Just one opportunity to make a good first impression

Just one opportunity to make a good first impression

Monday, 10 december 2018 | Redacción CEU

Most companies are going through a process of transcendental and unprecedented transformation. An evolution that will not conclude successfully, if it does not count on the right professionals. The emergence of new technologies in the workplace and the effects that it has on society and economy only complicate this context. That is why the conquest of talent has never been as fierce and virulent as it is now. Many companies focus their efforts on developing attractive and effective strategies that can be capable of attracting these new talents. However, once these professionals have joined, few are the companies which stop to think about what newcomers really need. Why is it so important to develop a good onboarding plan? What does a welcome plan have to include to be effective?


Except for very isolated cases, people who join a new job are happy. José Oriol Berengueres, Ph.D from the University of the United Arab Emirates (USA), along with Happyforce, a platform that tracks work well-being, precisely wants to measure how long the period of happiness that individuals experience when finding a new job lasts. The conclusion of his study is that the so-called honeymoon effect extends to 64 days.

This research has been based on the work activity of 4,296 employees (of which 815 were new employees) and has lasted two and a half years. This analysis confirms the suspicion, newcomers experience greater happiness than the average. However, this study reveals a curious fact. Once the period of 64 days has ended, the level of satisfaction begins to decline, reaching its lowest level at the seventh month. After this substantial fall, the workers finally reach a level of well-being similar to the one which was registered by the rest of their workmates (it takes one or two months to get it).

It is interesting to contrast this study with the analysis which was carried out by Harvad Business Review. It defends that 33% of new hires look for a new job after six months. A percentage that increases in the younger generations and that, in these cases, can even happen before. In fact, it is estimated that 17% of the workers who are hired globally leave their jobs after three months, something that generates an additional cost for companies which accounts for 30% in each new hiring. This early abandonment does not seem to respond to a generational factor, since this kind of dropout also affects other age ranges.

A good onboarding policy

Companies only have one chance to make a good first impression. In the same way that candidates who come to a job interview should take care of their image, companies that incorporate new talent should also try to make a good impression. Companies are often careless when it comes to welcoming their new employees on the pretext of a lack of time. Although this aspect may be anecdotal for some people or suppose only a minor issue for others, it may have a great impact on the future of companies. If a firm continually gives the same welcome repeatedly, and this is not an appropriate one, it may be repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

The well-being of employees, the fulfillment of their expectations and their professional performance are largely linked to how new talents are received and what the first months, and even days, of work are like. If the welcome is not good, it can open a gap between the newcomer and the company that, over time, will become larger and even end with the departure of the professional.


Just one opportunity to make a good first impression

Immersed in the "war for talent", companies have often suffered from focusing more on the conquest than on the warm welcome of their new talent. If we add to this scenario that the working model is changing, that new technologies demand professionals which are more and more prepared, and that younger generations do not cling to jobs with such force as before, the need to develop sound onboarding plans turns out to be even more important.

The most common mistake when it comes to welcoming talent is precisely not following any specific plan. These first days should not be improvised, since chance has never been a good guide for companies. The design of an onboarding process does not have to be complex. It is about following a series of simple guidelines that enable turning a overwhelming day which is full of information into an interesting approach that serves as a starting point. Above all, an onboarding plan should not become a mere visit through the company's facilities, an indiscriminate transfer of documents and material or an opportunity to show off the multiple virtues of leaders and middle managers.

An onboarding plan should deal with priority and important issues, but there is no need to try to concentrate all the information on a single day. It is important to provide some breathing space so that professionals can get used in an appropriate way and reflect on everything that is happening.

It is usually forgotten that newcomers also take on an important role in first days, so it is important to make them feel part of the company from the first moment. A good idea is to open a channel of communication where they can always resort to look for help or information.

This welcome has to serve not only so that new employees get to know a little more about the company for which they start to work, but also for companies to bring themselves closer to newcomers. Only in this way can companies understand if, in addition to fulfilling their own expectations, they themselves are capable of satisfying the ones of the new talents.

At The CEU IAM Business School, we offer a Master's Degree in Human Resources, Talent of  Management and Leadership that is based on excellence and innovation as keys to organizational transformation. Become an expert in the management of human capital and in the development of management skills through a blended-learning methodology that will allow you to make your training compatible with your day-to-day.


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