>First impressions don’t count or at least that’s what most companies must think when they design their orientation process. From what I’ve seen in most cases, you have an excited new employee who is very happy they have been hired by you and they are ready to get started! The employee is sent to a new hire orientation class and is inundated with so much information their head begins to swim.

For hours they hear about what they can get fired for, what does and does not constitute sexual harassment, how to clock in and clock out, and all the insurance benefits and copayments allowed. Paperwork is thrust in front of them to sign that they may or may not understand well, but they are asked to complete it right then and there. Who has stopped to look through the lens of the customer? Right now, the new hire is your customer and they don’t want to be going through all this boring minutiae on their first day.

This is when first impressions count. This is when the organization has the opportunity to capture the new hire’s attention and reinforce what is really important to their success and to the organization. This is the moment to share the company’s values and Service Philosophy. The orientation should contain these three elements:

1. Pride – why the employee should be proud to work for the organization

2. Service Philosophy and Standards – how the internal and external customers are to be treated and what is the higher purpose of the organization

3. Clear expectations of their job

First impressions do count! While it was your decision to choose the employee, it was also the employee’s decision to choose you. Make the most of this prime time moment to start building their loyalty and reinforce the culture of excellence within your organization. A culture begins with the people you hire.


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