How to Approach Your Employee’s First Day
Have you ever entered a new workplace wondering what the heck you got yourself into? Or, have you ever thought of quitting after the first week because you felt no one cared? Restaurants can lose up to 50% of their newly hired employees within the first two weeks simply because no one bothered to create a proper introductory plan. Employee turnover is so common that we expect it, but sometimes we forget how costly and damaging it is to our business. The first two weeks of starting a new job are always critical. Here are eight steps to approaching an employee’s first day at the job:
The Eight-Step Approach for New Employees
- Have Uniforms Ready on Hand. If you provide staff uniforms then make sure you are ready to offer one either prior to the start date or on the very first day of employment. It’s always a good idea to keep extra on hand in various sizes. You just never know when a damaged uniform needs to be replaced. Arriving to work on the first day without having a proper uniform to wear is embarrassing for the company as well as for the employee. Customer perception is everything.
- Orientation. Before an employee physically starts work, a proper orientation should be conducted. The orientation is the first step in welcoming new employees and showing them that they are part of the driving force behind the success of the business. Part of the orientation should include a tour of the restaurant as well as the background story of the restaurant.
- Provide an Employee Manual. The manual can be separate or combined with a training manual. Policies as well as an employee’s job description and responsibilities should be outlined in the manual. New employees react better to companies that are well organized and are focused on training. Good employees appreciate businesses that take their job seriously. Take the time in creating a professionally designed employee manual.
- Assign a Trainer. Good workers are not necessarily good trainers. Designate an employee within the station that has strong skills set in training. The first few days should involve the new employee shadowing the trainer.
- Start on a Slower Day. Never start a new employee on a busy day such as a Friday or Saturday. A busy environment is no place for training. It is already difficult to try and focus on the task at hand let alone trying to guide a trainee to learn the ropes. From a new employee’s perspective the operation may appear to be unorganized or overwhelming to the point that the thought of leaving is considered.
- Don’t start at the beginning of a Shift. During the start of a shift, things can become hectic. Stations are being prepped in time for service. New employees need time to absorb information. Schedule new employees during a slower part of the day so that the proper attention can be given. Allow enough time before scheduling the employee to take part in the opening procedure.
- Set Reasonable Expectations. Depending on the individual, each one has its own pace for learning. Some excel faster while others require more time. Expect mistakes and allow reasonable time for employees to shine. Sometimes it’s the ones who need more time that become your very best.
- Follow-up. As an owner or manager, a personal follow-up should be conducted with the new employee to examine progress from the first two weeks of employment. A personal assessment is encouraging for new employees and shows that you are interested in their success. An employee performance review should also be scheduled within the first three months of employment.
Hiring new employees take time and money. Plan ahead and take the necessary steps to avoid the chances of employee turnover from the start. Handling new employees with care is a sure way of making the job and life easier for everyone. First impressions can impact a customer’s decision for returning, the same way that impacts a new employee deciding to stay.