Whether a person is a new college graduate or a veteran worker, it isn’t easy to be a new hire. There is not only the new job parameter to learn and execute, there is office politics and new office culture to learn. A new employee must find their position among their peers as well as impress their new employer. This is a lot to juggle if the results are to be good, but there is help. With a few do’s and don’ts, the transition period can go smoothly.
The first step should be taken before the new employee starts work. They can research the company in advance and learn a bit about the company culture. Many companies have blogs and vlogs that will prepare a new employee for the first day. There may also be comments by employees on social media or other sites where information about the working conditions can be found.
From the very beginning, a new hire should be friendly to everyone. At this point there is no roadmap for whose smiling face is genuine and whose is false. The newbie need to smile and try to be likeable to everyone. This means being kind and helpful if the occasion arises. The new employee should make a huge effort to remember everyone’s name including secretaries, supervisors and co-workers. This will show that the new person respects and values all the people in the workplace.
Newbies should take advantage of any orientation or onboarding program. Some companies have elaborate events and some don’t, but this is the new person’s chance to ask questions, talk to co-workers and make introductions. This is not the time to sit back and observe. The event, whether large or small, is for the benefit of new employees and should be used. If there is no onboarding at all and the company hasn’t arranged a desk or phone for the new employee, they need to take the initiative. They can make it known that they are new and find a buddy to take to lunch. When co-workers see that the new hire is open, it will encourage co-workers to contact the new employee and offer help.
On the other hand, it’s not good to be too aggressive. Listening is the newbie’s best friend. He or she may have lots of ideas and suggestions, but these shouldn’t be expressed right at the beginning. If someone asks the new employee for his or her opinion, it’s all right to give it. Otherwise, it’s better to listen and learn before expressing opinions because he or she could be stepping on someone toes without realizing it. It is also important to listen before taking sides in an argument, disagreement or difference of opinion. Without knowing all the facts, a newbie could put him or herself on the wrong side, making for a short career with the company or an uncomfortably long one.
The new hire should take the time to get a copy of the organization chart from human resources. It’s important to know as early as possible who reports to whom and the names of the people are in their department. Without this, the new person could unintentionally hurt co-worker’s feelings be inadvertently going over someone’s head.
If a new employee’s skills can be used to help a co-worker, so much the better. Many people are happy for a little help, and it will give the new employee a chance to see who they can trust and who they should avoid.
It’s always nice when someone brings cupcakes, cookies or other treats for everyone to enjoy in the lunchroom. This is a great way for newbies to make friends.
If the new person in the office is also new to the city, he or she can ask co-workers about good restaurants, cafes and other shops. This gives common ground between the new person and others.
There are several things a person should avoid when starting a new job. Newbies should not:
• Be pushy about talking to people
• Expect to be told the dirt on every co-worker
• Constantly talk about their former employer
• Ask everyone to be a friend on social networks
• Be too trusting of new co-workers
• Constantly run to the manager with petty questions
• Address anyone who is in authority by their first name without asking permission first
• Have excessive tardiness and absenteeism
It may seem like common sense when it is presented in one place, but many people fail to remember that thinking about the well-being of others, especially co-workers, is the best first step towards starting on the right foot in a new job. New employees can avoid a lot of problems that may dog them for years if they just proceed with caution and a smile.
By Andre Bradley