Unbelievable new joiner experiences

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Nick Mackeson-Smith
Nick Mackeson-Smith
Chief Curiosity Officer, Founder and Director
September 28, 2019

Creating unbelievable new joiner experiences

They’re as rare as red bananas, but they are a thing! Trust me - I’ve had one.

In my whole career of joining and saying goodbye and then joining organisations again, I’ve only experienced an unbelievable new joiner experience once. I also met my wife in the process, so it obviously sticks in my memory! The great thing is, this sort of experience isn’t actually that hard to replicate. The bad thing is, organisations and hiring managers often get in the way of making it a reality for their new people.

It’s actually a lot easier than people think. Try this:

  1. Help the newbie feel as though they’ve made a great choice. As a hiring manager you’ll want to feel like you have made a great choice in hiring someone, but the person whose feelings really matter right now is the newbie! Leaving an organisation and moving into the unknown can be one of the most stressful things a person might experience in their professional career. Do everything in your power to help them feel great about the move. A handwritten note on day one. Social gatherings with the team. Be generous with your time. Find out their favourite chocolate bar over a coffee (or a beer!). Talk about all the things you love about the organisation and what makes you stay. Whatever it is they need… go for it.
  2. Spend the first few weeks on developing relationships, getting to know each other, getting under the iceberg and building trust. It’s WAY easier to do this in good times when things are under control and the stakes are low, than later down the line when things get tough, and work takes over.
  3. Take the pressure off.  Give them time and space to settle in. Everyone wants to make an impact quickly and get some runs on the board but it’s unfair and unrealistic to expect it;  they don’t know the organisation, the people, the culture, the politics, the systems or processes yet… give them a break and let them do the stuff they already do know heaps about - engaging with other people.
  4. Recognise, value, and understand the skills and experience they have. You hired them for a reason - there’s nothing worse than joining an organisation, and then being told “we do things differently here”. Of course you do, but there will be some stuff that will be the same as what I’m used to - let’s talk about that first!
  5. Make sure you are ready for them. Computers, log-in details, phones, business cards, access to folders, stakeholder maps, security access - whatever tools of the trade they’ll need to be successful, it’s your job as a leader to make sure that they are set up and ready to go.  Be there on day one. Make sure the team are there on day one. Make sure that people know they are joining. Honestly - some of the worst experiences I’ve ever had, have been ones where I’ve sat without IT access or phones for literally weeks. What a waste of time, money, and ability to be on the bench for so long.

Give it a go. Oh, and this all costs you nothing but kindness, care, and some of your time.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

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September 28, 2019
September 28, 2019

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