New employees are a gift.
Yes, thank goodness they have come on board to take over some of the work load!
But almost even more important, they bring fresh eyes to the culture of the organization. Of your procedures and processes. And of your hiring process.
As people being exposed to your company for the first time, they are not used to ‘the way we do things’. They can see and feel how they way your company does things is different than the way other companies they have worked for do those things. Instinctively, they do a ‘compare and contrast’ between what they are experiencing at your company with all the other places they have worked.
Some things may pleasantly surprise them, but others may shock or dismay them.
When I started as a new employee at one company, I learned about their performance evaluation process. I was shocked. It basically set up all the employees on a team to compete with each other for the highest possible score. Only one high score was allowed for each team, and raises were based on your score each year. So, rather than encouraging people to do a good job, it encouraged people to help others fail. It was truly terrible, and a real morale killer.
As the new kid, it hit me hard. Others I spoke to about it just shrugged their shoulders and said “It’s how we do things.”
It was through the fresh eyes I brought as a new employee that I was able to point out the negative consequences of the system.
Do you take advantage of those fresh eyes of your new employees?
You only have a few months before they start to get used to your culture to obtain some really great information.
And, as you ask about what they see and how it feels to work there, you will be modeling openness and curiosity that will also build trust (if you respond well to their comments).
Don’t lose the opportunity to learn from your newest hires—even while they are learning about their new job from you.