The first day at the new job: recommendations to the employee and manager
The first day at work is the most important and challenging. How you behave on the first day will determine how your relationship with your colleagues will develop in the future. As a rule, a newcomer to the organization faces a lot of difficulties, most of which are generated by the lack of information about the order of work, the location, the characteristics of colleagues.
1. To the employee
The first day at work is the most important and the most difficult from a psychological point of view. On how you behave on the first day, will depend on how your relationship with colleagues in the future. It is appropriate to remember the popular proverb: “Soft asleep – but hard to sleep”. In this case, it reflects well what your behavior in the new organization should be at first, and it should be extremely diplomatic.
On the first day of work, the manager must introduce his new employee to the team. Next, experienced employees should introduce the new colleague. There is no denying the fact that there are people who take pleasure in seeing the anguish of a new employee. Your job is to give them as little pleasure as possible.
However, the new employee should not distract colleagues from their own business in any way. Everyone has their own responsibilities, so you shouldn’t constantly jerk someone around by interfering with their work. Try to be observant and take note of how others solve certain problems.
No matter how high professional you are, good relations with people in the team play a significant role. A newcomer to the team will be looked at first and may be treated biased. Show right away that you are punctual – do not be late for work and do not leave the workplace before the end of the day. Don’t hang around the offices unnecessarily.
The first few days require you to make a friendly greeting and a short, polite, friendly contact. Such a start to the working day helps to forget domestic problems, to overcome the burdensome impressions of transport inconveniences, and to enter more easily into a normal working state.
A new employee should not be introduced to the intricacies of personal relationships between some members of the team. The form of address of all employees in the organization depends on the traditions and personal sympathies of everyone, but it is not customary to address someone by his or her last name.
Well-behaved people are always interested in the affairs of their colleagues. Their successes should sincerely please and failures upset. Personal grievances, dislikes and antipathies must not interfere with the business relationship with one’s colleagues. You should not bore your co-workers with tales of your concerns and personal troubles.
An employee’s workplace can also tell a lot about him or her. A well-mannered person will never make others admire the mess on his desk. Women should not do makeup in the workplace, especially if there are several people in the office. Do not look at the papers on someone else’s desk, do not look for anything there. Do not conduct long personal conversations on the office phone, it is unacceptable to listen to other people’s phone conversations.
If someone approaches you, immediately pay attention to that person. Try to remember their name by silently repeating it to yourself. If you are not sure of the name, ask the person to say it right away. Listen to everything that is said to you, singling out particularly interesting things to continue the conversation.
If there is nothing interesting in the conversation, try to hold on to something. If someone is introducing you, look first at the person to whom you are being introduced and then at the person who is introducing you. The only acceptable physical contact in the business world is a handshake. Little attention is paid to the handshake, even though it is practically universal and also very important for perception.
A friendly handshake is firm but painless; it is accompanied by a look in the eye and a smile; it is done with the right hand; it lasts no more than two or three seconds. There is no need to shake hands the entire time you are being introduced and to use the handshake to draw the person to you.
A handshake should be performed in the following situations:
- if the other person extends his or her hand to you;
- if you are greeting someone;
- if you are greeting guests or the hostess of the house;
- If you are renewing an acquaintance;
- if you are saying goodbye.
- Don’t slouch, but don’t stand at attention either;
- do not fold your arms across your chest;
- don’t tell long, boring jokes;
- don’t watch other people move around the room while someone is talking to you;
- don’t overwhelm your conversation with incomprehensible and cryptic words.
If you are a supervisor and your position requires you to coordinate the work of your subordinates, it may happen that someone does their job inappropriately. In such a case there is no avoiding criticism. However, here too you should pay attention to a few rules:
- Criticize only in private and never in front of witnesses;
- Criticize the problem, not the person;
- Be specific;
- The purpose of criticism is to improve performance, not to destroy credibility.
A well-mannered person will always point out that a colleague looks good today. Again, before giving a compliment, remember the rules:
- be sincere;
- Be specific;
- compliments need to be said on time;
- do not make comparisons.
- just say “thank you”;
- don’t be modest or say things like, “What nonsense!
- don’t say that you could have done even better with more time;
- don’t modernize the compliment on your part.
It is customary to offer treats in return for congratulations, but it is undesirable to have too lavish a celebration in the workplace. Don’t try to impress others with your generosity and culinary talents.
2. To the supervisor .
As a rule, a newcomer to the organization faces a lot of difficulties, most of which are generated by the lack of information about the order of work, location, features of colleagues.
