A question that often intrigues me about the relationship between the organisation and a new joinee especially freshers is what is the ideal approach to take with them for the first few days/months of their joining. More so in this new start up age where every company is hiring hundreds at the base level and then immediately putting them to work to get business.
Over and over again, I have seen the need of a good hand holding in the new age companies (even the relatively established ones with MT programs etc) for the multiple new joinees.
Here is what I think all stakeholders gain from a structured and well thought out induction and training program for new joinees right from the beginning. And here is what should be kept in mind:
- The fresh talent coming in is the best source of energy, creativity, challenging the set benchmark and raw passion. So it’s critical to take care of them till they exactly know what to do in order to be successful.
- Since they are mostly sales/marketing personnel meeting the customers on the field, the brand image of the company is largely dependent on how these people represent themselves. Thus proper induction and training becomes even more critical.
- The raw energy and passion that they carry can easily be misused for spreading bad word of mouth about the company if they aren’t taken care of. And moreover most of them are young and going to work in their first / second jobs. Thus transition from an informal college life to a professional worklife is sensitive. These professional babies therefore have to be shown the right values.
- Important to keep the “Why” very clear for these joinees. Why this job? Why this product? Why this price? Why this USP? Why this hierarchy? Why this incentive? And why this company? The new joinees are now more interested in knowing the “Why” than the “What” and “How” and organisations that fail to tell them “Why” fail to keep them engaged.
- Be patient. The habit of instant gratification taken from addiction to social websites and fast paced lifestyles don’t work in a job set up. You need to give time to everything to start succeeding. At least a year normally in jobs to start getting recognised.
- Invest time in developing relationships with peers, managers and team members. Do not take anyone for granted. Your time invested will help you succeed later.
- Be extremely curious to learn but don’t go overboard in asking questions that might be repetitive in nature. Your image in the company in the beginning is dependent on the questions you ask, the emails you write, the initiatives you take, the discipline you show and sometimes the professional clothes (dependent on the company culture) you wear.
- Lay your hands on all sorts of reading material (paper, Audio, video) that will give you a better understanding of the company. Knowledge absorption is maximum during this period.
- Ignore the shortcoming of the organisation and the manager and just look the benefits. It’s very easy to become a part of a “cribbing” group who are just highlighting the things that didn’t happen as compared to so many things that have happened. Be positive and avoid bad company.
- If anyone can ever change your performance chart in the organisation, it is the new joinees. And it works both ways. Because these are like “professional new born babies”. They will learn whatever culture, numbers, habits, achievements that you preach in your words and in your body language.
- Spend time daily (at least an hour) with the new joinees for the first one month. Time investment now will give rich dividends later.
- Tell them stories about how good inputs lead to good outputs and how great inputs (like leads for sales, resumes for HR, processes for finance) is always the raw material for great output (like revenues for sales, proactive hiring for HR, zero outstanding for finance)
- Don’t pull out the “worst you” in the first month. New born babies have to be taken care of and allowed to grow within the given boundaries (policies). Encourage them and allow them to make mistakes so that they learn.
- Keep giving constructive documented feedback. Things will change if they are aware and they look up to you. They will look up to you if you have done personal value addition to their lives and learning.
- Don’t preach anything that you yourself don’t follow.
The path to become a successful company is very heavily dependent on how we treat every new person in the company and sooner we understand that, sooner the results follow.