A proper welcome
ny new CEO’s first 100 days are critical, so companies provide an extensive support system to ensure success. But what about other employees? Increasingly, employers are recognizing that a new recruit’s orientation experience directly contributes to that individual becoming a valuable and committed employee. You’ve invested heavily in selecting a talented new employee—and a potential future leader. You no doubt screened intensively for culture fit. Now the challenge is creating a memorable first-day experience, and building on it to help recruits feel personally connected to your company’s mission and culture. The Great Place to Work Institute’s consulting and research for its Best Workplaces lists, in 29 countries, has identified useful lessons about welcoming new employees. Simply put, people who are genuinely welcomed by their new employer feel respected, personally and professionally. The payoffs include trust in management, commitment to the organization and more inspired job performance. Take Vancity, a credit union based in Vancouver, which is No. 1 on the 2006 Best Workplaces in Canada list, published by Canadian Business. Its existing employees are very proud of their organization and protective of its culture. Vancity gets a head start in orienting recruits because 60% of new hires arrive through referrals by current staff. So orientation begins well before the first day on the job. At Genentech Inc., a leading global biotech in San Francisco and No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s 2006 list of Best Companies to Work For, employment has grown at an average annual rate of 15%, since 2001, which makes welcoming and integrating new hires an ongoing challenge. One of the steps Genentech takes is to provide new hires an opportunity for informal questionand-answer meetings with executives. The integration process is carefully monitored. A survey at the six-month point gives feedback to supervisors, making them...