Top 10 Ways to Turn Off a New Employee

10 Ways to Make a Bad Impression on a New Employee You Want to Retain

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You want your new employee to experience his new job as a major turn on. You know that employee retention starts on day one of a new person's employment. You know that how you orient and train a new employee will affect the new person's ongoing success.

You also know that the employee's overall relationship with his manager is the most significant retention tool you have. Knowing all of these facts, why then do organizations so often act in ways that create the opposite result? Seems crazy, doesn't it?

These are the top ten ways to guarantee that your new employee will start off on the wrong foot–possibly forever. Yes, that is how powerful first impressions are. You have just one chance for a lasting first impression. Make it the best first impression you can by avoiding these top ten employee turnoffs.

New Employee Turn-Offs

1. Make sure that a work area has not been created or assigned. (Let him sit in a hall or share a cube for the first few days while you scramble to create a work area.) Nothing is worse than not giving your new employee a home. It is the new employee's first experience of caring.

What to Do Instead

Put together a work area that has all of the equipment and comfort items the new employee needs to become productive on day one.

2. Schedule the new employee to start his or her new job while the manager is on vacation or away at a conference. Have no one else prepared to give the new employee meaningful work or training while the manager is gone. In general, employees start their first day in a meeting with their manager.

What to Do Instead

Schedule the new employee to start on the manager's least busy day. Arrange that the new employee will spend several hours with the manager meeting coworkers and learning about their job. Make certain that a new employee orientation schedule is developed.

3. Leave the new employee standing in the company reception area for a half hour while reception staff attempt to figure out what to do with him and who is expecting him.

What to Do Instead

Front desk employees need to welcome a new employee in an informed, supportive way. They ought to know who is expecting the new person and direct the person according to the manager's instructions.

4. Leave the new employee at her workstation, to manage on her own, while coworkers pair up and head out to lunch.

What to Do Instead

Schedule lunches for the new employee for the first few days so the employee has a chance to meet people. Then, she can begin scheduling lunches on her own.

5. Provide an hour in a noisy lobby for the new employee to read and sign-off on a 100-page employee handbook. Better?

What to Do Instead

Send the paperwork and handbook to the new employee in advance. Make the time at work about answering questions and clarifying meaning when the new employee meets, on the first day, with HR.

6. Show the new employee his office and don’t introduce him to coworkers or assign him a mentor or buddy who will help the new person integrate into the new workplace.

What to Do Instead

Assign a mentor and schedule meetings with friendly interested coworkers who will build relationships with the new employee from day one. The new employee's retention and satisfaction build from the first day.

7. Assign the new employee to a staff person who has a major, career-impacting deadline–in three days.

What to Do Instead

A new employee has needs, too. Planning to meet them will ensure a long, fruitful relationship. Understand the time commitment that mentoring a new employee takes and assign the appropriate person who has the time and knowledge.

8. Assign the new employee to (you fill in the blanks) your most unhappy, negative, company-bashing staff member. Negativity is contagious. Don't want to infect the new employee? Better question. Why do you employ a negative, unhappy, company-bashing staff member at all? None of your employees need this daily impact.

What to Do Instead

But, for a new employee, a negative employee's views can have an immediate impact on his view of your organization forever. So, never assign a negative employee to mentor a new person. You'll lose them on day one. Assign your most positive, knowledgeable staff member.

9. Assign the employee busy work that has nothing to do with her core job description, because you are having a busy week. You didn't allow time to spend with her.

What to Do Instead

New employees thrive when they feel immediately valued and productive. They want to make a contribution right now. The first step in retaining a new employee is to enable them to work on a core component of their new job on their very first day.

10. Start the new employee with a one or two-day new employee orientation during which Human Resources personnel make formal presentations after a boring presentation after a benefits presentation after a handbook presentation and signoff. Bad news for the morale of a new employee.

What to Do Instead

Contact the new employee prior to their start date with all of the benefits paperwork and the employee handbook sent in advance so the employee can read the paperwork and fill it all out prior to their first day on the new job. Better? Give the new employee access to your online portal to learn about the company. Use the first day on the new job to welcome the new employee and orient them to their department and their team.

If you can avoid these obvious turn-offs when a new employee starts a new job in your organization, you are taking the needed steps to ensure the new employee's success. You are paving the way to ensure her long-term contribution. That's a win-win situation for all of you. 

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