Hiring is a huge investment for any organization. It takes significant time and resources to recruit, screen, hire, and onboard team members at any level. And while all these steps are necessary, they are not sufficient to ensure that the new hire will find their place easily in the culture of the new work environment.

It’s common after formal training that support wanes. As the pressures of daily work encroach, the time and energy invested in a new team member can fall well below what is needed during this important transition. Perhaps even more important, a formal welcome and inclusion in workplace culture is often left to chance. 

While culture may not seem particularly important on the surface, it’s often the reason why new employees choose to leave within the first year. A lack of connection with fellow team members and ambiguity with regard to job responsibilities are key culture keystones that drive new hires to leave. 

We Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression

New hires are learning and evaluating their environment from the moment they begin. Just as new leaders understand that the first 6 to 12 weeks of their tenure will largely determine their effectiveness with their teams, new team members make a determination very early on if the company is being responsive to their needs, supportive of their growth, and welcoming with regard to the inclusivity of the culture.

An intentional effort to bring new team members into the fold and actively support them is the most proactive step that leaders can take to ensure both retention and productivity. If a new hire feels a connection to the purpose of their work and a sense of inclusion through the efforts of leadership and existing team members, they are more likely to invest the best of themselves back to the organization. 

Leaders ensure that new hires are getting an accurate reflection of workplace culture by: 

  • Conducting frequent check-ins to make sure they are getting the support they need
  • Ensuring the systems they are using are understood, easy-to-use, and meeting the needs of their duties
  • Celebrating early accomplishments so that they feel recognized, competent, and responsible for the work they are doing, even if it is only training exercises

First impressions are key. New hires should feel that they are valued as soon as they start. It speaks to the inherent need that people have for belonging. Nearly everyone wants to be on a good team. 

Making the effort with new hires to reassure them of their choice of workplaces through authentic acts of support and inclusion may be the best initial retention tool that a business possesses.

Finish the Process Strong …

Most experienced leaders understand that any area of oversight that is left to chance does not usually have a positive outcome. It makes very little sense to do a thorough job of recruiting, screening, and hiring, only to leave the welcoming and inclusion of that new hire to chance. 

Having protocols for guiding new team members through the first 6 to 12 weeks with the company should be as intentional as any other part of the hiring process. Going the extra step to make certain that people understand their value to the team and the role they will play in supporting the culture is an investment organizations can’t miss out on. For those who make the effort, the results of improved retention, job satisfaction, and productivity are nearly guaranteed.