable new employees to become successful in the workplace more quickly, and help ensure that the new partnership will be long and advantageous. A new employee’s attitude about your business generally takes shape quickly, and can affect their long-term outlook and commitment to the company. Many employees typically make their decision to stay or quit within their first six months……….. a good first impression can be invaluable.