Starting off on the right foot with a new employee is critical for engagement and long-term retention at your organization. So often a first day is filled with mindless paperwork, unending introductions, and excuses about why a computer isn’t available yet or a workstation isn’t ready.
To remedy this, often organizations will create extensive presentations about the history, culture, and benefits of working there – but research indicates that employee orientations can be infinitely more successful if LESS is shared about the company and MORE is invested in learning about the new employee.
“Organizations will talk about recruiting from outside the company because they need new ideas and new blood, but then there is this tendency to shut off the new and basically transfer the corporate culture over to the new employee,” Francesca Gino, a professor at Harvard Business School who co-wrote the paper “Breaking Them In or Eliciting Their Best? Reframing Socialization around Newcomers’ Self-expression,” published in the March 2013 Administrative Science Quarterly.
The paper, shared by Forbes, highlights a field study at a major call center that had more than half of its call center agents quitting after a few months. After implementing a new orientation program that included discussing each employee’s individuality and how those strengths might help their new employer, the call center found that their turnover rate decreased by nearly 50%! This discussion about individual strengths wasn’t all that extensive either – it included several activities that lasted only about 1 – 2 hours.
Use an employee’s first day to celebrate what they’re bringing to your organization and make them feel valued right off the bat. Some easy to implement ideas include:
Do you have any success (or horror) stories about a new employee orientation you’ve experienced? We’d love to hear about them!