An orientation plan is essential to a new hire's success
Good news! You found a talented candidate who will be a terrific fit for your firm. The offer has been accepted and all is set. The new hire will show up in two weeks.
It hits you then-oh no, you don't have a desk for the person; you will be out of the office and your in-house "subject matter expert" is swamped. Suddenly the good news begins to wane and you feel like an awful lot of work is yet ahead to prepare this new candidate for job readiness. With smart planning and ongoing communication, it will all get done.
Well, let's face it-an immediate positive impression will go miles. Just as you strive to create the right first impression with your clients, the same respect needs to be displayed to your new hire. This article will outline ideas for creating a smooth orientation and transition plan for new employees. Get everyone in your agency involved in creating a "welcoming culture" to everyone who joins your firm-regardless of position. It's cause for celebration!
Interestingly, interviews with employees who decide to leave a job reveal that their first sense of regret can be traced back to the first day on that job. Here is a sample of what we have been told: "I had no where to sit." "They forgot I was coming that day." "I showed up; no one knew I was starting that day and they left me in the waiting area for 30 minutes." "I thought it was just the first day-but they are always like this around here-unorganized."
Prior to start date
This candidate will soon become your new team member and employee. A smooth assimilation will enable you to continue your firm's productivity and create a positive impact and impression. We always recommend connecting two to three times prior to the individual's start date. Once the offer is accepted, you want to make sure that the candidate did submit his or her resignation and is committed to the start date discussed. In many cases, a candidate might be asked to leave his or her firm sooner than the two weeks, especially if the candidate is going to a competitor. No need to feel the pressure to move up your start date. It's wiser to have an orientation plan mapped out first-don't sacrifice on preparation, no matter how much you need that person.
Set up an early coffee meeting or a lunch prior to start date. Chat about what the first day and first week will look like. Ask your new employee for suggestions. Your new hire might bring along some ideas that you can incorporate as well. Discuss your new employee's expectations for the first two weeks. This opens the door for your first "coaching" session with your new employee.
To stay on plan, create a checklist. This will help you to find ways to delegate now instead of waiting until you have time tomorrow to do it yourself. Here are some items to include on the checklist:
* Sign offer letter
* Create personnel file
* Send out welcome letter along with new hire kit-benefits package, payroll info, noncompete and 1-9 form requesting completion by start date
* Plan for workstation-rent the furniture temporarily if you have to-but make sure you have a desk with supplies by start date
* Order computer/schedule setup
* Phone system setup
* Orientation booklet-company policies
* Business cards
* Announcements-to staff, to carriers, etc.
* Pre-arranged lunches with various staff members
Tightly map out the first two days filled with meetings and overviews. The first day in particular should be very tightly organized with confirmed meetings all around. It's always essential for the new hire to understand how he or she contributes to the firm. Never underestimate the impact of meetings with principals. One of the worst mistakes you can make is to pair up the new hire with your senior account manager by 8:30 a.m. that first day. It will limit that individual's view of your organization, overwhelm your senior...
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