A New Hire’s First Day: It’s not Rocket Science

Onboarding - September 26, 18 - Bri Newman

As I’m nose deep in research for my upcoming workshop at NADA I came across a blog post from an acquaintance of mine – Sandy Zannino. I’ve written about a new hire’s first day and how scary, intimidating and for most not fun. Sandy reiterates that sentiment and shares some great stories that I think all of us can relate too!

Talk to anyone in any position in the car business and I bet they can tell you a story of a terrible First Day on the job.  If you are reading this, you are probably in the car business and have your own story to tell.

So often, new employees arrive for their first day—excited and a bit nervous—and their reception that is anything but a “Welcome” and often more like an afterthought—and a bothersome afterthought at that.

My bad First Day went a little like this:  I wasn’t greeted by my boss and wasn’t introduced to anyone in the office where I was working.  I found my way to the HR offices and was handed some paperwork, and log in information so I could complete the housekeeping like W4, I9, harassment training etc.  I was shown where my empty desk was—devoid a desk blotter or even a calendar—and told the name of the accounting clerk (there were maybe 35 employees in accounting) from whom I could order office supplies.  Then I was basically left to my own devices.   Because I’m pretty outgoing, I wandered in to accounting, took a deep breath, and started introducing myself.  I remember thinking:  “Oh my God, what have I done?”

This video from Joe Webb at DealerKnows cracks me up every time I see it—The best humor always shows the ridiculousness of reality.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnAQVU66S5M
​I have a feeling you can relate!

But really–It’s Not Rocket Science

​There are some really simple ways that dealers can turn this around.  A welcoming onboarding for new employees isn’t that hard to do!  It’s a process, just like everything else in our wild and wonderful business.  There are so many reasons to do this but one of the most important reasons in my opinion is this:  New hires today are making a “stay go” decision very quickly—and how they are treated on their First Day will weigh heavily in that decision.  Your new hire could be on their Indeed App applying for their next gig, before you even get their hire paperwork in their file!  

In the employment environment we are in today—dealers can’t afford to keep focusing on acquiring top talent and ignoring the first steps to RETAIN them.  A recent article from SHRM points out, “Most experts agree that retention efforts should start on day one, and this makes the onboarding process crucial to retention success—and, sometimes, a predictor as to whether the employee will be short-term or long-term.”

​What will you do today to either improve your onboarding program or start one?  If the prospect seems daunting—remember—It’s really not rocket science—take a breath and make a start.

Here are two ways to get started from my perspective…

1. Get organized 

  • Meet with your managers and create a list of activities. What training needs to be completed? How can that training be accessed? What resources will the new hire need on day one? How will the manager communicate job expectations?
  • Work with HR to document all the required forms and paperwork. Will the new hire need business cards? Who will give them a tour of the store?
  • Make sure to include an overview of culture and what is important to the company. Explain perks, events, charity work or anything else that differentiates your organization.

2. Get Online 

  • Now that you have a plan, it’s time to implement. Typically, this means chasing down managers, HR or the new hire to ensure that each item on the list is completed.
  • The best way to ensure successful onboarding is to get your plan online, ensuring the plan is custom tailored, straight forward and impactful. The new hire is taken on a journey through their role resulting in clear expectations and an easy way to track progress.

Looking forward to Sandy’s next article on this topic!

About Sandy 

A dedicated and passionate human resources professional, Sandy is a processed based problem solver who believes deeply in offering exemplary customer service to her clients.  She recently founded an HR consulting firm, dedicated to bringing “Hassle-Free” customized HR programs to car dealers. Sandy brings focused dedication, integrity, service, and enthusiasm to everything she does and is delighted to be welcomed as part of the team at SearchPath! 

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