A special procedure for introducing a new employee to the organization can help to eliminate a lot of problems that arise at the beginning of work, which will eventually lead to positive results in the form of increased productivity of the new employee, improving the psycho-emotional state of the team as a whole. Because studies show that up to 90% of those who quit their jobs within a year made this decision on their first day of work.
The adaptation process is a two-way process. On the one hand, behind the fact that a person started to work in the company there is his conscious choice, based on a certain motivation of the decision made, and responsibility for this decision. On the other hand, the organization assumes certain obligations by hiring an employee to do a specific job.
In the process of adaptation of an employee in the team, we can distinguish four stages.
The first stage is the assessment of the level of preparedness of the newcomer. It is necessary for developing an adaptation program. If the employee has experience in the relevant structural units, the period of his adaptation will be minimal. However, since the organizational structure depends on a number of parameters, a newcomer will inevitably find himself in an unfamiliar situation for him. Adaptation should include getting acquainted with the staff, the peculiarities of communication, and the rules of conduct.
The second stage is orientation. This stage includes practical acquaintance of a new employee with his duties and requirements imposed on him by the organization. As a rule the orientation program includes a number of small lectures and excursions, which should touch upon the organization policy, remuneration, fringe benefits, safety, economic factors, procedures, rules, regulations, reporting forms, job duties and responsibilities.
The third stage is effective adaptation. It consists in the adjustment of the newcomer to his status and is largely conditioned by his inclusion in interpersonal relations with his colleagues. Within the framework of this stage it is necessary to give the newcomer an opportunity to act actively in different spheres, testing on himself the received knowledge about the organization.
The fourth stage is functioning. This stage completes the adaptation process, it is characterized by gradual overcoming of production and interpersonal problems and transition to stable work. If the adaptation process develops spontaneously, this stage comes after 1-1.5 years of work. If the process is regulated, the stage can come after several months.
Reducing the adaptation period can bring significant financial benefits, especially if the organization employs a large number of staff.
Traditionally, there are three main directions in the adaptation program.
1. Introduction to the Organization
An organization is an identifiable social community whose members share multiple long-term goals, relying on conscious and coordinated actions and interpersonal relationships. In deciding to join an organization, an individual determines what he or she can contribute – skills, actions, abilities, potential. If there is an alternative, an organization is chosen that has values and beliefs that are close to the person. The employer engages the employee to perform certain tasks and at the same time bribes the employee as an individual. The expectations of the employee and the employer from the day of joining the organization will be a compromise. Every organization is based on compromise.
Even before deciding to accept the job offered, a person tries to imagine what it will be like. The only way to reduce the painful uncertainty in the first days of work is to quickly assimilate all the relevant information. If you are presented to yourself, it takes months to collect and analyze. So there can only be one way out – adapt, adapt and adapt again.
Researchers divide the process of an employee’s entry into the organization into four stages.
- Stage 1: Expectation. This phase precedes the actual joining the organization. The less one learns at this stage, the more likely it is that one won’t have to stay in the organization for long. The employer is interested in telling the truth during the selection interview.
- Stage 2. Formal Entry. The more important an individual’s social security, system of structured relationships, and solid position, the more readily formal cues about the behavior expected of him or her are assimilated. In a few hours the hired employee explicitly or implicitly accepts the general goals of the organization, agrees to the tasks he or she will have to perform, and so on.
- Stage 3. Adopting the expectations of colleagues. Informal values, norms, and expectations are just as important as formal ones. Through verbal and nonverbal signals of informal or friendly relationships, social support and support for one’s individuality is acquired. Soon group norms regarding work activities, pace of work, dress, etc. are added to the understanding of the role to be played in the organization.
- Stage 4. Completion of the process of joining the organization. By this time, the employee should feel reasonably comfortable. The stress of joining has passed; formal and informal expectations are known; we are contributing to the whole. In turn, we receive, as agreed upon at the time of hire, a regular paycheck. We can use verbal and nonverbal cues to persuade others to bring formal requirements more in line with our expectations. Successful entry into a social role must be about job satisfaction. The role involves formal, technical, informal, and personal job expectations simultaneously. Some see the organization as a collective of actors playing roles to achieve a certain goal. Some employees find getting into a role easy; others find it difficult. For this reason, the performance of roles can never be fully satisfying. Here we should consider the likelihood of certain situations related to role adaptation.
The planned work of introducing the employee to the organization implies providing him/her with full information. The employee is informed about the history of the organization, its prospects, policies and rules, the structure of the organization, the organization of units and their interaction, the order of work, the number and location of units.
