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How Managers Poison New Hires November 17, 2010

Posted by Kevin Burns in accountability, attitude, boss, career, communication, corporate culture, corporate culture turnaround specialist, culture, Employee Engagement, engagement, kevin burns, keynote speaker, management, manager, mentor, middle manager, onboarding, performance.

managers poison new employees while onboardingThe truth is, new hires will get sucked into the Culture of the workplace faster than formal training will stick.

Managers who welcome new employees on their first day then promptly hand them off to any employee because they have a meeting to run to, run the risk of doing two things:

  1. giving a very poor first impression that staff and their contributions don’t matter – meetings do, and
  2. potentially poisoning your new hire by foolishly choosing some random employee and having them learn the real “attitude” of the place from someone disgruntled or actively disengaged.

You say you want to increase employee engagement and reduce employee turnover, yet you hand off a newbie to other staffers without a plan. What are you thinking?

Who is the employee with the best attitude, the best performance, the best engagement and the best intentions? That person is your new on-boarding mentor. Have a conversation with the potential mentor and tell them that because of their performance, you are placing new hires in their care to learn the correct way of doing things around here. Give your people positive responsibility and you will find that they rise to the occasion.

The first relationship that a new employee strikes up is usually the longest lasting relationship. Make sure your new hire gets mentored by the right attitude, the right work ethic, the right performance and the right engagement levels.

If you want to ensure the future Culture of your workplace is headed in the right direction, don’t just willy-nilly leave new hires with your staffers. The first few days are important learning times for new employees – especially for improving Culture. Make this a strategic move. You will have made your own job much easier down the road.



1. Franki Harrogate - November 17, 2010

What about companies that don’t even bother to have someone show you where anything is? I was once hired at a company and wasn’t even told where the office supplies were – any questions I had, the manager wasn’t the one with the answers. I had to either track someone down and disrupt their work to ask questions, or I had to take time out of my productivity to search the office for envelopes, paper, pens, staples, etc. I wasn’t even told where on earth my boss’s files were, where his limitation diaries were kept or whether or not we got time for lunch (and how long).
Neither the senior mucky-mucks nor the manager could be bothered to ensure any sort of training for either new hires or current employees; if there were programs that would benefit an employee, the employee was responsible for finding them, registering & paying, attending (and fighting with accounting over the paid days off) and then obtaining – months later – reimbursement from the company for the cost of the course.
Needless to say, I’m no longer there.

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