According to a LinkedIn study, 4% of employees leave their job after “a catastrophic first day”, while 22% resign in the first 45 days. How can this trend be reversed with a good integration plan?
“The important thing is to have a plan, to have thought about it and to be ready before starting to hire“, says Joëlle Vincent, CHRP and partner at VIACONSEIL, who sets an example of not following companies that are struggling to put the workspace in order for a new person coming on the job.
You only have one chance to make a first impression
“The goal, when integrating a new employee, is that as quickly as possible he has an understanding of the organization which he is working for,” explains Isabelle Bédard, CHRP and management coach.
A new employee must therefore meet a certain number of key people very early in the process of integration.
“Normally,” says Isabelle Bédard, “it’s the immediate superior who should welcome the new employee to his department. He should also introduce him to the whole team, so the employee does not have to introduce himself.”
On the management side, Isabelle Bédard suggests arranging a meeting with the supervisor. “The purpose of this meeting is to welcome the employee to the organization; a sense of belonging begins to develop. “
On the floor, there are three key people who can support integration of a new employee: a senior colleague, to accelerate the transmission of knowledge; a junior colleague, to discuss challenges; and then a colleague from a related department, to give another dimension of the company.
The importance of feedback
Once the employee is on the job, it is important to keep the lines of communication open with the new employee.
“Don’t wait for the annual performance review before asking the employee if everything is going well!” exclaims Isabelle Bédard. “A meeting can be scheduled at the end of the first week to find out if the employee is satisfied with their integration, if they have questions or if they are having any difficulties. “
How to set up an “iterative” integration program
“Sometimes organizations are reluctant to do an integration program because they think it’s too long, too complicated and they can’t find the time to do it,” says Joëlle.
The counsellor invites these organizations to view their integration program as a “work in process” and to do it by “iteration”.
“The idea is to begin the process, no matter what communication tool you use, whether it’s a collaborative web platform or a simple Word document. The important thing is to start.”
Each new employee has the task of improving the integration program through his notes and comments.
“It’s not the people who have been in the organization for a long time who are in the best position to say if integration is relevant,” says the counsellor. “They do not necessarily remember which order is best to receive the information.”
So when beginning each integration, Joëlle Vincent asks the new employee to bring back the integration program “covered with notes and comments”. She wants to know if there is missing information, and if the information is presented in the right order. “In this way,” she concludes, “the work does itself!”