A couple of weeks ago I dropped my 9 year old off for overnight camp for the first time. The drop off spot (where the kids hopped on a bus to take them to camp) was filled with counselors, counselors-in-training, camp administrators, and lots of volunteers. Oh yeah, and a few hundred kids and their families.
What could have been a completely chaotic and overwhelming scene was actually something quite different: an organized and orderly procession of cars, duffel bags, campers, and parents. And the camp personnel were nothing short of spectacular. All decked out in camp gear, huge smiles, cheers, enthusiasm galore, and taking a keen interest in every single camper-to-be (especially the newbies, like my daughter).
It was hard not to get caught up in the excitement. I left my house with knots in my stomach, but couldn’t help but smile and laugh along with the counselors. When my daughter got on the bus, it was happily and with a wave. The environment allowed for nothing less. As a parent sending off a young one for the fist time, it’s hard to imagine a smoother goodbye for me and “welcome to camp” for my daughter.
Those of us in the employee engagement field should take note. The first impression a new employee has is important and sets the tone for the working relationship. So in addition to making sure new hires fill out their I-9s correctly, take some time to be welcoming and to represent your employer in a positive light.
Show them some respect and think of your newbies as first-time campers needing a little extra TLC.