New kids on the block

12.02.13 | Posted in General

We’ve started off the year with gusto at Business Chicks, adding three newbies to the team. Finding incredible people and integrating them into our family is what I love most about business. Over the past few years I reckon we’ve mastered the art of making people feel part of the team from the minute they walk in. Here’s what we did for Zoe, our new partnerships lead, when she started with us last week.

zoeLittle gifts with big presence: On Zoe’s first day we decorated her desk with a bunch of welcome balloons – the beautiful thing about this is that they’re still flying high a week later, so it’s a nice reminder to her (and to us) that she’s new and the sky’s the limit for her.

Stage the fun: So the balloons were on her desk when Zoe arrived, and then the day unfolded from there. We had flowers, champagne and chocolates delivered to her at mid-morning and then later on in the day we had an afternoon tea for her. If she didn’t know she was welcome after all of this, then I don’t know what else we could have done!

Leading from the top: I always make sure I write a card to every new employee that starts in our business. No one does this for me – I go out and pick a card that reminds me of the person and write a heartfelt message on it. I always have it waiting on the newbies’ desk when they arrive. It shows them that their being with us matters, and that I personally value them.

Get the team involved: We always let the team know the new person’s email address prior to them starting with us, and whoever chooses to do so can send them a note congratulating them on the appointment and welcoming them. That way, there’s already a level of rapport there and it’s easier to put all those new faces to names on day one!

Being organised: We always have the new person’s business cards ready for them from the minute they arrive. Not only does it send a message that we’re organised and on to it, but it says ‘we value you, and by the way – our standards are high and we expect you to hit the ground running.’ No one’s complained yet.

Let them be late: We always ask our new peeps to start a little later, say 9.30am, on their first day so we can make sure the existing team is ready and we can put any finishing touches to their welcome if needed. And anyway, first days are totally information overload and if you can reduce this time down a bit, then everyone wins.

Planning out the first few days: We always have a structured induction program mapped out for the first few days so the new team member gets a thorough introduction to the business and gets to spend time with the department heads or anyone else they’ll work closely with.

First impressions go a long way. Compare the above experience to a friend of ours that recently started a new role and had hardly one person on the floor introduce themselves, and you’ve got two very different experiences. And if given the choice, I know which one I’d choose!


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  1. Mike Rohrlach

    Wow Em, what a great place to work! Talk about getting first appearances right!

    Think this is a fanastic insight into your business and how well you look after your staff!

    I got some great ideas from this article on how we could do things better in my own department for new employees! Such a professional approach, very inspiring to read

    And welcome Zoe, sounds like you will be the envy of a lot of people (including me), I know Emma will look after you!

  2. Karen Gately

    That’s awesome Emma! No doubt your newbies have the beginnings of emotional ownership of your business from day one. :-D

  3. Leanne Getaway Guru

    Yes nothing like arriving at your desk and your laptop/PC is not ready, no business card, you can’t access anything and you get to sit and read the induction manual all day! (not my experience but seen it happening around me!)

    Not a joyful first day that sounds like Zoe’s 1st day was!

  4. Emma

    Yes, your rocky road certainly always add to the fun Bec. The. best. ever.

  5. Emma

    Thanks for your comment Mike – I hope you’ll be able to implement some of the ideas in the post.

  6. Sally-Anne

    Brilliant, of course ;-)

    I hope this inspires others to follow your lead.

    And let me know if you are ever recruiting in Brisbane!
    Here’s to a cracker 2013

  7. Roxy

    THIS!!! This is what so many businesses need to take note of. My first day – nothing organised, not even shown where the bathrooms were, no one said hello and my manager couldn’t introduce me to them because he himself had not bothered to learn their names! Bad start to a bad job. Should have walked out then and there. The induction and feeling part of the team is SO critical to a good working experience long after you are one of the team.

    Thanks for showing us how it should be done. (Even half of this would be a great welcome!)

  8. Bec

    Wow Emma, all companies should take a leaf out of your book. If you ever need a part time EA let me know :)

  9. Bec Summers

    I love the way you think Em, all of things are so small but go such a long way to creating a remarkable experience. I will never forget my first day at Business Chicks, I remember feeling at home right from the get go…Thank you.

  10. Liz

    Hi Emma,
    I too, like Bec,love the way you think…..just imagine if all workplaces treated their ‘team’ like that!!!!!, Liz

  11. Leigh Grigaliunas

    Wow that is some welcome. In all my years as a stuffy, conservative hiring manager, it never once dawned on me to do something this, but what an entrance, what an impact it would make and what a loyal, engaged and happy employee you would create on their very first day. Great post :)