New Hire? Start Wowing New Employees the Moment They Get Hired

Start Wowing Your New Employees the Moment They Get Hiredemployee experience revolution book

*The following is an excerpt from our new book, The Employee Experience Revolution: Increase Morale, Retain Your Workforce, and Drive Business Growth 

“When I hire someone, that is when I go to work for them.”

The percentage of employees who quit before their first day is shocking. Several studies and surveys have provided some insights into this phenomenon, often referred to as “ghosting” by new hires.

A survey by Robert Half in 2018 found that 28% of workers admitted to having accepted a job offer but then backed out before their start date. Additionally, a 2019 study by Randstad US reported that 43% of workers had ghosted an employer by not showing up for the first day or by stopping communication altogether. Companies experiencing high rates of pre-start-date attrition often review and improve their onboarding processes and communication to mitigate this issue.

It is never too early to start building employee engagement and employee motivation. Employee engagement refers to the level of commitment, passion, and enthusiasm employees have toward their work and their organization. High employee engagement is associated with positive outcomes such as increased productivity, job satisfaction, and employee retention.

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Hire’s Remorse

Many companies miss an incredible opportunity to capitalize on the new employee’s excitement of starting with a new organization. Human Resources informs the new employee that they got the job when their start date is and then fails to communicate with them until their first day of work. A lot of things can occur during the radio silence, from the time they accept the position till their first day of work with your organization. They can receive other offers from companies they were also interviewing with. They could get cold feet and start second-guessing if this is the best organization to help them reach their potential. This can lead to what Joey Coleman refers to as “hire’s remorse” in his book Never Lose an Employee Again.

The importance of capitalizing on the pre-start phase of an employee’s career cannot be overstated. This is where you can demonstrate how your culture is like no other they have ever experienced. Jump-start their employee morale and excitement about this new chapter of not only their professional career but also their life.

Coleman calls this the Accept phase. “The Accept phase offers the chance to capitalize on the euphoria associated with this offer and acceptance while creating a memorable moment at the instant the candidate becomes an employee. When a candidate accepts your job offer, you must show them how excited you are and make them feel wanted. Many organizations fail to see the opportunity to create a milestone memory in the actual extending of the job offer: a feeling of being wanted . . . stop and consider the times in your life when someone let you know they wanted you.”

This is where it gets really interesting. Coleman shares, “When a prospective employee decides to accept your job offer, a physiological reaction takes place in their body. Brain science shows that when a prospective employee moves from a state of consideration to a decision to accept an offer, a chemical is released in the brain. Dopamine floods the gray matter, creating an emotional euphoria. The newly minted employee feels excitement and joy because their job search is over. They believe they have found what they were looking for all along. In this euphoric state, an employee is filled with hope for their future. They anticipate continued growth and learning, the chance to contribute to a larger cause or mission, possibilities of advancement, new challenges, and exciting opportunities. They plan to meet new people, do new things, be exposed to new situations, and achieve new things.”

testimonial Demonstrate Your Unique Culture Before the New Hire Begins

“At this key moment in the relationship—when both parties are thrilled that the search is over, and a decision has been made—the employer and employee often communicate asynchronously. An email or letter is sent, a decision is made, and an email or letter is sent back. Asynchronous interactions usually don’t feel celebratory, and such an important occasion deserves to be celebrated. Don’t miss the chance to capitalize on your new employee’s excitement—and join them in the jubilation!” says Coleman. He concludes, “Magnifying the excitement and enthusiasm around a new employee joining your team gives them a boost of confidence that they made the right decision. Promoting their commitment to your organization publicly celebrates the new hire and builds broader interest in your enterprise. Using social media platforms to creatively announce new team members highlights your ongoing hiring efforts and praises your new team member in the same message.”

Send a Before-the-Start-Date Email

Author and professor David Burkus shares several tips on creating some special moments even before a new employee starts. “The first tactic to make new employees feel welcome is a before-the-start-date teaser email. You’ve been interacting [with]

new hires during the interview process, and you know their contact information and you know a lot about them. So, before their first day on the job, preferably just a day or two before their start date, send them a quick email sharing how excited you are for them to join the team. Mention specific information you recall from the interviews and connect it to the work your team will be doing. Just that simple message can help them focus on what they’re looking forward to and help them feel cared for and understood even before you’re technically their team leader.”

