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 >  Home   >   The first 100 days in a German company
German Business Etiquette in English

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The first 100 days in a German company

- chapter excerpt - 

What has long been known as a popular success measure for new CEOs and even the German Chancellor can also be helpful in orient-ing anyone new to a job. This chapter will give you tips on surviving your first 100 days at your new workplace and achieving a quick integration into your company with the help of certain milestones.

The first 100 days in a German company

In comparison to a few years ago when the economy was a bit heal-thier, a new employee’s starting probation period is now really used by companies for what it is. No other reason could explain the results of a recent survey carried out by Germany’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce which show that in a sample of 21,000 companies, 50% of terminations took place during the probation period. This fact is not just frustrating, but it also reveals that both employers and employees are wasting a great deal of time, money, and energy on the hiring and firing processes.

Ironically, in the face of all this, companies’ once widespread pro-grams to integrate new employees into jobs are receiving less atten-tion than ever before. This reflects the expectations that many com-panies now place on their employees to immediately learn new skills so that they can be put to work at productive tasks as quickly as possible. At the same time, background information on complex projects, basic rules for working together and even important safety precautions are often not well communicated. In this sense, the turbu-lence of day-to-day business often ends up overshadowing a firm’s best intentions for integrating new employees.

One method that helps in the integration process is the mentor-model. Here, a supervisor or the firm’s personnel department asks experienced employees to construct an orientation-plan for a new employee and to assist him or her in completing it by being available to answer questions and provide guidance during the first few months.

If an employer does not sponsor such a mentoring program or make a mentor available even on an informal-basis, a new employee would be best advised to create their own plan for achieving a quick and efficient integration into the new company. Here are some tips for starting out:

Making your way through the first week

Starting with the first work day, a new employee should strive to build a positive image.

This is most easily accomplished by dressing appropriately and show-ing respect for and genuine interest in the company, the work envi-ronment, and of course, one’s new job.

In addition, new employees should always keep the following points in mind:

For more tips, see the article "The first days after the job change: now or never!"

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