Moving house, starting a job, and having a baby are three of the most stressful events in a person’s life. After doing all three more than once, I identify with that truth. But what I also learned is that going through these events for the second and third time is much less stressful. Timing and type of support determines everything when you want to help improve someones experience during a stressful time.
If you go to an antenatal course you are more likely to see couples expecting their first child than couples expecting their 5th child. It’s simple. Those doing it for the first time need and seek out more help. For early careers employees relocating to start their job, it's the right time to support their move and ensure they feel welcome.
But this logic is lost in the relocation market. We should ask ourselves why companies provide so much support (and budget) to senior employees who are relocating - most of them for the third, fourth or fifth time - and yet the same companies do not support, or undersupport, their early careers employees, who are moving for the first time and would benefit the most.
Making every employee welcome is important. Here are 5 great reasons why it’s important to make every early careers employee welcome, expecially those who are moving to a new city to work for your company:
1. There is no second chance to make a first impression
When we interact with others, we form our first impressions of them within 7 seconds. As a company, the window to make a first impression on newcomers is probably a bit longer, but not by much. We want to make sure that we send the right message right from the start from how glad we are that they accepted the offer, to how organized and efficient we are and what our expectations are of them. For many new hires, it will be their first welcome by a new employer. This might be their first big start since Uni; employers should establish the level of expectations going forward, and it’s always a good idea to lead by example.
2. Reduce stress
When employees feel welcome, their anxiety drops, their stress about the first few days at their new workplace drops, and the chances of a long term successful relationship grows. And if every job start is stressful, the impact earlier in the career is even bigger. When your employees are both moving home and starting a new job, you can expect their stress levels to start rather high.
Employees who feel welcome are also more engaged. According to recent research by Deloitte, improving engagement increases productivity by 18% and quality of output by 30%. It’s as simple as that. The first opportunity to start making your employees feel welcome to your company and their new city begins after they accept an offer and start the process of relocating.
4. Welcome = Valued
Employees who feel welcome also feel valued. In order to make employees feel welcome, employers need to put the effort in. This effort is noticed by the employee, who knows that their employer cares about how they feel. It works.
If no other reason impacted you, then this reason must do it. 1 out of 5 employees quit in the first 90 days and many associate it with not feeling welcome. Some even say that just a smile could have made a difference. The costs of an employee quitting in the first 90 days are much more than just the costs of recruitment, when you consider the costs of training and of having the position left unfilled until the company hire a new person. Research by Dan Cable, of London Business School, shows that when employees feel welcome retention increases by 57%.
Your relocating, early careers employees are undertaking 2 of life's 3 most stressful moments to come work with you. It's an opportunity for your company to invest in starting the relationship well and earning engaged, productive and appreciative employees in return.
Not sure where to start on the project of making employees feel welcome? Check out Benivo’s guide for the Art & Science of a Great Welcome. Or get in touch with our team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can share examples of how we have implemented low-cost early careers relocation support with Employers of Choice programmes.
About the author:
Nitzan Yudan, father of 2, moved houses 7 times, started a new job 10 times.
Nitzan is the CEO of Benivo - helping employers of choice make every relocating employee welcome with innovative technology. Clients include Google, Microsoft, Bloomberg, Vodafone, and Hertz.