How to Lose Your New Employee in 10 Days

Aug 7, 2014
5 Min Read

You’ve just made a promising new hire. But when she shows up to start work, all that effort that you put into recruiting the right person can go up in a puff of smoke when her first weeks aren’t well planned out.

If you want to undo all the energy you spent recruiting and ensure that your new hire gets off on the wrong foot – and possibly never recovers – here are five steps to thoroughly destroy the promise and enthusiasm you saw in her.

1. Be entirely unprepared for the new employee’s first day. Seem surprised when she shows up – or better yet, don’t be there at all when she arrives and have left no instructions for anyone else to greet or orient her, and simply leave her sitting in the lobby until you stroll in an hour later. Then, take her to her desk but realize that you don’t have her computer logins set up yet, let alone any work for her to start on. Hand her a bunch of company brochures and suggest that she spend today reading them. (Bonus points: Schedule her first day while you and other key players on her team are on two-week vacations. Don’t tell her this until she shows up.)

2. Don’t introduce your new hire to the rest of the team. Sure, you could take her around to meet other members of the team and key people in other departments – or you could stash her in her office and figure that she’ll find out who people are eventually. If you’re going to successfully terrify your new hire, you’ve got to go with option two: isolation. There’s nothing like starting a new job, having no idea who anyone is, and watching them all head off to lunch together while your stomach rumbles hungrily to start a first day off right.

3. Provide little to no training. After leaving her with nothing to do on day one, day two is the time to load her up with projects – but don’t give her any guidance. Have high expectations and just hope she finds a way to meet them. It’s sink or swim, baby!

4. Forget about promises you made in the interview. You might have a vague recollection of your new hire negotiating to work from home one day a week or to play a meaningful role on your strategy team. But she can’t really expect you to stick to those commitments, right? Promptly forget about them and give her a blank look if she inquires.

5. After a week, drastically change her job. Yes, she signed up to do work with clients, but hey, now that she’s on board, why not instead have her handle this six-month backlog of data entry that no one else has time for? If she balks, point to the “and other tasks as assigned” line in her job description.

Change your mind yet? If this doesn’t sound like the right plan after all and you want to set your new hire up for success, we’ve got tips on doing that right here.

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