What New Employees Want

Shawnee Love   •  
January 26, 2018

Following our blog re: what candidates look for when applying for a job, we are now looking at what employees want.

I have shared what the research says in past blogs, so for a new angle on a topic that never seems to get old, I will focus on the wants associated with the stages of an employee’s life cycle within your company.

I’ll start at the beginning, the probationary/ introductory/ or learning period (or whatever you like to call it).

The most important thing employees want during their introductory period is for

whatever you promised them during the hiring process to be true.

That’s it! And from what I hear, if you set realistic expectations during the hiring process, you will be miles ahead of most companies. Make a good first impression sign or stamp

Beyond setting realistic expectations and not making false promises, new hires also want:

  • A good manager,
  • Welcoming co-workers, and
  • The sense they can be successful and happy in your company and job.

(These 4 findings drawn from my 20+ years of exit interviews of people in their first year of employment and why they are leaving.) 

It sounds simple enough to achieve those 4 things, but experience proves it isn’t as easy as it sounds.

A “good” manager means different things to different people, and “welcoming” co-workers requires team members to be more than simply nice.  Instead teams need to develop processes for integrating a new person effectively into their flow, culture, and history.

The fourth want, the potential for happiness and success, is grounded in the employee’s values, beliefs, hopes and dreams, which is why it is so important to ask the right kinds of questions in the hiring process, i.e., questions which help you understand a candidate’s motivation for wanting your job and how well the candidate would fit.

Making it through the first year is about so much more than a candidate’s ability to do the job. You have heard it before but it bears repeating:

Presuming the capability exists to learn the job, I would rather take someone passionate about my industry, with a positive attitude and good rapport with my team than an expert in the job duties any day.    

That’s my opinion at least. Please weigh in and share yours!