We all had our first day in the flooring business. Do you remember yours? For some of us it was more recently than for others, but I would wager that it was a day that we likely haven’t forgotten. Are your memories of that day largely positive, or could things have gone better?
With this thought in mind, how are you using this personal experience to ensure that your firm’s newly hired are going to enjoy the most positive first day possible? You may ask: what’s so important about the first day of what will presumably be many? That question is easy to answer- because it’s the most important one!
I recently read a survey that indicated that over 2/3 of new hires experienced dissatisfaction with their first day because their manager was too busy to give them the required attention. As a result, they initially felt somewhat disengaged. I have two suggestions that I have found helpful in alleviating this problem.
The first is to start new employees on Friday rather than on Monday as is typically done. We all recognize that Monday is the most hectic day of most workweeks. Does it not seem illogical to bring someone new on board when you will have the greatest chance of interruption? Do you really want their first impression to be one of chaos? When managers are asked why they start employees on Monday, the answer that I typically hear is “that gives them a full week to start” or “that’s the way we’ve always done it”. So what? Have you ever heard anyone complain that their initial paycheck was for a partial pay period? That argument may have made sense a hundred years ago when businesses paid in cash, but hardly matters now. Fridays are typically less frenetic. I have found that it often works better for all concerned.
Secondly, make sure that your employee’s first day is well structured. Have an agenda of the upcoming training period that you can share with them. They need to know both what to expect, as well as what is expected of them, in the coming days and weeks. To receive their buy in, you must first give them something to buy into.
No matter what our position in life, Monday mornings seem often to be looked forward to with some degree of dread and uncertainty. (I believe that these feelings started for me when I was about eight years old and realized on Sunday evening that I still didn’t have all of my homework done!). Why would you want a new employee spending this time with their minds playing the “I wonder…” and “what if…” games? Would it not be better to give them lots of new toys and information to peruse over the weekend? Try sharing a Fabulous First Day Friday with them. By doing so, I believe that both you, and the newly hired, will find yourselves looking forward to Monday morning!