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First impressions matter. Think about the first time you met someone—whether it's a friend or family member or someone you work with. What did you think of them at the time? Now, trace that relationship forward to where it is today? Can you see how your first impression of that person influenced your perception of them over time? Intuitively, this is what we do: we use our first impressions as foundations upon which we build subsequent interactions. It's really hard for us to get away from doing it.
Now, think about the employees in your organizations. Sure, you had first impressions of them, but they also had first impressions of you! From their perspective, the company's culture and leadership is always going to be anchored in what they experienced when they first started working in the organization. So, how is your onboarding process? Are you ensuring that you start off on the right foot with employees? Are you making sure that you're making a great first impression on them?
Many orientation programs are all about the job; they are very task-oriented. Employees learn all about how to file paperwork and how to use software. What is often left out, though, is an introduction into the culture of the organization. What is often left out is the clear communication of the organization's mission and the passion with which its employees seek to carry it out. The first several weeks employees spend in your organization should not just be about training; it should be about social and emotional reassurance. It's all about providing a strong anchor, building a solid foundation, and making a great first impression. That's what will get the best people to stay the longest.
David Lykken, a 43-year veteran of the mortgage industry, is president of Transformational Mortgage Solutions (TMS), a management consulting firm that provides transformative business strategies to owners and “C-Level” executives via consulting, executive coaching and various communications strategies. He is a frequent guest on FOX Business News and hosts his own weekly podcast called “Lykken On Lending” heard Monday’s at 1:00 p.m. ET at LykkenOnLending.com. David’s phone number is (512) 759-0999 and his e-mail is [email protected].