I really don’t mean to rub it it but I am writing this blog entry from Paris. Yes, France. I am on a two week vacation with my 8 year old son. I don’t speak French and although I have my handy book of French phrases and words, I am utterly pathetic when it comes to speaking the language. I have to say the French people have been very kind and helpful to us as we navigate our way around this amazing City.
This got me thinking about what that new hire must feel like the first week (or longer) on the new job. They start off feeling excited, pumped up, confident with their abilities to prove themselves and master the job. But then comes the data overload: meetings, orientations, more meetings, introductions, handbooks and all the rest that goes into trying to “fit in.” This is where you come in.
HR is really that new hire’s Customer Service Rep. You are the welcoming committee, the ones who help that new hire get acclimated and safely on their employment journey. Here are a few tips amd questions to think about:
1. Is your on boarding program accomplishing everything it needs to in order to help that new hire feel welcome? Similar to being in a foreign country, your new hires are learning some new words and phrases and customs particular to your company Md need continuing assistance along the way.
2. Do you think like Customer Service? Do you offer your help over and over again? Or, do you simply pass that person over to their manager after the orientation and move on to the next person?
3. Do you have a buddy system set up for new hires? I remember a job I started in 1990 as a paralegal. On the first day my manager and I went to lunch with someone she had selected to help me learn the ropes. Well, that person, my pal Maureen, has been one of my dearest friends since that day.
4. Have you checked your company”s culture lately? What does it take to “fit in?”. In most of my presentations I mention the recent Google case in California where one of the big issues was the manager often stating that Brian Reid just wasn’t a “culture fit.” while the Reid case involved age discrimination focusing cultural fits can certainly cover several protected characteristics.
5. Are your senior execs, including the CEO involved in your orientations? While the President of France didn’t seek out to make me feel welcome in his country, having your senior execs involved sends an amazing message to your workforce. I remember reading many years ago about the President of Southwest Airlines who attended all new hire orientations to introduce himself and to welcome everyone to the company. Wow.
Just a few thoughts on how HR is Customer Service. Send me your thoughts.