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How to Lose a New Employee in 5 Days [Onboarding 101: The Series]

HNI Training and Quality Assurance Manager

Weak employee onboarding could spell disaster for a new recruit — and for the long-termemployee onboarding health of your business. Here's a five-day plan for a terrible first week of work for a new employee. Let's hope these steps aren't part of your onboarding process!

Day 1: Bring Them in Cold

Hiring managers set the tone for adding a new team member, and they (hopefully) have meaningful conversation with the lucky candidate. But many hiring managers don't take a minute to make a phone call or send a personal email to their new hire before his or her first day to say, "We're looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!" Let's face it: The first day of work at a new job is a huge life event, and it would be nice to hear that your boss is excited, too.

Day 2: Leave Them Stranded

There's a good chance your new hire knows only two or three people at your company her manager, an HR contact, and maybe a team member. And she's spent just a handful of hours with these people. Your office could be in an unfamiliar part of town, and she doesn't know where to go for lunch. In any case, your new employee is left to eat alone at her desk or in the lunchroom, where she'll be hyper self-conscious. What a way to start a long-term relationship.

Day 3: Forget Your Company's Values

Your firm's website talks about innovation and out-of-the-box thinking, but your new employee is told "That's not how we do things around here." Turns out, your company doesn't manage talent to your values, leaving your new hire feeling like he or she fell victim to a bait-and-switch scheme.

Day 4: Cheapen Their Value

If your new employee hears, "You're the new John [the last person to hold the position]!" you're doing something wrong. This is a not a good way to make an employee feel valued. Congrats! You've failed to recognize that the new hire has unique qualities that ex-employee John didn't bring to the team.

Day 5: Ignore Your Brand for the Next New Hire

The last time you updated your company's Facebook page was... ? Your current employees aren't encouraged to use LinkedIn, making your firm seem cold and out of touch. Your logo is totally '80s (and not in a rad way). Most importantly, though, your current workforce lacks a common rallying cry, which results in a brand that's probably not where you'd like it to be. A “brand” is the gut feeling someone has about your organization. It’s not what you say it is... it’s what they say it is. Be honest: Is your brand attractive to job seekers? Is the best talent skipping your company because of your brand?

And there you go... you've made a new employee question his or her value to the company and demonstrated that your brand is an afterthought. How long do you think they'll stick around? And then you're on to yet another round of hiring...

There are obvious (and maybe not so obvious) ways to turn around your onboarding process. We'll share them in our next blog! In the meantime, check out part one of our series on onboarding, and please share employee onboarding or orientation horror stories in comments!


[ GET THE WHITE PAPER ] The Secret Key  to Employee Engagement


Related Links:

Audit YOUR Employee Engagement

Facing Employee Engagement Challenges

Top Employee Engagement Communication Tips

Why Strong Employee Onboarding Matters [Onboarding 101: The Series]


Topics: Transportation Leadership / Strategy Manufacturing HR / Employee Benefits