First Impressions Matter to Your Organization

A friend made a comment about how sick just the thought of walking into her job made her feel, and that got the wheels turning in my head. So, I am writing my first blog entry! Thanks for tuning in!

 

What song goes through your mind as you walk through the door of your job? Is it Chopin’s “Funeral March” or “Celebrate” by Kool and the Gang? That initial feeling when you walk through that door is a huge indicator of your job satisfaction and, oftentimes, performance as well.
Why should managers care about whether or not their employees are happy?  Bottom line is that it helps the bottom line! Now, I’m not saying that in order to be happy, employees must be coddled and given easy assignments. By all means, I think the challenge should be in the assignment rather than the song reference in your head as you walk in the door. It should tell you something if you have an internal battle whether or not to open that door or run.
We are also in an era of job shortage. Isn’t it better just to be employed, even if you’re miserable, making money, rather than sitting idle? Many people are simply taking any job they can get in order to bring some cash flow into the household. Isn’t’ it better to just deal with it until something better comes along? My answer is no.
First of all, many employers know people have this mindset these days – this is my “for now” job. They envision where they want to be hired when the hiring freeze ends or the economy turns around. This makes it more complicated to get the “for now” jobs since the answers to the “Where do you see yourself in a year?” question is being analyzed more than ever before.
Secondly, there is the opportunity cost. If you lock yourself into a position that makes you less than satisfied, your time to network and search for that right fit are minimized. Dissatisfaction with your job comes home with you, and your drive to look for other work during your time off dwindles. Your depressed state is also obvious to outsiders looking in as it manifests itself in our attitudes, actions, words, and even our personal upkeep.
Thirdly, it is costly for the hiring company. The entire recruitment and hiring process itself requires high paid professionals in many large organizations, and it takes time away from the small business manager. High employee turnover is an indication of employee dissatisfaction, and, in my opinion, requires a major look at the organizational culture rather than the wording the classified ad.
Several ideas have been floating through this blog, and, in summary, my own take-aways are as follows:
·         First impressions matter, especially when you first walk in the door at work. Ask yourself why you feel the way you do as you enter the office and how you can change the song in your head to sing the words that make you want to give the best of your abilities that day.
·         Employers – flat out ask your employees how they feel. Analyze your organizational culture and see what improvements can be made from the inside. An anonymous survey with the question “What song is in your head as you walk through these doors each day?” may provide some interesting insight.
·         Job seekers – really do your research about the companies to which you apply. I suggest checking out http://www.glassdoor.com. This is a site where employees give their real and anonymous opinions about their place of work. It’s a great place to read about how people feel working there. Don’t settle for less than what you really want and need to be a satisfied employee – the opportunity cost may be that you’re not available or not in the right mindset when it does come along!
I have many ideas and thoughts ready to explode from my mind and think I will start writing them down more often. I welcome and appreciate any comments, critiques, and questions.
As I tell my Principles of Management students at the local community college, no matter how complicated or critical a job may be, just always remember that you’re dealing with people, each possessing complicated emotions and thoughts that drive their actions and behaviors. Don’t ever forget the humanity in business – we are nothing without our people!
I look forward to your thoughts! Thanks for reading!

 

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3 thoughts on “First Impressions Matter to Your Organization

    • Thank you, Melissa, for your comment! You are my first, and, therefore, quite special to me! I have not yet tried trip advisor…I will certainly keep that in mind for my next vacation. Glassdoor was a great discovery for me, as well. There’s no better voice than that of an insider, and the anonymity of it keeps it authentic. Cheers!

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