I think we all can remember our first week at a new job, some of it good, and some probably not so good. I have experienced both. The last time I was hired I noticed something different during the first week. Previous employees of the company would stop by with coffee and donuts to visit with the current employees and the owner. That experience had a very positive impact on my first impressions of who I was working with. I am still with that company 10 years later, now as the owner and CEO.
As we continue to grow I have learned many valuable lessons about hiring. At the top of my list is The First 48 hours. Focusing on the first 48 hours of engagement with any new person to your team is critical to future results.
Your new team member is influenced by the following 5 things when they enter your organization.
- How do people speak to each other? – When we speak, our tone, our timing, and our attitude are dispersed into what we say. What will they hear?
- Do people help each other? – People need support. Our support for one another should be visible as much as it is audible. What will they see?
- What do people say about their manager? Respect is hard fought for and easy to lose. The current and previous actions of the leaders within your organization will be among the first thing new team members hear about. Some people have long memories. Make right the wrongs and keep a short list.
- What do people say about the organization? Keeping your team involved in how the company is doing is the responsibility of it’s senior executives. Teach those that are willing to learn about what the management does. This happens most effectively through leadership development. You future leaders should be on your front lines.
- Do you follow through on what you say? During the process of hiring you will have made some commitments. If you didn’t’ then your hiring process needs to be evaluated. Often the focus is on what the new person can bring to the table. Make sure you spend time to make some commitments to them. Differentiate between the long and short term, set a couple of each, and follow through!
Your new team member will make an important decision within the first 48 hours of engagement. They will decide if they are going to trust the leadership within the organization. Strive to do all that you can to show them you are trustworthy. It isn’t easy but it is possible.