Wind in Your Sails
This blog was written by Katherine Longmuir, Elevate’s Spring Content Development Intern, a Senior at Kennesaw State University.
As a second semester senior and a girl wired for planning, my mind is always thinking down the line to what is next. I like to have everything together before I jump into something. You can imagine that starting my last semester of school and beginning a brand new internship for Elevate presented some anxiety for me! I did not feel prepared to take on so many life changes at once.
Have you ever felt ill-equipped? Me too.
I want to confidently say that I felt like Elevate believed in me before I was even offered an internship with their team. Who doesn’t want to be around a group of people that cheer you on before they even know you? My first day at Elevate put wind in my sails. The Elevate team welcomed me with open arms, strong high-fives, and a literal dance party. Within the first hour of being in the office, I was already in a meeting with the Founder and President, Billy Boughey. Billy did not start off the meeting talking about his remarkable company. He started the meeting by asking me about myself and how I was feeling. By that point, my anxiety had pretty much diminished.
That being said, I did not know how important an employee-onboarding experience was until I was involved in a first-day that was unlike any other. I carefully chose to use the word “involved” here because I felt as though I was a part of something. I learned the most about Elevate’s culture in the first 45 minutes of being in the office. The day was not just focused on Elevate, it was focused on me.
However, a day like this does not come to fruition without planning and effort. The team arriving at the office before 9 am was not a coincidence. The Founder and President making time in his busy schedule to sit with the new girl was not random. There are a lot of details that go into making your employees’ first day into an engaging experience! Here are some reasons why that planning is worth it, and why employee-onboarding experiences are crucial:
Your employee feels valued.
People often forget what you did, but they do not forget how you made them feel. Don’t you automatically know when someone took the time to cater something to you? It most likely makes you feel important. People who feel like they are valued contribute valuable work.
Your employee feels prepared.
Preparation precedes success. If you want your employee to live up to their highest potential, preparing a day that engages him or her in the culture, vision, and strategies of your company is a great place to start.
Your employee wants to know more.
When you feel good about something, aren’t you ready to “buy in?” Aren’t you curious to learn more about what made you feel that way? One of the best ways to get someone’s attention is to make them want to encounter that feeling again! Not to mention, when you start by asking the other person about themself, they will most likely be inclined to ask you about yourself.
Your employee is a walking advertisement.
How many times have you started a job and at the end of the day, all the people who care about you or know you started a new job ask, “How was your first day? How is your new job going?” How your employees answer that question is essential to your company’s success. If your employee is singing praises about where they work, that is extraordinary advertising!
So, creating an employee-onboarding experience catered to your new employee is wise and pivotal. I experienced a remarkable one first hand the other week, and when people ask me about my new internship I am eager to share everything I am involved in, learning, and contributing. What you want your employees to say about you, your team, and your company starts with the first day.