Within the first 21 days of starting in your business, how vulnerable are new appointees? Can you, with absolute certainty confirm that these newbies are receiving a genuine warm welcome from your existing employees?
I recently watched a fascinating Ted Talk, A thrilling look at the first 21 days of a bee’s life, shared by photographer Anand Varma. Anand’s captivating story describes how the first 21 days of a bee’s life are the most crucial. This is where they develop, grow and become the new generation who inherit the reins of the existing bee colony. Sadly, what scientists have now discovered is that these vulnerable bees are being attacked by tiny mites, hiding deep within the hive, causing the young bees to become weaker, less productive and inferior adult bees. This is subsequently causing a worldwide honey shortage.
You are probably asking yourself what on earth this has to do with new employees? Well, a beehive could be likened to a business, and the bees to employees. We know that businesses are only as strong and successful as the people they employ. So, is your business setting your new employees up for success or failure? Through hiring new people, is your business growing stronger or weaker?
What strategy have you got in place for new appointees? You might place them into an orientation programme, or buddy them up with an experienced employee to be “shown the ropes”. That is all good and well, but what about the rest of the employees within your business? How are they treating and interacting with this new employee? Do you have mites, hidden deep in your organisation that slowly work behind the scenes, for whatever reason, to make the new person feel uncomfortable and not perform to their potential? Or even worse, resign?
Here are some questions you could reflect on that might help to create a smoother transition and better retention of new employees into your business:
- What is your new employee turnover rate within their first 6 months?
- Who is involved in the hiring process? Are direct team members involved with the initial vetting of potential new hires?
- What is the actual culture or attitude of the business when it comes to interacting with new hires?
- Does your orientation programme involve all current employees?
- Who is held responsible for taking care of new employees?
- Are new employees asked to provide feedback on how they were treated in their first 21 days or are they only asked about their work?
All businesses know that the cost of hiring a new employee is exorbitant. After expending all the time, effort and energy of bringing a new person into the organisation, will your efforts be sabotaged by nasty little mites? What is your strategy to build your team and to promote a happy, productive start for new appointees?