So you’ve hired a new staff member… but not everyone is Happy about it!

You’ve hired an agency to do your vetting, you found a Candidate with whom you and your spouse are impressed by and everything is going to be easy from here on out! Or is it?

Whenever a new member of the team enters the picture, you are bound to deal with some transitional “situations.” Having an agency behind you can help make this period smoother, yes —but responsibility ultimately lies with the head of the household and it is your job (or management’s job,) to properly understand and deal with the nuances & dynamics between your loved ones, current staff members & new hires. If you take a pro-active approach to introducing rules to your current staff and the children, before the new hire enters the picture, trouble is less likely to ensue down the road.

Many Clients often do not realize that even though the hiring process was seamless through the agency, that there will be training involved on their end after hiring. SURPRISE! An agency’s position is to recalibrate the proverbial staffing compass so that you can meet qualified Candidates who can fill your open position. An agency is not responsible for behavioral modification of Children in the home or changes in the work environment once a new hire enters the picture.

Below are issues with placement that are very common and using an agency does not make you exempt from these issues. We STRONGLY encourage you to pass this along to your friends, family and acquaintances who have just hired new staff or are in the process with an Agency, as it will give helpful advice, in what can be a confusing time for everyone involved.

This includes: 

  1. Children not wanting to deal with the newcomer and displaying negative attitudes towards them. (This is reflected typically in the form of temper tantrums, defiant behavior, separation anxiety, sadness or displaced anger.)

  2. Current staff members feeling territorial because they are afraid of being let go / feel threatened of the newcomers presence for other reasons (age, capability, experience, etc.)

  3. Possible deliberate sabotage by staff or children in the home. (Making complaints of new hire’s behavior or work ethic, exaggeration of a small misunderstanding or mistake, etc.)

Ignoring these issues or believing that your employees are not prone to these natural feelings, can lead to a new staff member quitting or worse, one of the children becoming uncomfortable in their own environment. So we have taken real Client examples (above) and matched them to appropriate problem solving techniques (below) which can eliminate issues down the road.

  1. If your child has made it clear that they are not accepting your new hire, yet this person has done everything in their job description and is efficient outside of this situation, it is up to you to make your child comfortable with engaging with the new hire.
    What We Recommend: Buy a gift for the child in question and “pretend” it is from the new staff member. The new staff member should present this gift to the child showing indifference; this is one way to break the ice. Explain to the other children that they should help their sibling feel more comfortable with the new person also. If the child is still trying to adjust after this gift exchange, set up a fun activity which is only for the child and the new staff member (making soap, making pottery, going to see a movie or a museum outing,) and allow the child to experience a fun day with no other influences around.

    The idea here is to change the child’s reactive behavior by creating a new experience for the child with no outside influences involved and preferably not at their home. (if the child loves to paint, have the new hire schedule a paint session for the both of them at a local art school for kids, followed by an activity of choice by the child; a favorite restaurant or ice cream shoppe perhaps) Let the new hire plan this activity and try not to get involved other than by paying for the process, as it will show your child that the newcomer is trustworthy when the child relies on them and fun to be around without you setting up or monitoring the events.

  2. Current staff members feeling territorial of their job / threatened of the newcomers’ presence. Signs of this are easy to spot — typically whenever a staff member is reporting negative feedback on the newcomer, or if it has been “suggested” that the new person may not be a good fit for the position. Be aware that this is more often than not, exaggerated in an attempt to reassure themselves of their own job security.
    WHAT WE RECOMMEND: Make it clear to the current staff members, that all new staff must be treated as part of the team as they all share the same goal. Make it known that there is room for everyone on the team and encourage them to help the new staff member feel comfortable in their new role. Make it clear that work sabotage or any attitudes that do not support synergy with the team, are not tolerated.
    In a situation where a complaint has been made against the new hire; either you, your spouse or whichever senior staff member is in charge when you are not around, must be able to distinguish between truth and personal opinion and deal with it accordingly. Consult other sources which will either confirm or deny the negative feedback (such as cameras on property, digital devices, other people who are close to the situation but have no motives to agree with complaining staff member.)

  3. Possible deliberate sabotage by current staff or children in the home. In the worst case scenario this can happen. Staff or Children may influence each other and begin to rally together in an effort to preserve their familiar surroundings (aka how it was before the new person arrived.) It is a natural part of psychology but counterproductive when you have a busy schedule.
    Make sure that the children understand that the new hire is there to help them and point out all of the person’s good qualities to the child. With time and patience, these situations resolve themselves most of the time.

    Encourage staff members to be kind to the new person while reassuring them that their job is secure as long as they are willing to make a team effort to include the new hire; as you or management will not tolerate any behavior that is not in line with synergy.