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The “Enter-view”

Burkus continues, “The second tactic to make new employees feel welcome is an ‘enter-view.’ This is sort of the opposite of the interview process. Instead of the new hires telling the team about themselves, it involves the team telling the new hires how excited they are to welcome them. Ideally members of the team were involved in the hiring process, and this enter-view is the chance for them to draw from what they remember to share why they’re so excited for their new teammate. Enter-views work best when done in person early on the first day, but it could also be done by bombarding new hires’ desks or email inboxes with positive messages throughout the day as well.”

Give a Personalized Welcome Gift

Find out about the new employee’s FORD (family, occupation, recreation, and dreams). Burkus recommends, “Another tactic to make new employees feel welcome is to personalize their welcome gift. And personalization doesn’t just mean adding their name to the card or even embroidering their name on a polo. Instead, it means welcoming them with a gift that is personally selected to appeal to them based on your knowledge about them. Then, when they arrive for their first day, that simple, personal gift is waiting

for them.” The new employee’s FORD offers ideas for directions to go on the personalized gift.

Powerful First Impression

Growth guru Verne Harnish shared a great story about how Redirect Health, a technology company based in Scottsdale, Arizona, has an excellent way of learning, capitalizing, and demonstrating FORD with their new employees. During the process of one-on-one interviews, the recruiting team asks the applicant, “What is an indulgence you love that is under $20?” They can see the culture and friendliness of the person in how they answer.

COO Guy Berry explains, “If we choose to hire a candidate, we have the item bought and waiting for the person when they show up on day 1. If we have a bunch of new team members, this creates great intro conversations as team members share what item they received. We have bought someone a specific or unique drink from Starbucks; special chocolates; pizza from specific restaurants for lunch; or even crazy socks that someone told us they love.” It is a powerful first impression for the new team member and under $20!

The JAM Session

In the book Never Lose an Employee Again, Coleman provides a great example of how a company makes new hires feel welcomed on their first day. JAM Sports is based in Toronto and operates in more than a dozen cities across Canada and the United States. JAM connects people through play through its adult recreational sports leagues. In 27 years, JAM has grown significantly to a team of 400 employees.

“Built on a foundation of play and entertainment, JAM brings that same energy to their new-hire onboarding. On their first day at work, employees experience the High-Five Welcome. New hires are asked to show up at ten a.m. (an hour after the usual start time) so veteran employees can arrive at the office before the new team member,” shares Coleman. “The director of HR keeps the entire team updated via their internal chat tool, while the new employee’s team leader waits outside the building to welcome them upon arrival. The team leader ushers the new employee into the building, and they hear their walk-up song blaring from in-house speakers. Yes, you read that correctly. As part of the application process, the candidate is asked what their baseball ‘walk-up’ song would be, which JAM then uses to create an auditory experience (and memory) when they enter the building for their first day on the job. The new hire is greeted by a human high-five tunnel with veteran employees enthusiastically welcoming the newest member of the team.”


Get a Case of The Employee Experience Revolution Books for 50% Off!

Many of our clients have contacted us about ordering for their leadership team. As a thank-you gift for helping us become a best-seller, we are offering 50% off of every case of books (30) you order. You can order here and use code EXR50 to get your 50% off.

Employee eXperience Executive Academy Launches this September

Starting this fall will be our first Employee eXperience Executive Academy (EXEA) Class.  Guided by the renowned DiJulius Group, this comprehensive program empowers leaders, HR teams, and emerging managers to create a workplace where inspiration thrives, teams are fulfilled, and growth is inevitable. Through our years of experience, we have seen many companies miss opportunities for leadership development, resulting in “accidental” managers who struggle to lead effectively.  Through no fault of their own, these leaders add to the complexity of attracting and retaining top talent, impacting business growth and success.

 Episode 160 of The Customer Service Revolution Podcast: Creating a Recruitment Experience

Video of the Week: How to know when to let an employee go

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25 July:      Leaving a Leadership Legacy

12 September:  Training Your Employees on the Critical Soft Skills Needed Today

26 September:  Selling as an Experience

10 October:  Turning your Contact Center into a Relationship Center

24 October:  Creating Your Signature Experience

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6 December:  Service Recover Never and Always


About The Author

John DiJulius

John R. DiJulius is a best-selling author, consultant, keynote speaker and President of The DiJulius Group, the leading Customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on Customer experience trends and best practices.