“Hello,” he said with a fresh smile. “I’m Newbie…Newbie Freeman,” and he extended his hand to me.
You’re kidding me, I thought, not today! Today I’m behind on two reports, have six calls to return and have to cram for the 8:00pm briefing and my little email notice thingy beeps about every three seconds. I had heard that Newbie was coming…well, maybe I had received a few emails from HR and maybe my boss had casually mentioned that she expected me prepare a space, technology, new employee orientation, you know, show what’s-his- name around.
But I thought he was coming next week. Really.
Wait, let me check the email, surly he’s got his dates wrong. No, I thought. I doubt that HR and security would have let some stranger show up at my desk. Besides, I would look more awkward than I already was if I rejected his hand shake invitation and started combing through emails.
“Hey Newbie,” I said as I took his hand. “I’ve been expecting you. Welcome aboard! How about we take an early lunch so I can show you around?” And I think about where I’m going to put you?
I’m sure that this has never happened to you. Your talent acquisition and on-boarding processes have prepared you for a flawless Newbie’s first day. Well, it did happen to me. Once.
It was painfully embarrassing for both of us. We both knew I was lying. And we both knew we would get through it. Newbie wanted to be there and our team needed him. We got through that day, but it changed the way I think about talent and how it is acquired, retained and elevated.
If you are a leader with even one direct report, you have the responsibility to develop him/her.If you are a leader with even one direct report, you have the responsibility to develop him/her. That responsibility starts the moment they enter your office. Day one. And…it continues as long as you have the privilege to be the boss. Providing a great experience and working environment for your people must be more than a slogan or a campus recruiting branding exercise. You have to believe it and dedicate time and energy to it. Every day. People development is more important than hitting your numbers this month. Numbers and months pass by. People are substance. They remain.
Newbie is still with our team and has been promoted to a position he is thriving at. Newbie taught me how to give grace on his first day and continues to be a trusted adviser to me and the rest of the team.