Why it’s so important to welcome people enthusiastically

Brodie is standing and smiling for the camera. He is wearing a blue shirt and has a painted wall mural behind him

At Forrest Personnel, we have a set of guiding principles. The idea is that these four principles inform and underpin our day-to-day engagements.

In a series of posts, with contributions from team members, we will be exploring these principles one by one.

This first post is about the principle that “We welcome people enthusiastically.” We spoke with three team members – two in our Bunbury office and a third in Albany.

Brodie Storey: Living his experience

To lead us off is Brodie Storey, the Team Leader of our Albany office. Brodie has a rather unique perspective in that he was a job seeker many years ago with Jobactive. He recalls attending his first appointment, and his Employment Consultant was one hour late! Brodie tells us that: “Instead of getting an apology, I got ‘come over here and let’s get this done.’ I removed myself from the program that very day.

“It’s crucial that we at Forrest Personnel greet people with a smile and are enthusiastic about the appointment. The sentiments that we impart have a direct impact on job seekers. The analogy is like a ripple in a pond effect – one small interaction creates bigger ripples.

“This guiding principle is important because it gets to the heart of the matter – why would job seekers be motivated to attend appointments if they leave feeling less inspired than when they arrived – as happened to me all those years ago?

“It is our job to create a positive experience for job seekers. This will ultimately benefit the job search and boost the possibility of potential employment.”

Hiltje Steneker: All day, every day of the week

Hiltje Steneker is well placed to reflect on welcoming people enthusiastically. She is based in our Bunbury office in her role of Office Manager. Her ‘office’ is actually the front reception, and thus she is welcoming people all day, every day of the week.

Hiltje is sitting on the left and beside her colleague Jess. They are both smiling at the camera from the front reception desk

Hiltje Steneker (left) with colleague Jess Knight. Photo by Rob Cox, oxy images

Hiltje relies on personal experience when reflecting on this guiding principle. She explains that: “When I’m out and about in the community, I like to be greeted with warmth and enthusiasm. I always draw on that experience and try to treat job seekers as I would like to be treated.

“It’s possible that job seekers are anxious. It’s possible that it’s their first appointment. This knowledge inspires me to make them feel welcome.

I enjoy the chance to brighten someone’s day. Perhaps it’s a smile coming from me that can make the difference.”

Liza Kirby: Inspired by her initial experience

Liza Kirby has a unique role at Forrest Personnel. She’s our Learning and Development Coordinator. She too understands the importance of welcoming people enthusiastically.

Liza is holding her arms around a giant revolving granite ball in the park at the City of Bunbury main administration building

Liza playing around in the garden at the City of Bunbury main administration building. Photo by Rob Cox, oxy images

A number of years ago, she had an experience as a Jobactive client. She found it wasn’t quite meeting her needs. She recalls that: “When I came over to Forrest Personnel, I was greeted very empathetically. My initial experience was very welcoming.

“My time here at Forrest is framed in part by my experience with the other provider, and by my initial encounter here. I strive to engage calmly with people and always with a smile.”

It’s all in the smile

There are consistent themes woven throughout the comments of Brodie, Hiltje and Liza. But, it’s the smile – which imparts both warmth and enthusiasm – that wins the day.

Feature photo: Brodie Storey by Krysta Guille

Forrest Personnel is a local charity. We specialise in supporting people with health conditions, injuries and disabilities to find and keep jobs.

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