After breaking a coconut at the Ganpati temple, Ramesh rushed to his new office. He could barely contain his excitement! He was to begin work at his new company! When he reported to the new boss, he was asked to wait in the reception area; after a seemingly interminable wait, Ramesh saw his boss fling open the door and walk past in a tearing hurry. As he passed, he threw a glance at the new recruit and said, “please wait, someone will show you to your desk,” and hurried on. By now Ramesh had waited for nearly an hour and a half. By and by, a lady walked up to him and said gruffly, “you must be the new person in Exports; come with me”. She proceeded to lead him briskly through the corridor and into a work area. Looking around, Ramesh saw a sea of unfamiliar faces, apparently immersed in work. But as he tagged along behind the lady he could feel curious looks pursue him. Are they hostile or am I imagining things, he wondered. The lady stopped abruptly and said, “this is your work station. You’ll find keys to the desk in the drawer”. And with that, she turned on her heels and walked away. The people around him did not even acknowledge his presence. As Ramesh sank into his new chair, so did his hopes.
While Ramesh’s experience on his first day is an exaggerated example, I suspect that in many organizations, it is not too far from reality! New recruits need to be cared for in a special way until they find their bearings; otherwise, they are well on their way to indifferent job performance and eventual exit in quick time. Look at it this way: every new recruit is generally highly enthusiastic, eager to learn and motivated when she joins a new company. Have you ever heard of a demotivated new recruit reporting for work on the first day? But as time elapses, she slides down the motivational graph. A combination of callous HR practices, lack of training and clarity in roles, responsibilities and performance objectives vitiated by an atmosphere of indifference combines to erode the person’s motivation rapidly. If you plot a person’s motivational level from Day One in the organization, don’t at all be surprised if you find the graph sloping downward from left to right! Allowing the new recruit to slide down the motivational graph is an unconscionably costly exercise for any organization. Motivation is undoubtedly the major determinant of job performance. Therefore, it holds the key to productivity; and it is productivity that ensures profitability and survival. So, to prevent the new recruit motivational slide syndrome it is vital to incorporate the following nuanced sequence: orientation and induction, job and expected performance description (written Role, Responsibility, Objectives and Standards), training and information on rules, benefits and organizational structure and culture. To ensure regular feedback, periodic performance reviews are absolutely essential. And, to enable the new recruit to feel a modicum of security, an internal mentor can be designated.
Tip: A new recruit is like a tender new bud in a flowerbed; as a gardener, constantly tend to the bud with patience and care. Then you’ll see the bud blossom into a beautiful flower! If the buds don’t blossom, perhaps its time weed out the gardener!