Roll Out the Welcome Mat!

The past few months have seen me accept new responsibilities and complete a lifelong goal of completing a doctorate degree (woohoo!).  With these milestones being met and new challenges accepted, I thought back to how I was introduced to my field...and it was not a great start.

I was left alone, not knowing where to go...who to meet with first or what to do.  I was adrift in a strange city, getting paid wrong and my furniture was lost in transit.  I was informed upon arrival at my new location that I would "hate it here" and "do not expect much."
Yes...someone said that to my face within twenty minutes of arriving.

<<Think about it for a minute>>

As a strong extrovert, I fought through by meeting people on my own and setting up a network that could assist me - and things slowly...very slowly...got worked out.  But I will admit...in the midst of it all I wondered, is this worth it? I wondered if my next move would be the same and if I could handle doing this all over again.

Taking lessons from life experiences I had one key question:

How do organizations expect company buy-in if they fail to introduce employees to their business in a manner  reflective of their business philosophy?

Some organizations fail over and over again to welcome and quickly share with new employees how the company wants them towards each other or their customers.  They fail to understand first impressions are not just one-way...the new hire is evaluating the organization just as much as the trial period evaluates them.

I ask every new employee how they were welcomed into the organization upon first meeting them.  I make sure I give feedback to those sponsors - both positive and negative.  I also ensure that any "guest/visitor"  in our organization, for a tour/meeting/conference...it does not matter - is welcomed by someone in my leadership team.  You would do the same if someone entered your home and it provides a backdrop of how I want individuals to be treated within the organization - welcomed with professionalism, dignity, and respect.

So continue to date the new-hires even after you hire them.  Remind them what makes your organization a fantastic place to work and grow.  This applies to temp hires and part-time employees as well - as they are part of the fabric of who your organization is now and what it is growing to become.  You can make such a difference in the longevity of hires, your reputation as an organization...and later the buy-in for changes to be made...but more about that topic later.

Leaders...your legacy does not start at the end - but begins the first day.

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