I read an article in Inc. Magazine that discussed how some companies are helping new staff when they first come on board.
One involved a moving company in Massachusetts. This company started a program for new recruits where they raced up and down a thousand steps at Harvard University’s stadium. Afterwards the owner gave an orientation speech over a hearty breakfast.
In my high school days, a few years ago or so, I recall doing that particular exercise. At first it seemed like a piece of cake. You go up the stairs. You come down the stairs. Well, I very quickly realized this was much tougher than I thought.
Eventually even some of the current staff at the moving company came out to challenge the thousand steps. The owner wanted this unusual rite-of-passage to communicate a sense of belonging and that working hard was a very positive quality at his company.
The article pointed out that recruits started coming in from other moving companies because they heard this company didn’t tolerate laziness amongst its staff and they wanted to be a part of that kind of environment.
Another example from Inc. Magazine involved a company putting together a big “Welcome Card” signed by all of the staff. This card was given to the new staff member at a welcoming party complete with food and balloons! In other words, they just made it special for the new person to be there.
You may not find the race up a thousand steps to be remotely doable for your company, and the welcome card and balloons may not fit with your company’s culture. But I’ll bet there are a number of things you could do to make someone new to the company feel welcome.
How many times does a new staff member head off to his specific area, get a bit of training, meet a few of the people in the near vicinity and months later he or she is still wondering who most of the folks are?
If you have a fairly large company, perhaps you get the department together to create a special way to welcome the new recruit.
Do something right from the start that includes and welcomes the new person. You may be pleasantly surprised how much of a positive effect this has.
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