A Tale of Two First Days – Part 2
Our last post described Gus Morrow’s first day at Lee Enterprises. For Gus, it was a very long day.
This time, let’s look at a company who does a better job of preparing for a new employee as we follow Chad Spencer through his first day at Amalgamated Industries.
Chad Spencer found the exit for Amalgamated Industries without any trouble and pulled up to the security gate at 8:25 on the dot.
As he rolled down his window, the guard said, “You must be the new fellow, Chad Spencer, is it?”
You’ve been assigned to spot number 423 – it’s in the fourth row and down to your left. Here’s your parking tag, just place it on your rearview mirror.
You’ll find the main entrance in Building 2 on the east side of the parking lot”
When Chad entered the reception area, the receptionist said to him, “Hi, I’m Betty Forbis. I’m the receptionist here. You must be Chad Spencer. Shelly in HR told me to expect you this morning. How are you?”
Betty gave Shelly a call, and, as she walked over to greet Chad she said, “Hi, Chad! Nice to see you again! Welcome to Amalgamated Industries! Did you have any difficulties finding your way here?”
Over a cup of coffee, Shelly suggested they start the day in HR, looking after the forms and other things to get him entered into the SAP system as a new employee.
“It’s not exciting”, Shelly said, “but it needs to get done so you can get paid and get enrolled in the benefits programs” They also went into a small room where Shelly to Chad’s photo and prepared his passcard so he could have access throughout the office.
We’ve lined up several meetings for you today. At 10, I’ll take you over to the sales department so you can spend some time with Dave Woods, the VP sales. At 11, Jimmy from IT will come to work with you on setting up your computer, accessing the network, setting up tour voice mail and so on.
Dave and a couple of other execs will come by at noon to take you out for lunch, so you can get to know each other more socially.
Shelly and Chad walked over to the sales department and knocked on Dave Woods’ door.
Shelly said, “Your new Director of Sales is ready to go”
Dave came over, shook Chad’s hand and said, “Good to see you again! Welcome aboard! How are things going so far?”
“So far, so good”, Chad replied. “Glad to be here. I’m looking forward to diving in.”
Dave led Chad over to an office, which had a tag beside the door saying, “Chad Spencer, Director of Sales”
“By the way,” Dave said, I’d like to introduce you to Amanda Lightfoot, she’ll be your executive assistant.”
Amanda led them into Chad’s office and said, “I’ve tried to get the room organized for you. Hope you like how the furniture’s arranged. If not, we can have maintenance change things for you. Your business cards are here. Your laptop’s on the desk and Jimmy from IT will be over at 11 to help you set up.”
“I wanted to suggest that you and I sit down tomorrow at 9:30 so we can go through files and project lists together to ensure you can find everything you need.”
“Wow”, said Chad, “That’d be really helpful. Thanks!”
Chad and Dave spent the next 45 minutes going over the organizational chart, an overview of the department’s key personnel and discussing projects.
Just after 11, there was a knock on the door, and someone poked their head in and said, “Hi. I’m Jimmy from IT. Welcome to Amalgamated Industries. Are you ready to spend some time getting your computer and system access set up?”
Dave excused himself, saying he’d be back at noon to pick up Chad for lunch. Jimmy gave Chad a tour of his new laptop and its capabilities. It was pre-loaded with Microsoft OFFICE, and the first thing they looked at was Outlook.
“We’ve set up your username with a temporary password, you should find some emails waiting for you after you log in. We’ve also set up accounts for you with SalesForce.com and Hootsuite so you can get going as soon as this afternoon, if you’d like. However, I thought you were probably already familiar with those, so I want to spend the rest of the morning showing you how to use our SAP system.”
By noon, Jimmy had Chad logged into SalesForce and helped him design a couple of reports. Jimmy also set up Chad’s phone and voicemail.
About quarter past 12, Dave stopped by and asked, “Are you ready for lunch? Grab your jacket and come along with me.”
Down in the lobby a couple of other people joined the group. Dave introduced Chad to Bob Fishman, the Eastern Region VP of sales and to Ed Hauptmann, one of the key account managers.
They drove off to Cedar Springs Golf and Country Club, which wasn’t too far away but had great food.
Over lunch, Dave explained that he wanted Chad to spend a couple of days with Ed so Ed could introduce him to their top 5 accounts and so Chad could get first-hand feedback from the customers on issues that were important to them.
When they got back to the office, Dave asked if he could spend an hour or so with Chad to explain the plan they had for him.
Sending you out with Ed Hauptmann gets you introduced to some of our key customers, but you’ll need to learn more about our sales process.
“I’d like you to head up a small task force to improve our order entry system. It’s something the sales staff have been complaining about, but we’ve never done anything about it. I know you’re new and not familiar with our systems or processes, but you bring fresh eyes to assessing the order entry process and it’ll give you a chance to work with and get to know more of the people here and I think, because you’re new, you’ll be asking more of the tough questions without be perceived as bossy. We think you’ll be able to pinpoint the key issues within a week and to present findings in two weeks. If we can get this project knocked off within 6 weeks, it’ll be a huge step forward for us.
“Something else we’ll do in two weeks’ time is assign you a couple of accounts of your own to manage. It’ll help you see how things work here, so you may identify other things that need to be changed. Some will be small ones, but we’ve asked each sales person to donate one account to you, and they’ll be sharing the commission for the first year to help ensure a good hand-off.
I’d like you to follow all your orders through the system, from receipt to delivery. Not only will you get to know the people who help make things happen, it’ll introduce you to our manufacturing process.
At the end of two months, we’re going to assign you to the plant to help you learn how our products are made. Go out and buy a pair of safety shoes because we’re going to have you work right on the line. It’ll help you get to know some of the people on the floor. See if you can get them to articulate their ideas for changes in the manufacturing process because that will be good feedback for both Operations and Marketing.
“Each Friday morning, we’ll meet in my office to review what you’ve learned during the week and to agree on plans and goals for the following week.
“Sound like a plan?”
“Sure does!” said Chad. “I can’t wait to get started”