I’m lucky to get to meet our new employees in orientation. My role is to discuss, among other things, new employee expectations.
You know. I share expectations about getting to work on time, learning as much as they can in their new job, getting to know their coworkers, and building relationships with their customers. The “usual” HR ‘stuff.’ But who says I’m “usual?”
"I expect my employer, my manager, to be understanding and know that life happens. Occasionally, there are circumstances beyond my control.” Hmmmm, another great expectation for employers."
Given that I don’t like to say the same things month after month, I was cantankerous today (do you hear my evil laughter in your head as you read this? I do. Mwahahaha). So I turned this segment around on our new orientees. I asked them to tell me what are their employer expectations. All our employees are extraordinary, but I was wow’ed by this group. Here’s what they said, and I do paraphrase:
“I expect my employer to be…"
I expect my employer, and more importantly my manager, to own up to being human. If they make a mistake, be honest and transparent and share it with the team. With me.” Managers are supposed to be human? Honest? Transparent? We were off to a great start!
HAVE HIGH MORALE
I expect my workplace to have good morale, good team spirit. I expect my coworkers are dedicated, and I expect the open door policy to be true.” Good morale, even fun at work? What do you know?
I expect my employer to provide a safe environment where I feel comfortable asking questions, even making mistakes and learning from them. An environment where I’m not judged because of the questions I ask.” No judgment. That, too, is a good one.
FORWARD-LOOKING WITH TECHNOLOGY
"I expect my employer to have and be all that it can in today’s technological world.” Yep, this class of new employees is on to something!
"I expect my employer, my manager, to be understanding and know that life happens. Occasionally, there are circumstances beyond my control.” Hmmmm, another great expectation for employers.
"At all levels. I want to be able to talk with my manager, with my coworkers, with upper management as I need to.” Go figure, right?
"I expect my employer to give back to the community. I want to be able to contribute, even in some small way, to this.” A character-driven employer, eh?
What a GREAT list of expectations for us as an employer, for us as managers. So managers, I hope you are listening – er, reading this. Do you meet these expectations?
Ultimately, I got to turn this around with our new employees and ask that they consider these their expectations as new employees:
- Be vulnerable. Admit mistakes, ask questions, be honest and transparent in your work, and in working with your coworkers and customers.
- Be energetic and positive, contribute positive energy to the workplace to carry on high morale.
- Talk to someone if you are feeling uncomfortable – your manager, an executive, HR. Your safety in the workplace is paramount to the company’s success.
- Embrace technology. Learn it, adapt, find efficiencies with it. Ask questions if you don’t understand.
- Be understanding and understand your company. Your flexibility is important to success as is understanding that first and foremost, we are a business.
- Be approachable. By your coworkers, your manager, and especially your customers. Whether your customers are people walking in the door or calling on the phone, or using the computer to contact you, a major tenet of customer service is being approachable.
- Become involved. In the business. In the community. Being the best you can be at work, learning, and adapting is a big part of work. If you are interested in doing more, find out about the volunteer opportunities in and outside our workplace.
What a cool group of new employees. I learned a lot today. And yes, no matter how I broach this subject, each month our new employees provide insight and add value to our time! I love my job!