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Jun 18, 2012

How One Box of Chocolates Can Go a Long Way

“I never met a chocolate I didn’t like.” - Deanna Troi

First Impressions

On the first day of a new job, both employer and employee have to be on top of their game. If you’ve hired a good fit, they’ll be doing their best to make a positive impression on you. But good impressions should go both ways. If you want your newbie to stick around, it’s important that your company culture is a good fit for them as well.

Making a good impression on a new hire might be easier than you’d expect. Who knew that something as simple as a box of chocolates could affect employee engagement?

A Warm Welcome

My first day working for Kudos, I step into the office, and every head turns my way. I give a wave as I am introduced to the team, smiling. This was the moment I’d been preparing for all morning, I knew that there is no second chance to make a first impression. I changed my shirt at least four times that morning, flipping back and forth in the mirror, making sure I looked absolutely perfect for my role.

Little did I know, my new boss, the Co-CEO and founder of Kudos, had been preparing just as diligently that morning. He shows me over to my desk, adjusting his funky glasses and smiling genuinely. Tapping a leather-bound notebook and pen, he says “these are for you!” and straightens my fancy-shmancy pre-made business cards.

“And I checked your blog,” he says, “all those photos of chocolate made me think you might like some of these.” A package of Godiva chocolates (caramel filled—my favorite) are perched by my sticky pads. He cracks a joke about their likely disappearance by the end of the day, and we get started on the paperwork.

These gestures, though simple, had a welcoming effect that I cherished throughout my first day, and from there forward. I felt valued and appreciated.

Baby On-Board

Your new hire is your company’s baby! As the adoptive parents, your team is responsible for giving them every possible resource to thrive in this crazy (business) world. That includes making them feel welcomed and highly valued.

Of course, for the first day, you’ve still got to stick to the basics: boring paperwork, countless introductions and forgotten names, etc. But why spend the first day pulling teeth when you could be using them to munch on chocolates, getting to know your new hire as a human being?

Make it personal!

Learn as much as you can about your new hire, and teach them even more about the company itself. You may discover something unexpected about their talents and how they will fit in to their new role within the company and with their teammates. Maybe they are a pro-unicycle rider and you happened to need a door-to-door salesman…

Plan the day!

Allocate a fair amount of time in the day to getting to know your employee, but don’t let the time run away from you. Make sure you’ve got a schedule for getting all of the necessary protocol out of the way before you dive into the fun stuff.

Do your research!

Kudos offers an awesome tool to getting to know your new employee on their first day: have your new hire fill out their personal Kudos profile before coming in. Here you’ll find everything from contact information to education background, favorite foods, TV shows, and/or links to their personal blog. It’s a great conversation-starter, and on-boarding tool. Who wouldn’t love to have their favorite food waiting on their desk for them come first day? I certainly didn’t mind.

Likewise, this tool can be used for the newbie to get to know fellow employees’ names, faces, and positions within the company before coming in.  

Make sure your organization’s culture is clear from the get-go.

My on-boarding experience with Kudos also helped to establish and reinforce the company’s culture, message, and goals, right off the bat. Kudos places a passion for people and their fulfillment in the workplace at the apex of their value system. Coming into the workplace for the first time, I knew that I was in good hands, and these people practice what they preach.

All because of a simple box of chocolates.

Tom Short

Tom Short is the President and Co-Founder of Kudos Inc, where he is pioneering his vision for an industry leading recognition and engagement SaaS solution. Tom’s expertise in branding, marketing strategy and cloud-based SaaS development allows him to chase his passion of changing the world one thank you at a time. When he’s not showing the world that recognition matters, Tom enjoys coaching football, the Black Keys and a steaming vanilla latte to start his day.

Other posts by:
Tom Short

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