My First Day At Work
Ah my first day at a new job. You breathe in and inhale all of the possibilities. Everyone in your family is excited about your prospects at your new place of employment. Even your Mom said how proud she was about you landing work so you could provide as everyone should for your spouse and kids.
You think to yourself, “I wonder what the company is like? Will they go over the company system of paperwork? Maybe show me how they want me to communicate with clients? Who knows? Maybe they’ll even throw a “Welcome to the Company” party for me. The excitement is so great you can hardly sleep the night before your first day…
How does an opportunity like that, start with so much anticipation for great things to come by both the employee and the company, only to crash and burn in record time?
It reminds me of a story about a contractor who called me a few years back about a situation where he hired someone and told him to start on a Monday morning and within 60 minutes the new employee was gone without a trace. Vanished into thin air. The owner of the company called me in a state of wonderment. Was the guy recruited by a competitor? Was he offered more money by someone else? “What happened?” the owner who was obviously frustrated, wanted to know when he called me.
Every employee has a vision of great things to come for their career BEFORE they actually come to work. After all, do we ever start a new job thinking, “This place will probably suck!” Not at all. Every company is envisioned as a great place to work be fore we begin to work there and then REALITY happens… OUCH!
Why Did He Quit?
In the case of this company the newly hired Tech was promised that he would go through company training on his first day and then within 60 minutes, he turned in his keys and quit. The contractor, owner called me flabbergasted at this development. “Why did he quit without saying a word?” the contractor asked me. “He just left! What kind of person does that!”
Well if we can all assume that my description of the anticipation people have BEFORE they come to work for your company is correct, then the answer obviously lies within what happened on the first day.
I asked the contractor, “What did this tech do on the first day?” He told me that he he had scheduled training for the new hire but had an unexpected issue with his worker’s comp insurance company and was too busy to talk with the new guy. Therefore he skipped the planned morning training session. Instead he gave the newbie the keys to a truck that was recently occupied by a tech who was fired last week.
Technician Or Janitor?
He told him to clean it up and restock it. From that, I knew the answer was clear. I asked the owner, “Did you ever get a new job where you were told to clean up somebody else’s mess on your first day?”
It was entirely the opposite of what he was told would happen on the first day. Instead of building his career, he was asked to do an autopsy of a truck that was trashed by an ex-employee who obviously was communicating his disrespect for the company by the condition he left the truck.
No there was no welcome party, You can imagine what impression the condition of this truck left on the newly hired tech. He probably thought that if a company can let a truck get this out of control to this degree, then it must not be a very good company. Rather then argue with the boss on the first day, it is simply easier to quit and go find a place to work that will honor their agreement to make me a service tech as promised, not a janitor.
Remember that when you first hire a new employee that the REAL training system is what this employee is observing in terms of how the company looks, how clean it looks and how organized it is. Basically when you tell an employee how important it is to be neat and clean and then fail to follow through with your actions on what your words have promised, it’s a let down. Walk the walk don’t just talk the talk.
Now let’s hear from you? What is your on-boarding process for newly hired employees? Do you follow through on the promises you make during your job interviews? Where could you improve? Shre your thoughts in the comments below.