You’ve spent a lot of money finding and hiring the perfect employee.  Do you kick back, feel the thrill of success, and throw the new hire into the jungle in hopes they’ll become productive rapidly? If you do, you’ve just wasted all the time and money you spent making that great hire.

To read the rest of this article from Business First of Louisville, see: Don’t ignore new hires after they start work

For example, Helen was a highly skilled manager with a great track record.  On the first day at her new company, she was introduced – then senior management abandoned her.  Thus, the predators on her team felt emboldened, and immediately tried to see how far they can push her.  Who’s really going to be the alpha wolf and control this turf?

Helen wanted to start off on the right foot.  So she talked reasonably to each of them, one to one.  She tried to understand why they were so hostile and tried to get them to understand how much her feelings were hurt.

The bullies interpreted her reasonableness as weakness and her hurt feelings as vulnerability.  They remained hostile and righteous.  They escalated their emotional harassment and abuse into a feeding frenzy.  They claimed it was Helen’s fault their feelings were hurtHer feelings didn’t matter to those narcissistic bullies.  They told her they had nothing to apologize or make amends for.  Their threat: If Helen didn’t leave them alone, they’d complain to the senior manager.

Helen felt like she was the new kid trying to break into a clique of junior high school princesses.

Leadership spent a lot of time, energy and money hiring Helen but they failed to support her.  They didn’t set the tone for how new hires are to be treated.  When they didn’t support Helen’s attempts to set high behavioral standards, they enabled a toxic workplace and she moved onto bigger and better things.

Imagine your company beginning with a vacuum of standards for behavior.  If you and the highest quality staff don’t set the tone for the workplace, the most vicious and nasty members of your staff will fill the vacuum with their standards.

I discovered that the leaders at Helen’s organization weren’t merely absentee, they were conflict-avoidant cowards.  They weren’t successful leaders.  They tried to avoid stopping bullying while they whined and complained, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

Don’t throw new hires to the turf-building jackals.  The simple solution is to develop and implement an effective “How We’ll Welcome the New Employee” plan.

The welcoming process may sound like a huge expense.  But compare it to the cost of losing a perfect hire, having to repeat the hiring process and probably watching your next generation of leaders leave or sink down to the lowest level.  Problems welcoming new hires are a sign of widespread bullying and abuse, and lack of planning and oversight.

Don’t let that happen.  Your job as a leader is to actively set the tone.  You can’t allow the most predatory members of your organization to feed on other staff.

Learn what you can do to eliminate the high cost of low attitudes, behavior and performance.

All tactics are situational.  Expert coaching and consulting can help you create and implement a plan that fits you and your organization.