The process of introduction to the organization provides not only a positive attitude of employees to the new place of work, but also an understanding of the principles of the organization, clarification of the requirements and expectations from the company.
2. Introduction to the unit
The first conversation with a newcomer is best structured in the form of a dialogue rather than directives from the manager. The manager should avoid the temptation to delegate to someone else the procedure for introducing new employees to the unit. During the conversation with the newcomer, it is important to create an environment in which the newcomer feels free to ask questions. He is introduced to the work of the unit and to the employees.
Usually the manager asks one of the employees to help the new employee in the beginning. To quickly solve problems and overcome difficulties that the newcomer may encounter on his first day of work, the unit manager may offer to come into his office at the end of the day and share his impressions of how his first day at the new workplace was.
Induction is the process by which the newcomer is transformed into a full member of the organization. With effective procedures, it should go as smoothly and painlessly as possible. The new employee of the organization is transformed in two ways – his behavior changes, his feelings of loyalty and devotion are switched to the new object (the employer’s organization). The individual begins to resemble the other employees and behaves like them.
The information that needs to be communicated to the newcomer is:
- who the immediate supervisor and superiors are;
- what are the requirements for working hours, what is considered late and early leaving work;
- who is on the team where the newcomer is enrolled, and what the responsibilities of each of them are;
- how the new member of the organization should communicate with them;
- how the team contributes to the firm as a whole;
- what career opportunities are available at the firm;
- how professional development and growth is planned;
- how the compensation system works, including salary, bonuses, vacation pay, and retirement plan.
A new employee’s immediate supervisor begins his interaction with the newcomer after he has been interviewed by the department head. He is responsible for familiarizing him with the job and basic functional responsibilities. The supervisor will explain the main content of the job and how the new employee’s work contributes to the overall success of the organization. The supervisor should consider what measures could help the newcomer gain the necessary confidence.
It is important to pay attention to the following questions during the induction:
- The new employee’s co-workers and their tasks. Is everything done for effective cooperation?
- The general type of tasks he or she will perform during the first few days. Is the new employee prepared to perform them successfully?
- The demands placed on his work, the extent of his responsibility for the results of his work. Does the new employee have a good enough understanding of them?
- Who is responsible for his training in the unit. Does the new employee see this relationship clearly enough?
- Start and end times, lunch break times. How well aware is the new employee of the basic requirements of the internal regulations?
- Where should his personal belongings be kept?
In practice, two models of adaptation are most often used.
The first model is adaptation upon hiring. Immediately after hiring it is necessary to form in new employees a stable positive attitude to corporate standards and processes, as well as to activate and support personal skills of applying standards in standard and non-standard work situations.
Achievement of this goal is provided by solving the following tasks:
- To familiarize employees with the corporate standards of the company;
- To form a stable active positive attitude to the corporate standards of the Company;
- to form personal skills of applying corporate standards in working situations.
An employee often has to adapt, working in the same company, in a situation of changing conditions of professional activity. The company should constantly monitor the level and dynamics of employee satisfaction, in order to be able to influence the motivation through the use of special technologies.
Galina Panichkina, PhD in Economics, Associate Professor of Marketing Department at P.A. Stolypin Volga State Service Academy under the President of the Russian Federation
How to behave at your new job: 12 simple rules
Summer is the traditional period of slack in the labor market. But in the fall, thousands of employees join new teams, some getting their first job and some changing companies or businesses.
“The first three months of a new job are essentially an extension of the job interview,” says Amanda Augustine, an expert at TheLadders, a job matching service for professionals. “From day one, you have to be toned down,” she explains.
A longtime consultant to high-level professionals, Amanda shares some observations about how employees behave in the workplace, who subsequently root for the team and succeed.
1. Get to know
Don’t wait for colleagues to approach you to get to know you – take the initiative. Say hello and chat with new people every chance you get: in the elevator, in the kitchen, in the smoking room. “Coworkers may not have time to have a long conversation with a newcomer,” Amanda says. – “Start with the people who are closest to you, those who work directly with you. And it’s in the best interest of your colleagues to get you up to speed as quickly as possible, because your performance contributes to the bottom line.
2. Become friends with someone who’s been here for a long time and can help with advice.
Find out which of your colleagues have been working for the company long enough to know the ins and outs of company policy. Find a “veteran” who has already learned which approaches work and which don’t, and ask him or her to help you get used to the new place. “Every company has its own slang and ‘inside jokes,’ staff stories,” says Amanda Augustine. – Instead of trying to understand the cultural subtleties yourself, find someone who can help you decipher the local ‘communication codes’ and initiate you into the specifics of the rules of conduct.”
