Adding new employees to an organization is a big step for both the employer and employee. Every hiring decision can be difficult, and there’s a deep desire that everything works out for both parties. New employees tend to hold on to first impressions of a workplace, so doing some leg work to ensure that the first week runs smoothly will pay huge dividends in establishing trust. Here are a few ways to help new hires feel welcomed.
1. Announce the New Hire to the Team
Announcing a new team member to the company is an easy way to ensure the new hire feels welcomed from day one. Communicating an employee’s name, title, start date, and place of work before they join the team will promote a positive first impression for when the new hire officially starts. This information can be announced during a company meeting or through some type of communication, such as email. If the new hire has a LinkedIn account, try connecting with them before they officially start or interact with posts they have made regarding their new position with the company.
2. Prepare Technology and Hiring Documentation Before Arrival
Before the team member’s start date, test technology to make sure everything works correctly. Even the most prepared teams run into technical issues but handling such scenarios with grace will model how setbacks are handled in the workplace.
The only thing more overwhelming than new technology on an employee’s first day is the complexity of new hire onboarding documents. In addition to the relevant governmental and state forms, they’ll need to set up healthcare and retirement accounts, direct deposit forms, and other legal or corporate documents. Depending on the type of orientation you want to have on the first day, you can have some of this documentation completed electronically prior to onboarding.
3. Express Empathy
New hires often have many questions but don’t want to bother management with small issues. Encourage them to voice those questions, which will give valuable insight and help them feel heard. Remember to verbalize the fact that they might feel overwhelmed, hesitant, or have many questions. Showing kindness and speaking their concerns aloud will put them more at ease.
4. Help Them Understand the Company Culture
Create a document, guide, or set of principles that explicitly describe the tone, mood, expectations, vision, and quirks of your workplace. This is the place to explain certain phrases or acronyms everyone uses—or rituals or habits that have been established over the years. The guide doesn’t have to be dull or corporate, as all essential legal and corporate information should be in the employee handbook. Injecting warmth and humor into this document can go a long way toward making the new hire feel comfortable on your team.
Welcome gifts are helpful as well. Even a small item with the company logo can help send a strong positive message of the company culture.
5. Plan a Balanced Schedule for the First Week
Many employers worry too much about overwhelming new hires and end up leaving them with too much downtime in their first week. Too much unscheduled time, however, will be just as intimidating. Without an established routine or set of tasks to complete, unfilled time can drag on interminably. On the employee’s first day, try taking them out to lunch. Also, schedule one-on-ones for the new hire to meet the leadership team or schedule an outing with the people they will work with daily. This practice will allow current employees to meet the new hire while removing some of the anxiety the new team member feels about fitting in or getting to know others.
6. Schedule Employee Headshots
A headshot is a simple and effective way to welcome a new hire to the company. If you are not able to hire a professional photographer, you can ask a team member with photography experience to take the photos. A new photo will not only make the new hire feel important, but also allow remote employees to see the new hire if they have not met yet.
Onboarding is an opportunity to introduce new employees to workplace culture and to help them get settled. If you’d like some guidance as you plan your onboarding procedure, contact us today. We’re a trusted HR outsourcing company, and we’re passionate about helping people create better workplaces.
See what our clients are saying:
“LBMC EP makes the onboarding and benefit process easier to navigate, so our staff can focus on training and tailoring the onboarding to the new hire. PMG is also able to access better employee benefits for our staff at a reasonable cost. The staff is always responsive to any questions or issues. The online portal makes the hiring, onboarding, and benefit process informative, easy to navigate and quick to complete.” – Elizabeth Pulliam, Parthenon Management Group
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