How often do you obsess over the first impression you've made on someone? If you're a human being, the answer is something along the lines of "too much".
And why do you do that?
Because first impressions really are everything.
That's not to say that you'll lose someone forever if you blow that first meeting. It is possible to win them over later on, but it's going to be much more difficult, likely taking more than a 2nd or 3rd impression.
The same rule applies to your new retail hires.
You want your new recruits showing up on day 1 absolutely amped to get started. To accomplish this, they should be feeling all four of these emotions when they show up to work:
(By the way, we borrowed liberally from this Linkedin post by Mac McIntire because, frankly, he nailed it.)
People in new situations are out of their comfort zone. They are unsure about who the key players are in the organization. They are uncertain about what is or is not acceptable behaviour in the company. They proceed cautiously, hesitant to make even minor mistakes.
On-the-job training should anticipate the discomfort new employees experience and design into the training ways to alleviate the uneasiness of the workers.
When designed properly, orientation and training programs ought to make the employees feel proud of their new company, department, and team. The content of the orientation and department training should instill a sense of ownership and wholeness within the new employees.
The greatest indicator of successful training would be for employees to leave the session telling others how proud they are to be a part of the organization or group. Proud employees are the best recruiters for future employees.
By the end of the training, new employees should feel confident they made the right choice when they took the job. They should feel fully capable of performing their assigned tasks at the performance level required.
Self-confidence is the key to self-action. The more a company does to build the confidence of its employees the greater the chances are the workers will perform at optimal levels.
The orientation session should ensure the new employees feel included as bona fide members of the team. By the conclusion of the training the employees should be viewed and treated as fully functioning, contributing members of the team, not as rookies.
They should feel a sense of unity and oneness with the group. Most importantly, they should feel they are on the same level with other employees in the group.
To summarize, here's the four feelings your new hires should be experiencing from the very first day:
- Comfortable. Help them get into their comfort zone and stop worrying about screwing up.
- Proud. Proud employees are the best recruiters for future employees.
- Confident. Self-confidence is the key to self-action.
- Included. They should feel a sense of unity and oneness with the group.
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