You’ll also need someone to whom you can turn with silly questions: where to get a pencil, who’s in charge of computer repairs, when will water and cookies be brought. Going to the manager with such problems is ridiculous, but it is quite appropriate to ask a colleague about the little things.
3. set expectations
“Work in line with the expectations of your bosses,” Amanda advises. Try to find out at the interview exactly what results are expected from your work and by what criteria you will be evaluated. The first 3 months it is best to devote to the work on the “expectations.
If you are in a managerial position, make sure that your new subordinates are aware of your requirements. The first week on the job can determine the direction and tone of all future communications.
4. Find out who plays on your team
Pay attention to how your colleagues respond to you. It’s quite possible that you’ve taken the position that someone more experienced has been tagging along for. So don’t relax right away, but pay attention to non-verbal cues and what is being said behind your back. At the same time you should help colleagues and in general behave as kindly as possible to avoid insults and misunderstandings, at least in the first months of work.
5. Remember where the coffee is
Purely domestic issues can ruin not only the family, but also relationships in the team. The newcomer, albeit nice and professional, but always rearranging the sugar bowl in the common kitchen is insanely annoying. So try at first to return things exactly where you took them, learn the habits of your office and get used to them.
6. Conform to the legend
It doesn’t matter how you managed to get hired, or what exactly you told about your talents and skills in the interview. It’s important that, at least for the first few weeks, you match the impression you made at the interview as much as possible.
If you emphasized your social media skills or analytical talents – set up a company account or start preparing summary reports on the office. It’s important that these activities be noticed by management. You’ll get plenty of attention at the start of your collaboration anyway, so don’t be shy about showing what you’re working on. Prepare a complete list of your tasks and successes. If it’s not useful to you now, it’s fine for future recertifications or as an argument for demanding a raise in your salary.
7. Ask, ask, ask.
The worst thing you can do in your first week on the job is stay quiet in the corner. If you’re planning to build a career with the company or change the way things work in the office, figure out how things really work here first. In addition, the desire to learn about the usual rhythm of office life will help you win the favor of your colleagues. In another’s monastery with his own rules, as you know, do not go. And you have a chance to prove that you are willing to learn and to adapt to others – at least in small things.
8. Organize your work
You’ll have to absorb a lot of new information, even if you’ve come to a job you’ve been doing for a long time, but at a different company. Organize your work day intelligently and comfortably, so as not to multiply the chaos.
Moving to a new job is also a great excuse to get into good habits and break bad habits. If you’ve been wanting to start using a time planner for a long time, you can’t think of a better time.
9. Show up in public.
Try to make yourself known to as many people as possible. The sooner you are remembered and recognized, the sooner you will get used to being a part of the team. Yes, not everyone is given easy relaxed behavior in a new place. But just the free communication and lack of tension is an indicator that you have become “one’s own” in the team.
But simply “selling your face” is not enough. Feel free to speak out on topics in which you consider yourself competent. That way you’ll earn the title of expert in some areas. And if you make a mistake – you, as a beginner, it will be forgivable.
10. Make friends with new colleagues in social networks
There aren’t many opportunities for informal communication in the office. Thanks to social networks, we no longer have to study their habits for years or ask mutual acquaintances to get to know them better and understand what they do for a living. It is better to start a “virtual acquaintance” with professional social networks, for example, LinkedIn (Facebook, and even more so Vkontakte, many people perceive as an exclusively personal space, where “just acquaintances” do not want to be admitted).
11. Get to know your colleagues from your last job.
It may sound contradictory, but the transition to a new place is a good time to get reacquainted with people from the previous team. You may be surprised to find that the most interesting colleagues are not those with whom you worked on the same project, but, for example, a little-noticed lawyer from the neighboring department. Now, when you are not bound by strict corporate rules and the work “flow” does not distort the perception of the person, you can make “new old friends”.
Another bonus of talking to former colleagues – just now, when you are not actively looking for work, it is easiest for them to write you some recommendations on the same LinkedIn.
12. find your way to a pharmacy and a normal cafe
Explore your neighborhood. Moving to a new job is almost like moving into a new apartment. Few people pay attention to the infrastructure at once, but if necessary, it turns out that there are no “very urgently needed” things. So on your way to work, note where the nearest mall is, where you can eat or drink coffee, where the pharmacy is “in case of emergency” and where the best place to call a cab. Believe me, all these little things will be very useful to you if you are going to stay with the company for a long time.