How to start off on the right foot…

I read a blog yesterday from Profiles International that was centered around on-boarding of  a new hire.  Which by the way if you are in the hiring, training, development, an employer, or an employee somewhere, I would encourage you to sign up for their blog or follow them on twitter.  They push out a lot of great information that can assist anyone on just about anything related to their career.

Today I have the fortunate opportunity to meet with a few new hires in our company.  I will spend about three hours with them discussing Philosophy, History, How we equip them to do their job, expectations, etc.  Meeting with new hires is by far one of the most fun things I do in my job, did I say I was blessed? Yes I am.  I am sitting in the coffee shop reading and preparing for the day, I thought I would blog my agenda for this morning with this group.

Here are a few things that I have learned a long the way that can help any new hire to a company and is good advice for someone starting a new job that can apply to just about anywhere.

1.  Figure out what scoring is and do that a lot.

Every position within a company does or (should) have a method of which things are measured to know how a person is successful in their position.  These can be numbers in sales, quality in service based on evaluations, etc.  Once you figure out what a company considers scoring, do that a lot, and do it frequently.

2.  Be teachable

I am not saying that there isn’t a better way.  I believe there is always a better way, but maybe we just don’t know what it is yet.  However, until you have earned the right to have an opinion (meaning results) do it the way you were taught.  A lot of new hires fail here miserably, they think they know already.  Do it the way you were taught, earn some respect, and then make modifications.

3.  Be careful

Be careful on who you associate with.  A lot of companies may have a mentor program, which means that the person you are paired up with has earned the right to help guide new hires in the transition within the company.  This mentor should always guide you in the right direction.  My advice is be careful and don’t associate with the employees who are the complainers.  They are usually really easy to spot.  They are the ones complaining or not following directions.  Stay away from them regardless of their tenure.

4.  Attitude

Attitude is probably the most important element for all new hires. Most of the people who I have terminated usually was because of attitude.  Theirs sucked or they didn’t want to do their job, which is an attitude that doesn’t work with me. I will do another blog post on what attitude is to me and what is a good attitude versus what is a bad one.

5.  Why are you here

I love asking this question.  Most of the time in my business the response I get is that I am passionate about education and helping people.  For about 8 years I accepted that as the answer.  Now I respond and say “If that is true, would you have taken this job for $10,000, less than we are paying you now?” It is usually silence, (I allow the silence for a minute), then I respond and say.  I get that it is why we hired you, but you are here for you and your family.  Your motives are focused around you, and this job fulfills both your desire to do something worthwhile as well as make a living.  This job allows you to do both, but I want you to have a hunger and a thirst to do everything you can (and show it based on my expectations) and not tell me you are doing all you can.

6.  Set a new expectation

Most managers don’t hire a new employee thinking that they will be a nice role player.  You know who they are, the steady eddie that is about average, but dependable. No, our hope is that we just hired the next Michael Jordan.  So a new hire should come in and see who the top person is within certain field and the new hires goal should be to exceed that person and set a new expectation.  It isn’t going to happen over night with results.  However, overtime with effort, attitude, and skill this will happen and a manager can see this early on usually.

7.  Quit

As much as I hate this, I firmly believe in it.  Unfortunately, even though many companies including ours puts in a lot of time and effort to really paint the picture of a job, sometimes once a person gets into the job, they find out it is not what they are looking for.  Spoiler alert:  This is not only obvious to the new hire, but your new manager notices it as well.  Do everyone a favor and talk about it with your new manager.  Maybe they can coach you or guide you on some misconceptions you may have or maybe not.  But have the conversation and  be honest,  There will not be any hard feelings.  I have seen this so many times work out for the better.

8.  Don’t ask about growth opportunities

Now we hire people not only thinking they are the next Michael Jordan, but we also like to hire thinking that this person will be able to grow in our business and help us in a different role later on.  However, most new hires want to put the cart before the horse and start talking about growth and new positions before they have conquered the position they have been hired for. My advice is to become really good at X (become the best you can possibly be) and opportunities will come your way, I can guarantee it. No manager says, “Rob, really sucks at this job, so lets promote them and see how they do here.”

9.  Become a better you

Be willing to do whatever it takes to become the best at your job.  Read the books, attend the training (willingly), find new training, share new information with your boss you learned from your reading and training, become an expert in your business.

10.  Seek Excellence

Excellence is defined as: is a talent or quality which is unusually good and so surpasses ordinary standards. Do this in everything.  Your attitude, your appearance, your facial expressions, your job duties, in everything you are required to do and not required to do, do it with excellence.

I am sure I will talk about all of these things this morning and then some, but this is a good start for me.

Brian Willett


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