The New Guy (Or Girl)
As some of you know, I have relocated to the East Coast, and as such, I am required by law to subscribe to The New Yorker magazine. I used to read it longingly and would fantasize about what it would be like to live within a train ride of The Big Apple, but I digress: this is about you.
Or more to the point, it’s about your new hire(s).
There was a short article in a recent issue of The New Yorker about how a startup company treated interns, many of whom were working remotely in other parts of the world. And as usual, it got me thinking: How do YOU treat your new hires?
As a salesperson, almost every time I started at a new printing company, I was shown to a desk, a phone, given a box of business cards, and basically told, "Come back when you’ve sold something." To all of my old employers who are reading this, you did TO!
So here’s my point: I want you to give some thought to what it would be like to be a brand new person starting out at your company. I don’t care if s/he is a desktop operator, vice president of sales, or the person who takes out the trash. I don’t care if this person is 18 or 80. I don’t care if this person has been in the business for half a century or doesn’t know a color space from a pantone chart.
You need to be investing some time, compassion, and energy into these people, and what they experience with you in their first 90 days. The not so new buzzword is on-boarding, and you should have a plan. Here are a few ideas on areas to focus on:
1. Assign a buddy—Preferably someone who is also fairly new to the organization. This is more in service of your company culture and his/her happiness, so it does not need to be someone in the same role or department. In fact, it is probably a good idea if it is someone in another area.
2. For God’s sake, take this person out to a nice lunch on his/her first day—preferably with some of the other higher ups, department heads, and people from his/her department. It’s OK if you spend 90 minutes and a few hundred bucks.
3. Agree to check in regularly—and ask for feedback, make sure training objectives are being met.
4. Put on your compassion hat—this person could be scared, overwhelmed or even feeling remorseful if things do not go the way s/he expected right out of the gate. And however you found this person, I assume you spent some time and money attracting and hiring him/her. So don’t blow it by under communicating or ignoring warning signs that s/he is over her head or doesn’t understand something.
Shameless plug: I can help you get someone up and running if you need some help—And I’ll cut you a massive deal for being a loyal reader. But please. Whatever you do. Put some time and energy into making your new guy (or girl) feel special. It’s worth it. I promise.
Blogger, author, consultant, coach and all around evangelist for the graphic arts industry, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include sales and marketing coaching, enabling clients to find engagement strategies that work for them and mentoring the next generation of sales superstars.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league. She is also the mother of two sets of twins under the age of ten, so she fears nothing.