Keeping hold of the back-to-school enthusiasm at work

My youngest began school last week.  I was lucky enough to have a child who skipped into school, full of excitement for the journey that was about to begin.  She took such joy from simple things such as choosing school lunch, the first reading book, her uniform, it was lovely to see.  This week? The enthusiasm is waning as the realisation that “this is it” sinks in, and the fatigue begins to take effect.

This reminded me of starting a new job.  Looking forward to that first day with a combination of nervousness and excitement for what lies ahead.

Taking joy in the simple things, the challenge of the job, the new colleagues, a new desk…..but how long does it last before the sense of fatigue begins to set in?

My experience of many companies is that they don’t do enough to nurture the enthusiasm of new employees.  Rather than relishing in the new ideas that new team members bring, they are all too often knocked back with “that’s not how we do it”, without any real consideration.

Exposure to negative employees further chips away at the new starter enthusiasm, and without careful management, they are far more likely to be sucked into this negativity.

So, what needs to be done?  It’s a difficult question to answer (unfortunately), but there are some key things that can be done to embrace the energy and ideas of new recruits.

-        A robust onboarding programme.  This needs to incorporate the time from job acceptance through to the end of probation.   It should include meetings with key people, time spent in different departments   

-        Being prepared. It’s rather disheartening when you arrive on the first day of your new job to find that there is no desk ready, no laptop, no equipment, your manager is out and there is no plan.  It’s a sure-fire way of getting your new recruit to wonder if they’ve made a terrible mistake.

-        A clear set of expectations.  It needs to be completely clear, what do you expect this person to do, to achieve, to deliver.

-        Feedback. How am I doing?  It can be really daunting when you start reporting to a new manager, so if you’re the manager, make sure that you keep on feeding back.

-        Plenty of contact time.  It can be tempting, particularly with remote-based workers, to assume that all is well, but in those early days, it’s better to overdo the contact time than to not offer enough.

 

So, focus on finding ways to embrace the suggestions and nurture the enthusiasm, you never know, some of it might rub off on the rest of your team.

 

Can we help you with your new starter or onboarding programme?  Get in touch with us to find out what we can do.

Clare Portman

My passion: Helping people do the things they never thought they could achieve.

e: clare@peopletopia.co.uk // t: 0845 415 4107