How much do you rely on first impressions when making hiring decisions? It’s a part of human nature, but did you know that by helping new hires manage their reputation and make great first impressions in the workplace, you could improve their chance of surviving the dreaded probation period?
After all, overwhelmingly positive first impressions are based on perceptions of warmth and competence, meaning that:
- Co-workers will be more open to building trust with new hires
- Co-workers and management will accept the new hire as a powerful addition to the team
Overall, others will be more willing to engage with the new hire and therefore provide access to the networks of information and influence necessary to do their job well.
The importance of employee engagement
Remember: poor employee engagement is one of the most critical contributors to turnover, so you need to do whatever you can to encourage engagement. Think of it as the two sides of a coin. Heads stands for the employer taking the lead and providing the environment and tools necessary for success. Tails signifies the employee making all efforts to succeed.
Making great first impressions in the workplace
As part of a structured employee onboarding program, you can provide your new employees with helpful tools to start them off on the right foot. Here are five specific things you can teach them, so they make great first impressions in the workplace:
- Put a smile on the dial: smiling signals that they are an approachable, engaging, and likeable person.
- The handshake that’s just right: a firm, confident, and vertical handshake (that doesn’t crush any bones) signals neutrality.
- Executive assistants rule: executive assistants aren’t just gateways, but they are trusted to provide opinions to their managers, so it’s important to treat them with as much respect as their superiors.
- It’s all in the eyes: looking away is a sign of nerves, shyness or even rudeness, so polite eye contact is a must.
- Dress smart: your new hires should be made aware of the dress code, so they fit in and make a great impression to all.
Help your new team members with these five simple steps, and you’ll see them settle into their roles much faster.
Greg Weiss is one of Australia’s most renowned career coaches. He is the author of “So You Got A Job, WTF Is Next”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7 step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf/
He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.
Greg also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.