Source | LinkedIn | Ashish Kolvalker, SHRM-SCP | Head HR at Amagi Corporation
In my experiences in the HR function, more often than not, it is the early stages in an employee’s tenure in an organization which are make or break – where both the organization and employee are getting a ‘feel’ of each other, examining nuances of the psychological contract, and above all – each party is extending a ‘nervous’ hand to build trust. A lot has been written about how the employee should approach it at this stage (one great book to read would be ‘The First 90 Days’ by Michael Watkins). Personally, I asked a number of individuals I have known in the corporate space about how they felt in their initial days in the organization they joined – though my questions were more from the organization perspective. What did the organization do to help you get onboard? How did the organization build trust? What key experiences in the organization at an initial stage made you feel ‘safe’ to voice your opinion?
Sharing some experiences I heard of:
One of my ex-colleagues Rohit (name changed) joined a large services based organization in a senior role (a type of role he had never undertaken before). In the first week itself, there was an unfortunate incident with an employee while the person was on the way home from office. The employee was stabbed and robbed. He had to be taken to the hospital immediately. Rohit, being in HR, visited the employee in the hospital and made sure he was around to meet family members and do some initial formalities. The HR team felt it necessary to email the entire organization and bring to light similar such incidents happening in the city, highlighting safety measures to be taken by employees. There were two things Rohit noticed when this was being done – one – Rohit’s manager insisted that the mail be sent from Rohit’s desk – more so to build Rohit’s credibility in the organization. Second – the review of the email happened in a very informal way, wherein his manager ‘suggested’ key points and ‘encouraged’ a few lines to be added, giving a complete context of the organization while talking to Rohit. The manager was not in town and was interacting with Rohit over email, still the interaction was very simple and smooth.
When I asked Rohit how he felt about this incident, he mentioned, “I felt nice that the organization trusted me to front-end this sensitive issue in the very first week, even though I had never done such a role before. I think the manager is nice and understanding as well!”