Start Earning Employee Loyalty Day One

I had a front row seat, literally, to a very unprofessional dressing down of a brand new employee on a recent Air Canada flight. It was clear to those of us sitting in the front row that this flight attendant was on the first day of her job.  Just as they were about to close up the old hatch, another employee walked onto the plane and began to bark out questions and orders with the enthusiasm and tenor of a junkyard guard dog.

Those of us seated in the first row had a front row view of the very uncomfortable and unprofessional conversation that ensued.  I think it finally occurred to them to move into the walkway, however we were still in earshot and could hear most of the conversation, including the frustrations from one of the pilots about the behavior of this one veteran employee.

We’ve all probably witnessed unprofessional, inappropriate public conversations by employees that clearly should be taking place behind closed doors, if at all.

But set aside how bad these scenes are from an image or customer service perspective and think about what that young woman was feeling, who, it appeared to us witnessing this scene, was on day one of her new job being publicly dressed down for something she wasn’t even aware of!

I felt like yelling out, “RUN, run for your life!”

If there are people out there still thinking that there is no such thing as “loyal employees”, then this is yet another reason why that may be so.

How you treat your employees on the first day of the job and even how you treat them during the application and interviewing process, speaks volumes about your culture and your true workplace values.  Even in organizations with half-decent track records for how they treat their employees often are abysmally bad at treating them with the respect they deserve when they first start.

So what are you doing in your workpalce to make sure that even applicants who don’t get a job interview with your organization go away with a great impression and thus continue to sing your praises, serve as a positive ambassador for your company, and perhaps reapply at a later date for a more suitable position?

What are you doing to congratulate and celebrate those new employees that do get hired? And what are you doing to show those new employees that trust and loyalty is a two-way street?

A street that employees start walking down day one.

Copyright Michael Kerr, 2011,  www.mikekerr.com

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