Workplace blogs
Workplace blogs

Fire Up Employees the Right Way

1. Fire ‘Em Up!

A young mechanic in Australia was left with burns on his body
after a workplace initiation prank went horribly awry. His
coworkers somehow thought it might be funny to place solvent on
the newbie’s clothes and then set him on fire! Now, I’m all for
lighting a fire under employees and firing people up, but a
stunt like this probably takes this idea a tad too literally.
Which got me thinking about the need to light the right kind of
fire under new employees. I constantly hear horror stories about
how new employees are treated: no desk on the first day; no one
to greet them; sitting alone in a chair in the hallway for hours
on end. Too many workplaces aren’t putting the welcome mat out
for their new employees. And given that 33% of all new hires
start looking for a new job within the first three days of being
hired, and given that first impressions LAST, this likely isn’t
the best way to build loyalty.

So put out the welcome mat, and while you’re at it, lay out the
humor mat. Make new people feel genuinely comfortable and
welcome. Give them a fun workplace “survival” kit. Assign them
an orientation mentor. Give them a fun guided tour of the joint.
Create a humor resource treasure hunt that encourages them to
meet other employees with certain fun traits. Create a wacky,
high energy orientation video that introduces them to your
workplace values and culture. And for goodness sakes, if you
really want to fire them up, please don’t play with matches!
2. Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

Have a “high-five day.” Yes, it’s totally cheesy and corny, but
heck it’s one of the simplest theme days you could put on! And
doing something that stupid, silly and wacky (that something being
high-fiving everyone you encounter at work, including the security
guard and Bob from accounting) makes it almost impossible to stay
in your grumpy pants all day.
3. Quote of the Week

“I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding
some humor in it.” Frank Clark
4. It’s a Wacky, Wacky, World

From Career, here are some ways job interview
candidates have blown their interviews:
– one candidate bragged he was fired for beating up his boss
– an accountant told interviewers she was more of a “people
person” than a “numbers person”
– one candidate flushed the toilet during a phone interview
– one applicant refused to give a writing sample because it was
“classified” information!
Happy Hump Day everyone. Stay fired up!
Copyright Michael Kerr, 2008.

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