You just landed a new job. Do you know what your employer expects from you in the first few weeks of your employment? Whether this is your first job or your dream job, here are several tips to improve your chances for success in the company during the first 90 days.
You have heard that “attitude is everything?” Well, for a person in a new job, attitude is the only thing! A positive, can-do, open and honest approach to both work and the people with whom you work is the most important first impression a new employee can make. You may lack institutional knowledge, and you may not be crystal clear on the corporate hierarchy or the full scope of your particular job, but you will win the immediate support and advocacy of your supervisors, if you:
- come in early, stay late.
- ask questions
- concentrate on learning everything about the job, the fundamentals first and then advancing knowledge
- volunteer for assignments
- speak well of the company and the people who work there
- suggest process improvements
- accept constructive advice positively
- be open to improvement
- be approachable
- set personal goals for achievement
- try to exceed expectations in every way
- ask for feedback, both positive and negative
Everyone knows that a newly hired person is not yet able to fulfill all their responsibilities. However, by demonstrating that they are willing to learn, willing to try and willing to interact well in all circumstances, the person is laying the foundation for success.
What can employers do to assist in a new employee’s transition?
Communicate, communicate, communicate and communicate some more. In order to give the new hire a solid foundation for success, an employer should share anything and everything that would be useful to the new person’s development. In addition to job descriptions, an employee handbook, training, and other documentation, the employer or HR manager should check in frequently with the new employee. Offer guidance and encouragement, and be sure that you:
- define your expectations
- give clear work direction and instructions
- articulate the company culture/values
- regularly update their progress (both good and where improvement is required)
- provide feedback you receive from others who work with or observe the person
- maintain an “open door” but more than that, encourage them to reach out to you, to ask questions to seek your guidance
- reaffirm that there are no “stupid” questions, provide positive and productive answers, ensure that they feel comfortable bringing issues to you
- continually set and re-set new goals (both major and minor) as they advance in their knowledge and capabilities
- encourage productive workplace behaviors and demonstrate those same behaviors in yourself for them to emulate
- allow them the opportunity to observe and participate even if their participation is not specifically required
By taking these actions, you are setting a clear road map for new employees to become valued and effective members of your team. The upfront work you put in will be rewarded many times over as the person develops the skills, knowledge and confidence required for long term success.
HR Knowledge is a provider of integrated HR, payroll and benefits services. Our offices are located in the Boston, MA metro area and we service companies throughout the United States.